Thursday 14 March 2013

The Duke of Edinburgh, Royal Companion of the Order of Canada?

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh is a member of the
national orders of Australia & New Zealand
but not Canada.
Below is the Letter to the Editor that I wrote to the Canadian national newspaper, the Globe & Mail, in response to that newspaper's splendid editorial of March 10, in which the paper called upon the Canadian government to confer the highest grade of the Order of Canada on HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (Editorial may be read at this LINK). The Duke is due to visit Canada in April. The on-line version of my letter may be read at this LINK. The print version of my letter is reproduced below:

Monday 11 March 2013

Chris Huhne is Fifth Person to Resign from the Privy Council

A meeting of Her Majesty's Privy Council. To
keep meetings as short as possible, Queen Victoria started
the tradition that members remain standing.
Chris Huhne, the former British cabinet minister and sometime candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Democrat Party, was sentenced to an eight month prison sentence today for perverting the course of justice. Upon admitting his guilt last month, Mr. Huhne announced that he would resign from Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council. By so doing, he has secured a place in history -- becoming one of a very select group to have resigned from this, now largely symbolic, body of advisers to the Sovereign. To date, only four other people have resigned from the Privy Council:

1. HRH The Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The second son of Queen Victoria, the Duke was previously Duke of Edinburgh and a member of the House of Lords before succeeding to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha upon the death of his uncle, Ernest II, in 1893. To acknowledge his new foreign responsibilities, Alfred left the House of Lords and resigned from the Privy Council.  

2. Brigadier John Profumo CBE, former Conservative Party MP and Secretary of State for War. Profumo famously resigned from office in 1963 due to a scandal that became known as the "Profumo Affair".

3. John Stonehouse, former Labour Party MP and Postmaster General. After faking his death in 1974, he was arrested and convicted for a series of fraud-related offences. He was also alleged to have worked for the communist Czechoslovakian military intelligence.

4. Jonathan Aitken, former Conservative Party MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Aitken was convicted of perjury and perverting the course of justice in 1999.

Tuesday 5 March 2013

The Queen Admitted to London Hospital with Gastroenteritis

My appearance on Sky News to discuss The Queen's admission to London's King Edward VII Memorial Hospital suffering from the symptoms of gastroenteritis, a nasty stomach bug. Video may be seen by clicking below:

Sunday 3 March 2013

The Duke of Edinburgh Oldest Royal to Travel to Canada

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as Colonel-in-Chief of the
Royal Canadian Regiment. The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, stands immediately behind.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh will make a private working visit to Canada in April in order to present a new Regimental Colour to the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. The presentation will take place in Toronto on 27th April and will also afford HRH an opportunity to meet with officers and non-commissioned members of the 3rd Battalion.

The Duke of Edinburgh has been Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment since 1953 (not to be confused with the Royal Regiment of Canada, of which HRH The Prince of Wales is Colonel-in-Chief). HRH has travelled to Canada more than any other member of the Royal Family -- HRH's first trip was in 1951 and his most recent was in 2010.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, at the age of 91, is the oldest royal in history to have travelled to Canada. The previous record holder was HLM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, whose final trip to Canada was in 1989 at the age of 88 (one month shy of her 89th birthday). The Duke of Edinburgh broke this record in 2010, having celebrated his 89th birthday a few days before travelling to Canada with HM The Queen to participate in the 1 July celebrations on Ottawa's Parliament Hill. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother remains the oldest royal to have left the shores of the United Kingdom. Her final overseas trip was to the European continent in 1992 at the age of 92.

The announcement of the Duke of Edinburgh's April trip to Canada was made during the week in which he became the longest-lived male member of the royal family in history. The Duke is already our longest-serving royal royal consort.