Royal standards of Canada
The royal standards of Canada are flags employed by some members of the Canadian Royal Family to mark the presence of the bearer at any building or area or aboard any car, ship, or airplane, both in Canada and abroad. There are six royal standards, one each for the Queen of Canada, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, and the Earl of Wessex. The flags are part of a larger collection of Canadian royal symbols.
The Royal Standard, also called The Queen's Personal Canadian Flag, is a heraldic banner that was adopted and proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1962, and is used by her in her capacity as Queen of Canada. With its introduction, red and white became entrenched as the national colours of Canada and it was added to the Canadian Heraldic Authority's Public Register of Arms, Flags, and Badges on 15 March 2005. Different standards are used by Elizabeth in some of the other Commonwealth realms and she holds another banner for use as Head of the Commonwealth.
The flag, in a 1:2 proportion, consists of the escutcheon of the Royal Arms of Canada in banner form and defaced with the distinct device of Queen Elizabeth II used on her Head of the Commonwealth flag: a blue roundel with the initial E crowned, all within a wreath of roses, all gold-coloured. The standard is protected under the Trade-marks Act; section 9(a) states: "No person shall adopt in connection with a business, as a trade-mark or otherwise, any mark consisting of, or so nearly resembling as to be likely to be mistaken for... the Royal Arms, Crest or Standard."
A similar version of the standard was used only once, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It was a banner of the arms of Canada, which then used green maple leaves in the escutcheon, in a 3:4 ratio and without defacement.
Other members of the Royal Family
Variants of the Queen's royal standard are used by four other members of the Canadian Royal Family: Charles, Prince of Wales; Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. All were created by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, the first two, other than the sovereign's, being the banners for the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge, which were developed over a three-month period and revealed on 29 June 2011, just prior to that year's royal tour by the Duke of Cambridge. The Duke of Cambridge's flag was first used when unfurled from the cockpit window of the Royal Canadian Air Force airplane that he and his wife travelled on to Canada in 2011, as it taxied after landing at Ottawa. Prince Charles' flag was first used when unfurled from the cockpit window of the Royal Canadian Air Force airplane that he and his wife travelled on to Canada, as it taxied after landing at CFB Gagetown, on 20 May 2012, at the beginning of his royal tour marking his mother's Diamond Jubilee. The Princess Royal's banner was unfurled on her October 2013 visit to CFB Borden, Barrie, Ontario, and CFB Kingston. Prince Edward's standard was first used during his visit to British Columbia's Government House at the start of a royal tour by him and his wife, on 12 September 2014.
All are in a 1:2 proportion and consist of the escutcheon of the Royal Arms of Canada defaced with both a blue roundel surrounded by a wreath and a white label of three points. The wreath on Prince Charles' banner is of gold maple leaves, the roundel depicts the Prince of Wales' feathers, and the label is not charged, signifying the eldest son of the monarch. Prince William's flag has a wreath of gold maple leaves and scallop shells, the roundel bears a depiction of his cypher (a W surmounted by a coronet of his rank), and the label is charged with a red shell, reminiscent of the coat of arms of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. The remainder of the banners have wreaths of gold maple leaves only. On the royal standard of Anne, Princess Royal, the roundel bears Anne's cypher (an A surmounted by a coronet of her rank, a child of the monarch) and the label is charged with a red heart at centre and the other two with red crosses, taken from the Princess' coat of arms. The roundel on the royal standard of the Duke of York bears Andrew's cypher (an A surmounted by a coronet of his rank, a child of the monarch) and the centre label is charged with a blue anchor, taken from the Prince's coat of arms. The Earl of Wessex's standard uses the cypher of Edward (an E surmounted by a coronet of his rank, a child of the monarch) on the roundel and has within the centre label a Tudor Rose.
Use and protocol
The Queen's personal Canadian flag is employed only when the Queen is in Canada or is attending an event abroad as the Canadian head of state; for example, the flag was unfurled at Juno Beach in France when the Queen was present there for commemorations of the Normandy Landings. The flag must be broken immediately upon the sovereign's arrival and lowered directly after her departure from any building, ship, aircraft, or other space or vehicle. On land, as per Department of National Defence protocol, the Queen's standard must be flown from a flagpole bearing as a pike head the crest of the Canadian royal arms. As the monarch is the personification of the Canadian state, her banner also takes precedence above all other flags in Canada, including the national flag and those of the other members of the Canadian Royal Family, and is never flown at half-mast.
No other person may use the flag; the Queen's federal representative, the governor general, possesses a unique personal flag, as does each of the monarch's provincial viceroys. Flags are kept at the Queen's Canadian residence, Rideau Hall, and supplied to Department of Canadian Heritage royal visit staff by the household staff prior to the Queen's arrival.
Protocol is sometimes, though rarely, officially broken. On 9 August 1902, the day of the coronation of King Edward VII, the monarch's royal standard (then the same in Canada as in the United Kingdom) was raised on a temporary flag pole at His Majesty's Dockyard in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Similarly, for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953, the sovereign's royal standard was broken atop the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Sixty years later, on 6 February 2012, the Queen's personal standard for Canada was unfurled at her Ottawa residence, Rideau Hall, and on Parliament Hill, as well as at other legislatures across the country to mark the monarch's diamond anniversary of her accession to the throne; permission to do so was granted by the Queen.
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