Canadian soldiers assumed Queen’s Guard duties earlier this month during Changing of the Guard ceremonies held at Buckingham and St. James’s Palaces.
Month-Long Public Duties
The ceremonies in Windsor and London saw members of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery United Kingdom Public Duties Contingent (RCA UK PDC) begin their month-long Public Duties on October 4, 2021.
“This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for our soldiers, and they are embracing every moment of it,” Major Michael Crosier, Guard Commander, RCA UK PDC, expressed, “While training and preparations leading up to this were at times long when Canadian soldiers marched onto the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, they truly felt the full magnitude of their duties. This is not something that is by any means a common task for Canadian Armed Forces members, and it is an honour and a privilege to be here as a member of the Queen’s Guard.”
This is the first time that The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (RCA) has undertaken Public Duties in the United Kingdom, according to Master Warrant Officer Jason Power, Sergeant Major, The RCA UK PDC.
“It is quite the honour, especially with this month being the 150th anniversary of the forming of the Regiment’s A and B Batteries,” he added.
From October 4 to 22
From October 4 to 22, the 90 soldiers of the RCA UK PDC will make up the Queen’s Guard at the four Royal residences in the London District: Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. The Queen’s Guard will partner with the 36-person RCA Band, based in Edmonton, for the mount and dismount ceremonies.
The press release from the RCA UK PDC also noted that the RCA UK PDC will also take part in events recognizing the 150th anniversary of the formation of A and B Batteries during September and October 2021 while in the UK.
The Queen’s Guard are soldiers and officers charged in support of the civil authorities with guarding the Sovereign and the official royal residences in the UK.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Invited
As stated in the press release, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II invited the RCA UK PDC to form the Queen’s Guard to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the formation of the RCA A and B Batteries. “The founding of A Battery (in Kingston, Ont.) and B Battery (in Quebec City) of 1 RCHA in 1871 led the way for Canada’s professional Army. It allowed Canada to bear responsibility for its defence and laid the groundwork for political autonomy,” it further states.
This opportunity to conduct Public Duties maintains the tradition of Commonwealth soldiers working alongside the British Armed Forces while showing the professional capabilities of the RCA and the Canadian Armed Forces internationally.