Camilla, Queen Consort Hosts Canadian Regiment at Buckingham Palace
Camilla, Queen Consort is presented with the Canadian Forces' Decoration by Brigadier-General Dwayne Parsons during a reception for the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada at Buckingham Palace on Feb. 1, 2023. Photo: Aaron Chown/WPA Pool/Getty Images
Camilla, Queen Consort met with members of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, an engagement that shows the newly crowned royal taking on duties that were previously reserved for the monarch.
After receiving Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel Manjit Minhas, Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Scott Moody and Regimental Sergeant-Major WO1 Jeff Johnston in audience at the palace, she hosted a reception for the Canadian armed forces in the 1844 Room, where she was presented with the Canadian Forces’ Decoration by Brigadier-General Dwayne Parsons.
The medal recognizes the Queen Consort’s 12 years of service as Colonel-in-Chief to the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.
Camilla, who also holds the title of Royal Colonel of the 4th Battalion Rifles in Great Britain, was raised in a military family. Her father, Major Bruce Middleton Hope Shand, was a decorated Second World War soldier who was awarded the Military Cross twice, first for his bravery in action at Dunkirk and later in North Africa.
Wednesday’s engagement follows a trip the Queen Consort made to the Lille Barracks in Aldershot, U.K., on Tuesday to see the Grenadier Guards, 1st Battalion. This marked her inaugural visit since taking on the role of ceremonial Colonel of the regiment. (The position was previously held by her disgraced brother-in-law Prince Andrew, who was stripped of his patronages and military titles last January in response to sexual assault allegations levied against him.)
Her duties during the visit included the presentation of medals, which saw her award distinctions to 10 soldiers for outstanding service in Iraq last year and two servicemen for length of service.
The Queen Consort’s prompt visit to the battalion only a short time after taking on the role in December earned her high favour among the servicemen at the barracks. “She was wonderful, and it was a very special moment for us to introduce our new colonel,” PA. Lt.-Col. Johnson, who sat next to Camilla during a group photo, told The Independent. “We found out in early January, and we’re excited that she wanted to come and see us so quickly.”
For the event, Camilla donned a red wool dress, likely leading Canadian royal watchers to ponder whether she mixed the two engagements up. Twitter reaction to her Palace engagement has been favourable, with some even calling for her to drop the “consort” in her title.
Camilla will be crowned alongside King Charles at the pair’s coronation on May 6, becoming the first consort to receive the title since Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1937.