The Queen has appointed The Prince of Wales and Princess Royal as Commodores-in-Chief in the Royal Canadian Navy.
The two eldest children of Her Majesty and Prince Philip are the first Royals to be appointed to such a position in the Canadian naval force; until now, only the Army and Air Force had Royal Colonels. Their new roles will mostly include ceremonial duties.
These appointments coincide with the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Atlantic; this WWII battle, lasting 1939-1945, saw Canadian and British naval forces work together on an arduous and complex campaign on numerous oceans and seas in and around Europe.
36,200 sailors and 36,000 merchant seamen were killed on the Allies side, with 175 warships destroyed, and a further 3,500 merchant vessels rendered useless or obsolete.
Charles and Anne, who are already Colonel-in-Chief of seven Canadian regiments each, have visited the country numerous times, and so already have strong ties to the Commonwealth realm.
Prince Charles is also Vice-Admiral in the Royal Canadian Navy, Lieutenant-General in the Canadian Army, and Lieutenant-General in the Royal Canadian Air Force, all of which he has held since 2009.
Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of National Defence had this to say about the appointments:
“The Royal Family has had a strong relationship with the Royal Canadian Navy since the inception of this proud institution in 1910. I am therefore delighted to welcome the appointments of The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal as the new Commodores-in-Chief of our Royal Canadian Navy. It is fitting that this honour should be bestowed on the anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, during which British and Canadian naval forces fought side by side on the high sea for freedom, peace and democracy.”
The Prince of Wales will now head the Fleet Atlantic, whilst his sister, Pricness Anne, will lead the Fleet Pacific. The siblings will help maintain the link between Canadian forces and the Royal Family. The Prince last spent time in Canada in May last year, with Anne visiting in November.