The Other Members of the Canadian Royal Family
The so-called “minor” members of the Royal Family do yeoman service for the Canadian Crown in undertaking a variety of duties in support of diverse activities, bringing them frequently to this country on working visits, which are arranged and financed by the organizations they visit. A lynchpin of these homecomings often is their service as regimental Colonels-in-Chief. Activities on behalf of regiments are then typically combined with a public program supportive of events and causes in surrounding communities.
The Princess Royal (Anne)
Famously regarded as the hardest working member of the Royal Family, based on the sheer number of engagements she undertakes throughout the world, The Queen’s daughter has made 23 homecomings to Canada. Some of these include engagements on behalf of international organizations for which she holds particular concern. These include the Save the Children Fund and the Mission to Seafarers together with the Commonwealth Study Conference. The Princess is also patron of both the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association and of The Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
One of HRH’s most recent Canadian homecomings was to Ontario in 2013, and centered on three of her military appointments. In Barrie, the Princess dedicated the site of a Military Heritage Park as she made her first visit to the Grey and Simcoe Foresters. Continuing to CFB Borden, Anne presented the recently-renamed Royal Canadian Medical Services with her Banner, a new Colour to honour the vital role the unit has played since Canadians deployed to Afghanistan in 2002. Later, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario held a Reception in the Princess’ honour so that she could meet members of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Leaders Conference and of the Royal Victorian Order Association. The tour concluded in Kingston, where the Princess Royal received a public municipal welcome, visited CFB Kingston, and honoured the 110th Anniversary of the CF Communications & Electronics Branch with her Banner.
In November, 2014, the federal Government organized an official Homecoming for the Princess in the Ottawa region, the highlight of which was HRH’s joining the Governor General at the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial. Anne re-dedicated the Memorial 75 years after her Grandfather, George VI, had dedicated it in 1939. 2016 brought the Princess to Newfoundland where she visited Corner Brook and St John’s. In addition to a number of private engagements, HRH presented new Colours to her regiment, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, and marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, during which the flower of the then-Colony had been cut down at Beaumont Hamel.
Update: A complete list of Anne’s frequent Canadian Homecomings, together with those of the Earl & Countess of Wessex, may be found at past royal tours.