Tuesday 20 May 2014

Canada's Prince: The Canadian Associations of HRH The Prince of Wales

The Royal Canadian Homecoming of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall commenced on 18 May. On that day, the day before Victoria Day (The Official Birthday in Canada of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada), The Prince of Wales was appointed to The Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. HRH was sworn in as a Privy Councillor during a private audience with His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at Government House, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Prince of Wales's father, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, is the second-longest serving member of The Queen's Privy Council for Canada (appointed 1957).

The Privy Council advises the Government of Canada and includes all past and present Ministers, as well as a number of select persons honoured for their contributions to Canada.

HRH The Prince of Wales with HE The Governor General of Canada at Government House, Halifax, Nova Scotia
(C) The Government of Canada

Quick Canadian Facts about The Prince of Wales (some courtesy of the Canadian Prime Minister's Office):

The Prince of Wales has been visiting Canada for almost 45 years. He has visited Canada from coast to coast to coast.

This year’s Royal Tour is His Royal Highness’ 17th Tour of Canada. 

During this year’s Tour of Canada, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will join Canadians in marking milestones in the country’s history in the lead up to the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

The Prince of Wales is patron or president of more than 400 organizations around the world. 

HRH The Prince of Wales in the uniform of a Lieutenant General in the Canadian Army
HRH is a Vice-Admiral in the Royal Canadian Navy, a Lieutenant General in the Canadian Army and a Lieutenant General in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

HRH is Honorary Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Colonel-in-Chief of several regiments and the air reserve:
  • Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadian)
  • The Royal Winnipeg Rifles
  • The Royal Regiment of Canada
  • The Royal Canadian Dragoons
  • The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada
  • The Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's Own)
  • The Air Reserve Group
HRH is an Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, holds the Canadian Forces Decoration and two clasps, as well as the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal.

HRH's patronages include Canadian organizations, such as The RCMP Foundation, The Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, The Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, The Regina Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, The Royal Conservatory of Music and Earth Rangers. 

HRH is responsible for the creation of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (the Canadian affiliate of the Prince’s Youth Business International), that helps disadvantaged young people become entrepreneurs. 

HRH is a strong proponent of the conservation of historical Canadian places including through the Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership that bears his name. 

HRH is also an honorary member of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and the Canadian Society of Painters in watercolour. 

Pre-Royal Tour Reception for UK-resident Canadians hosted by Prince of Wales & Duchess of Cornwall at St. James's Palace

On Wednesday 14 May, in preparation for the Royal Tour of Canada of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (commencing 18 May), a reception for Canadians working or living in the United Kingdom was hosted by The Prince and The Duchess in the State Apartments of St. James's Palace.

The weather, which in London can be very unpredictable, was warm, bright and sunny. This afforded guests the opportunity to visit the garden of St. James's Palace (which is shared with Clarence House).

TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall spent 1.5 hours meeting the (approximately) 100 Canadians who were present.

Photographs from the event may be seen HERE at the official Flickr site of The British Monarchy.

Thursday 8 May 2014

8 May - VE Day 1945 -- The Royal Family and Winston Churchill

The Royal Family and Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, VE Day 1945
Today, 8 May, is the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).

Last month British Pathe released into the public domain some 80,000 newsreel items from its extensive archives. A remarkable range of subjects are covered. Amongst the items is this footage of Winston Churchill rehearsing his VE Day speech. I believe this is the first time this footage has been seen in public. Well worth watching, particularly for his rousing finish: "Advance Britannia! Long live the cause of freedom! God save the King!:

Additionally, here is some rarely seen colour footage of the Royal Family and Winston Churchill on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on VE Day. The Royal Family are extremely relaxed. Note the three different styles of royal waves -- none of which have survived to this day.  Churchill does not wave (it would have been deemed inappropriate). He is one of only two politicians to have been honoured to join the Royal Family on the balcony.

As part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of VE Day in 1995, a flag-waving crowd of hundreds of thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace, similar in size to that which had gathered in 1945. Legendary wartime singer Vera Lynn and other well-known figures were present to entertain the crowd. 

The doors to the Buckingham Palace balcony opened and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother walked out on to the balcony and stood alone for approximately one minute -- cheered by the adoring crowd. The Queen and Princess Margaret then walked out and stood either side of their mother. A moving recreation of the balcony scene from 1945 (only Churchill and George VI missing). 

Saturday 3 May 2014

In Memoriam: Mark Turnham Elvins and Peter Drummond-Murray -- kindred spirits cut from different cloth

The small world of British Catholic heraldry has become even smaller. Over the past three weeks, two legendary and learned figures have died: Peter Drummond-Murray of Mastrick (24 November 1929 - 13 April 2014) and Mark Turnham Elvins OFMCap (26 November 1939 - 1 May 2014).

I was glad to be a friend and colleague of both and, although we had not been in contact for many months, they shall be missed. Although very different personalities, they were equally rich in character and their interests were remarkably similar: heraldry, monarchy, chivalry and the military-religious orders, Jacobitism and the Stuarts, the Catholic church. Mark had worked for Debrett's, Peter had contributed to Burke's Peerage. Both belonged to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Peter Drummond-Murray of Mastrik as Slains Pursuivant to the Chief of the Name and Arms of Hay --
The Earl of Erroll, Lord High Constable of Scotland

Mark Turnham Elvins OFMCap as a professed in the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin
with Colonel James Bogle at the Royal Stuart Society's wreath-laying ceremony
at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, 2007
Having served with the Honourable Artillery Company, Mark Turnham Elvins reached the rank of Captain in the Royal Army Chaplains' Department before converting to Catholicism and becoming Assistant Curate at Arundel Cathedral and Chantry Priest to the Duke of Norfolk. A professed in the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Turnham Elvins was appointed Warden of Greyfriars, Oxford in 2007, a year later becoming Guardian of the Friary (Greyfriars) following the dissolution of the permanent private hall.

In 2007, on behalf of the Royal Stuart Society, I co-organised a special commemorative wreath-laying ceremony and luncheon at the Royal Hospital Chelsea to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Henry, Cardinal Duke of York, the last male member of the Royal House of Stuart. I invited Mark Turnham Elvins to lead prayers at the statue of King Charles II immediately before the placing of wreaths. Having been involved with Stuart societies in the 1960s, Mark had lost contact with many in this field and he was delighted to reconnect with several old friends, most notably David Beattie and the Reverend David Skeoch. 

Mark Turnham Elvins OFMCap leads prayers at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, 2007.
Clockwise: Mark Turnham Elvins, The Earl of Lauderdale (Hereditary Bearer of the National Flag of Scotland,
shown here carrying the banner of the Royal Stuart Society), and the four wreath bearers:
 Philip Bonn, Lord Aylmer, Rafe Heydel-Mankoo, David Lumsden of Cushnie. 

Mark was a prolific writer, particularly on subjects related to heraldry and the Church. One of his most notable publications was the excellent Cardinals and Heraldry (the foreward of which was written by the Archbishop of Birmingham, Maurice Couve de Murvilee, and the preface of which was written by John Brooke-Little, then Norroy & Ulster King of Arms). The Heraldry Society continues to hold an annual "Mark Elvins Lecture"    

Peter Drummond-Murray was a successful stockbroker and businessman who served as Chancellor of the British Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta from 1977 to 1989. Appointed a Knight Grand Cross in 1988 he was elevated to the highest rank of Bailiff Grand Cross in 2013, a few months before his death. Genealogist for the Order in Scotland, Peter Drummond-Murray was justly proud of his noble and illustrious Jacobite forebears -- and no doubt they would have been equally proud of his enthusiasm for the Stuarts. Peter Drummond-Murray was instrumental in commissioning a beautifully painted seize-quartiers (16 noble quarterings) of Charles Edward Stuart and his brother Henry, the Cardinal Duke of York, copies of which were sold by the Royal Stuart Society (pictured below).

A sometime chairman of the Heraldry Society of Scotland, Peter Drummond-Murray's most notable publication was a roll of the martyr ancestors of the British Knights of Malta. "Blood of the Martyrs", which he co-authored with Sir Conrad Swan (then Garter King of Arms), was published in 1993. 

In 1982 Peter Drummond-Murray became one of the private heralds of Scotland when he was appointed Slains Pursuivant to the Chief of the Arms and Name of Hay -- The Earl of Erroll, High Constable of Scotland. In 2006, Peter wore his tabard as Slains Pursuivant in the 2006 Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences in St. Andrews Scotland. The Congress was probably the largest gathering of heralds in tabard since medieval times.

Three Scottish private heralds in 2006 -- Front: Slains Pursuivant (the late Peter Drummond-Murray) and
Garioch Pursuivant of the Chief of the Name and Arms of Mar -- The Countess of Mar (the late David Lumsden of Cushnie). Rear: Finlaggan Pursuivant of Clan Douglas (The Hon. Adam Bruce, now Unicorn Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary of the Court of Lord Lyon)

Peter Drummond-Murray once told an elderly friend who was despairing that all of their friends were dying: "Look on the bright side -- all our enemies are dying too." With the death in short succession of both Mark and Peter I fear the scales are considerably out of balance.