The Queen presents the Legal Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces with a Royal Banner to mark their centenary in video call

By Heather Cichowski

The Queen marked the centenary of the Legal Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces with a touching video call to servicemembers, where she presented them with a Royal Banner in honour of the milestone this week.

The video call and announcement of the Royal Banner were shared on June 25 across the Royal Family's social media channels. The monarch conducted the duties through her role of Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Legal Branch and it highlighted how she "retains a special relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces." She is Colonel-in-Chief of various regiments.

The Legal Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces provides advice and support to the Canadian Forces as well as to Canada's Department of National Defence at home and on deployment overseas. It consists of approximately 300 Regular and Reserve members.

During the video call from June 22, viewers got to see the monarch present the Canadian Forces with the beautiful Royal Banner. We also saw her conversations with servicepeople about their work, including how they have been supporting the healthcare system and vaccine roll out against COVID-19. The monarch heard how the coronavirus pandemic affected them and the country.

The Queen was joined on the call by a number of Canadian Forces members, including Rear-Admiral Geneviève Bernatchez, Major Angela Orme from Bahrain, Lieutenant-Colonel Noor Ahmed from Winnipeg and Judge Advocate General.

This was a very special moment because this was the first time Her Majesty has granted an audience with the CAF since the beginning of the pandemic.

During the conversation, it was revealed Canada will plant a tree in Ottawa in Her Majesty's honour as a token of our appreciation for the Royal Banner.

Her Majesty paid a lovely tribute to Canada by wearing the Canadian Snowflake brooch (also called the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake brooch). The diamond and pale blue sapphire piece was a gift to the 95-year-old from the people of Canada in 2017 to mark her 65 years on the throne. She completed her stylish ensemble with a teal blue dress, her signature three-strand pearls and studs.

The Queen, in her role as Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment, poses for a formal portrait with the Calgary Highlanders at Canada House in London on April 19, 2015. Photo: © LEON NEAL/AFP via Getty Images

The Canadian Armed Forces shared further details about the Royal Banner on social media, including the history and very special significance of them. Royal Banners are a symbol of favour and are "literally irreplaceable – once worn beyond their usable life, Banners are deposited as memorials."

The new one the Legal Branch of the Canadian Armed forces received is a black version where the "EIIR" cipher on it comes from the Latin "Elizabeth II Regina." It will be kept outside of the National Defence headquarters in Ottawa in a special case so those coming into the office can see it every day.

This is the tenth banner that the Canadian unit has received. Other branches to have been bestowed such honours include the Royal Canadian Medical Service and the Royal Canadian Dental Corps. The last presentation of a Royal Banner was to the Royal Canadian Dental Corps by the Duchess of Gloucester in 2015.

"These Banners represent the culmination of more than a century of dedicated, loyal service to Canadians and the Crown. We are grateful for this honour," the Canadian Armed Forces tweeted in recognition of their latest Royal Banner.

MORE: The Queen to head to Scotland next week with Prince William and Princess Anne

Next week, Her Majesty will travel to Scotland from June 28 to July 1. She will be accompanied by her daughter, Princess Anne, and her grandson, Prince William, on different days of the royal tour. The visit is focused on celebrating the Scottish community, history and innovation and coincides with Royal Week, which did not take place last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The monarch will be based out of her official Scottish residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and she will undertake trips around Edinburgh as well as to Glasgow and Stirling.

In this challenging time, it’s really hard to be separated from family and friends. It’s also a time when everyone needs a beautiful escape. Here at Hello! Canada, we’re still busy creating the magazine you know and love, to spread positivity and provide some entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the hard news. And with our new special offer for subscribers, there’s never been a better time to have Hello! delivered directly to your front door. Why not treat yourself, or someone you love, today?
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