Arthur Bousfield

News-in-Brief

Ottawa – 23 June. To inaugurate the restoration of the regular mounting and changing of the guard, absent from the capital since being suspended in 2019 because of the Corona Virus Pandemic, Her Excellency the Governor General carried out an inspection of the Ceremonial Guard.  First begun in 1959 as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s great coast-to-coast tour that year, the changing of the guard ceremony achieved rapid popularity and was made a regular feature of the Ottawa summer scene.  The ceremony has been reintroduced for the present on a smaller scale, with a guard of only thirty. Posting of the sentries at Government House will take place daily but the actual changing of the guard only on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m.  In its full form the changing took place on Pariiament Hill, most of which is now closed to the public for renovation of the Centre Block.  The full band of the guard however will march to the Hill every day for a presentation called Canada on the March on the part of the grounds still open to the public.  Switching its focus to Government House clarifies the real purpose of the guard: guarding the Queen’s Representative.  Sentries of course from the guard are also posted at the National war Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.  The ceremony continues until 23 September.  

Windsor, Ont. – 13 to 14 May.  H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent presented new colours to the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment. The colours which replaced the 1994 ones now laid up had the addition of three battle honours from the War of 1812 and one from Afghanistan approved for the unit in 2012. The Essex and Kent Regiment traces its military lineage from militia units based in the Windsor area that served in the war of 1812.  The three 1812 battle honours are Detroit, Maumee and Niagara.   Addressing the regiment at Riverside Festival Plaza in Windsor, Prince Michael said: ”This is indeed a momentous occasion. This goes back to the basic tenets of duty and sacrifice … You are all voluntarily accepting the challenge … and I have no doubt that you’ll serve your King and the people of Canada with continuing pride and unwavering commitment.  These colours presented today represent your commitment to your assigned duty as members of the Canadian Armed Forces”.  The following day, Sunday, HRH took part in a regimental service at Christ Church, Chatham, east of Windsor and a freedom of the city parade and ceremony there.  Prince Michael is considered by the Palace to be a “non-working“ royal. Performing this most recent duty for the infantry regiment of which he is Colonel-in-Chief was a practical example of the importance of the minor royals to the overseas realms in maintaining their vital relationship to the Royal Family.  Under the “downsized” Royal Family advocated by some would-be reformers of the Crown there would be no members to carry out the role.

Moncton – 19 - 21 May.  Less than two weeks after taking part in the Coronation of her brother King Charles III, HRH The Princess Royal spent three days visiting her regiment, the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), an armoured unit of the Canadian Reserve in New Brunswick. The occasion for the royal visit was the regiment’s 175th anniversary.  The Princess Royal has been its Colonel-in-Chief since 1972. Ceremonies for the occasion included a church service, a visit to the Moncton City Hall and a freedom of the city parade at Sussex where she took the salute.  HRH also had a private tour of the regimental museum, attended a concert and was present at a gala dinner to mark the anniversary.  In her speech for the occasion the Princess praised the people of New Brunswick for supporting the regiment. Heavy rain and strong winds proved a challenge for the visit but failed to mar its success. 

Ottawa – 24 Jan.  The newly published memoirs of the former Finance Minister the Hon. Bill Morneau entitled Where to From Here : A Path to Canadian Prosperity reveal that Mr Morneau suggested bringing together former prime ministers to review and address the deteriorating condition of 24 Sussex Drive and Rideau Hall, two of the six official residences managed by the National Capital Commission.  “I received little or no response to my idea”, Mr Morneau sadly revealed.  Fear of public reaction over allocating funds lies at the root of politicians’ reluctance to act on the matter.  Mr Morneau thought the Prime Minister of Canada ought to have a showplace as a residence.  Others have made similar suggestions.  They ignore the distinction between leader of government and Sovereign’s Representative.  Not having to do a lot of official entertaining leaves a prime minister free to run the government.  Most of the examples of other countries with showcase residences cited in the discussion were republics.  Minister means servant and politicians already find it too easy to forget that that is what they are. Failure to keep up the prime minister’s residence which Ottawa has been guilty of is also unjustified. The office of the Minister of Public Services and Procurement had no update on the matter.

Toronto – 14 Jan.  The death at 72 of Hon. David Onley, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario 2007-2014, occasioned many public tributes and expressions of regret provincially and nationally.  An engaging personality, strong belief in the Monarchy and dedication to duty made Mr Onley one of the most popular holders of the viceregal post.  It helped that on taking office he was already well-known to the public as a CTV broadcaster since 1984.  Much attention focused on the fact that he was the first person with a major disability to be the Queen’s Representative in Ontario.  At age three David Onley contracted polio which left him paralysed from the waist down, obliging him to use a motorised scooter.  His many appearances as viceroy on his scooter carried a recurring message to the public about disability issues.  As viceroy he also made aboriginal literacy a concern on visits to First Nations communities.  On leaving office he lectured on the viceregal office and disabilities at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus.  In 2019 he wrote a scathing report on the poor implementation of Ontario’s Disabilities Act of 2005.

 Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. – 2 Jan 2023.  Donald Edward Smith a leading Canadian political scholar and retired professor of the University of Saskatchewan died in this historic town on the Niagara River at 86.  Smith was noted for his impressive studies of the House of Commons, Senate, Opposition and Liberty Party.  Unlike other political scientists he valued and studied the generally neglected place of the Crown in Canadian constitutional life and governance as well.  His classic work on the Monarchy was The Invisible Crown : The First Principle of Canadian Government. His last book dealing with the subject was the jointly authored Canada’s Deep Crown : Beyond Elizabeth II, The Crown’s Canadian Complexion.  For his scholarly work Professor Smith was appointed to the Order of Canada and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in addition to being the recipient of many academic honours.  A native of Springfield, Nova Scotia, he grew up in Victoria, New Westminster and Aylmer, Ontario.

Honolulu, Hawaii – 11 Dec. Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa considered to be the last Hawaiian princess died at age 96 in her home in the state capital.  She was the granddaughter of Prince David Kawananakoa who was designated heir to the throne by Queen Liliukolani, the last Monarch of Hawaii. Monarchy remained an important element of Hawaii’s identity even after the Kingdom was overthrown by American businessmen. Its role in unifying the Hawaiian Islands and taking the kingdom into the world community of states was crucial. Though she led no restoration movement, Abigal Kawananakoa was quite aware of her responsibilities in this respect.  “My heritage dictates that I must take care of the Hawaiian people” she once said in court.  In practical terms she did so by funding scholarships for indigenous Hawaiian students, opposing a Honolulu rail project and supporting protests against a giant telescope.  For a quarter of a century she served as President of the Friends of Iolani Palace seat of the HawIIan Monarchy and enriched its collections through donations of royal family treasures.  Another passionate interest was breeding race horses.  For her expertise and achievements in that field she was entered in the Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2018.  

Toronto – 25 Nov. The National Post reported that a gold coin in The Hunterian, a museum at the University of Glasgow, that purports to depict a third century Roman Emperor named Sponsian but which has long been regarded as spurious is actually genuine.  The change of scholarly opinion on the coin adds the name of a hitherto unknown ruler to the list of Emperors of Rome.

Ottawa – 17 Nov.  The National Capital Commission [NCC] announced that it was closing 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the Queen’s First Minster in the capital because of the property’s deteriorating condition.  The current Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Justin Trudeau did not move into 24 Sussex Drive when he took office in 2015.  Mr Trudeau and his family live in Rideau Cottage a small house at Rideau Hall the official residence of the Governor General that up until then was used by the viceregal secretary.  The NCC stated that work on removing asbestos, lead and mould and an update of electrical, heating and plumbing systems at 24 Sussex Drive would begin in the spring of 2023.  The residence would remain closed until the government decided what was to become of the 8,500 square foot site in New Edinburgh which was acquired by the Crown in 1946 to house official guests, was last renovated in 1989 and has been the official residence of Canada’s Prime Minister since 1951.  The house which dates from 1867-1868 with renovations in 1887-1888 was built for a lumber magnate.  The NCC estimated that restoration and updating of the house would cost just over thirty million dollars.  The RCMP had also recommended security upgrades for it. 

St John’s – 9 Oct.  The death occurred in the Newfoundland capital of John Crosbie Perlin who served as Canadian Secretary to Queen Elizabeth II 1989 - 1991.  As Director of Cultural Affairs for Newfoundland and Labrador 1967-1989, Perlin co-ordinated and oversaw the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to the province in 1974 for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of its entry into Confederation. He performed the same role for the 1983 tour of TRH The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Princess Royal’s ongoing involvement as Colonel-in-Chief with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, especially the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont-Hamel in 2006. Mr Perlin met Elizabeth II for the first time in 1978.  “ . . . to work with the Queen was quite amazing” he recalled.  Perlin’s duties also involved him with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  Later he served as Honorary President of the Royal Regatta Committee. For his service he received the Royal Victorian Order from the Sovereign, being invested by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 1990.  

Athens – 10 Jan. King Constantine II, dethroned King of the Hellenes, died at a hospital in the Greek capital. A near cousin of King Charles III and the late Duke of Edinburgh, the King had been in failing health for some time. He was 82. The son of King Paul of the Hellenes, the monarch who helped ensure that Greece was the only Balkan state not to fall under Soviet Communism following World War II, King Constantine II succeeded his father in 1964. He did not occupy his throne for long. A coup in 1967 by right-wing generals pretending to act in his name was disavowed by the monarch who then attempted an unsuccessful counter-coup against the military junta. On its failure the King and his family left Greece. In 1974 another army coup ended the regime of the colonels but the new government held a doubtful referendum on the Monarchy which the royalist side lost. Greece has since remained a republic. Greek politicians have generally found a presidential regime more conducive to achieving their personal ambitions than a monarchical one. During the long years of exile that ensued for him, King Constantine II comported himself with dignity and behaved with circumspection and integrity. His Majesty was buried after a private funeral. The King is survived by his wife Queen Anne-Marie and succeeded in his dynastic rights by his son Crown Prince Pavlos who lives in Greece. King Constantine II was an internationally acclaimed yachtsman and had served as a member of the Greek Olympic team. 

London – 9 Jan.  Sparethe memoir of H.R.H. The Duke of Sussex was released by Penguin Random House, London and New York. The Duke’s declared intention in writing the book was to tell the story of how he became the person he is, “not as the Prince I was born but the man I have become”. Immediate media reactions to published excerpts from the book were negative but Prince Harry’s memoir immediately became the biggest selling book in a decade. In the book H.R.H. describing how he first introduced Miss Meghan Markle to the Queen noted that when he told his mother Miss Markle, though an American, had been living in Canada for seven years the Monarch looked pleased.

London – 8 Jan. The Court of Claims which considered claims to perform an historic or ceremonial role at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 has been replaced by a Coronation Claims Office within the United Kingdom Cabinet Office. In announcing the change the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rt Hon. Oliver Dowden stated that the office would fulfil the King’s wish that the Coronation be “rooted in tradition and pageantry but also embrace the future”. When assessing the claims made, the Chancellor said that the Coronation Claims Office would consult ecclesiastical experts from Lambeth Palace and ceremonial ones from the Royal Household. It would take into account whether the role or service being sought was performed in 1953, for what reason it should be performed in 2023 and the claimant’s connection to those who previously performed it.  

Rideau Hall – 1 Jan. 2023 In her New Year’s Message to Canadians, the Governor-General, Rt Hon. Mary Simon reflected themes of the Christmas Broadcast by the King. Recalling that 2022 was “the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing”, Her Excellency said it was a difficult year and encouraged everyone to perform acts of kindness. “Good people doing good”, can make a difference, she said. She also urged Canadians to renew relationships with Indigenous people and promote reconciliation.

Windsor Castle – 25 Dec.  King Charles III made the first Commonwealth Christmas Broadcast of his reign. Judging by media and internet comments on it, the address was favourably received. His Majesty spoke from St George’s Chapel, near which he said “my beloved mother the late Queen lies buried”. The King thanked the Commonwealth for all the love and sympathy shown to his whole family on his mother’s death. He recalled the Queen’s unfailing faith in God and faith in the people and commended those who, through acts of service and kindness, exemplified community spirit. His Majesty recalled how much visiting the site of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem had meant to him.  

Buckingham Palace – 22 Dec.  It was announced that His Majesty The King had appointed royal colonels of the United Kingdom Guards regiments, positions left vacant by the demise of the late Sovereign, the accession of the Heir to the Throne and the removal of the Duke of York as royal colonel of the Grenadiers. Queen Camilla was appointed Colonel of the Grenadier Guards (replacing the Duke of York), the Prince of Wales (formerly Colonel of the Irish Guards) of the Welsh Guards (in place of the King, who had succeeded the late Queen as Colonel-in-Chief of all Guards regiments) and the Princess of Wales of the Irish Guards (replacing the Prince of Wales, who was their Colonel while Duke of Cambridge). In Canada the Governor-General holds the equivalent position to the royal colonels in the three Canadian Guards regiments. An official announcement has not yet been made about new Canadian royal Colonels-in-Chief, or the King succeeding the late Queen as Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Guards regiments, traditionally held by the Sovereign in Canada as in the United Kingdom.

Toronto – 10 Dec. In an opinion piece entitled Royal Reconciliation, published in The Globe and Mail, John Fraser, former Master of Massey College and recent author of Funeral of a Queen: Twelve Days in London, argued that King Charles III could “draw on the past to build bridges with Indigenous communities” in Canada. Taking aim at the Thames Valley District School Board Committee report claiming that “The Royal Family was at the centre of policies resulting in land theft from First Nations “, and recommending that royal names of its schools therefore be dropped, Fraser wrote that “non-Indigenous relatives and antecedents of the Thames Valley District School Board trustees, and others”, were the ones “who did the dirty deed”, not the Royal Family. King Charles III and his family’s relations with the Indigenous went back to the reign of Queen Anne, and His Majesty himself championed their rights before it became popular to do so in Canada, Mr Fraser pointed out. Recounting how Queen Anne’s reception of the “Four Kings of Canada” in April 1710 led to the creation of the two Chapels Royal at Brantford and Tyendenaga, and eventually the most recent one at Massey College, authorised by Queen Elizabeth II in 2017, he said that “reconciliation” had also been one of the themes of the tour of Canada by the Prince of Wales for the Platinum Jubilee of his mother in 2022. The Globe and Mail article was illustrated by colour pictures of the Four Kings painted by Jan Verlest at the time of their visit to Queen Anne. Elizabeth II gave the portraits, which had been hanging at Hampton Court Palace, to the National Archives of Canada in 1977. Copies of the paintings are in the Mohawk Council Chamber at Tyendenaga, Ontario.  

London – 15 Aug. A new eight-part historical drama called Marie Antoinette was announced by the BBC. The role of the young King Louis XVI in the series will be played by Louis Cunningham, a 24-year-old actor who is the grandson of H.R.H. Prince Charles of Luxemburg. German actress Emilia Schule will play the title role of Queen Marie Antoinette. Deborah Davis, who created the script, has interpreted Marie Antoinette as a feminist ahead of her time. King Louis XVI’s father Prince Louis was the Dauphin (title of the heir to the Throne) at the time King Louis XV ceded his sovereignty over Canada to King George III. The date Marie Antoinette will be aired has not yet been set.

St John’s – 4 Aug. For the first time in its history the Royal St John’s Regatta included a women’s long course. The Regatta, which claims to be the oldest organised sporting event in North America, is held annually on Quidi Vidi Lake in the Newfoundland and Labrador capital. It first took place in 1818. Hitherto the only option for women was the short course, whereas men rowed a long one. Women athletes had been asking for a long course for some time.

Ottawa -19 May 2022. During his royal tour for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales was made an Honorary Canadian Ranger. The Rangers, part of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves, were officially established in 1947, but trace their origins to the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers formed in 1942, during World War II. They provide a limited reconnaissance and search and rescue military presence in the Canadian Arctic and northern sub-Arctic remote areas. The majority of the 5,000 members are indigenous Canadians who live in the areas they patrol. Prince William and Prince Harry of Wales were made honorary members of the Rangers in 2009, and the Duchess of Cambridge (Catherine) in 2011, during her Canadian tour with her husband.