Re: Adding ‘royal’ not time well spent, Letters, Aug. 24, 2011.
I would like to respond to Don Wilkes’ letter.
I’ll begin by addressing the re-institution of “royal” to Canada’s navy and air force but not the army.
Prior to the 1968 integration of the military services into one unified structure we had a Royal Canadian Navy, a Royal Canadian Air Force and a Canadian Army (no royal).
The reason the army in and of itself was never “royal” is because many Regiments within the army were designated as Royal. Examples include the Royal Canadian Regiment, the Royal Canadian Dragoons, the Royal 22nd Regiment and Royal Canadian Artillery.
Interestingly with the disbandment of the RCN, RCAF and Canadian Army, those regiments continued to exist and retained their royal designation.
They remain today, with the same royal name that they have always had. In the army then, and in the army today, pride and a sense of belonging are more toward one’s regiment than to the army as a whole.
Whether the particular regiment is “royal” or not has no bearing on a soldier’s pride or sense of belonging to that regiment.
Reinstating “royal” to the navy and air force is an acknowledgement of this country’s military history and heritage. It will result in little if any functional change to how our armed forces conduct business.
In this country we encourage ethnic diversity. Many segments of our society celebrate their ethnicity and traditions.
Why is it then that those of us who are of British heritage are accused of wanting to subjugate Canada to mother England when we acknowledge our heritage?
I have not heard anyone ever complain about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Royal Colwood Golf Club nor any “royal” anything else.
Why complain about the navy and air force getting back what was stripped from them years ago?