Donald Ethell

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Donald Ethell

Donald Ethell 2010 - Crop.jpg
17th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
In office
May 11, 2010 – June 12, 2015
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralMichaëlle Jean
David Johnston
PremierEd Stelmach
Alison Redford
Dave Hancock
Jim Prentice
Rachel Notley
Preceded byNorman Kwong
Succeeded byLois Mitchell
Personal details
Donald Stewart Ethell

(1937-07-23) July 23, 1937 (age 81)
Vancouver, British Columbia
Spouse(s)Linda Ethell
Military service
Allegiance Canada
Branch/serviceCanadian Army
Years of service1955–1993

Donald Stewart Ethell OC OMM AOE MSC CD (born July 23, 1937) is a retired Canadian Army colonel and was the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.


Ethell was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1937, the son of a nurse and a navy chief petty officer.[1] He enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1955 after being rejected by the Navy and rejected from the Air Force.[2]

Ethell enlisted as a rifleman in the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada at the age of 17 and underwent basic training at the Currie Barracks in Calgary. He served in West Germany during the Cold War and rebadged to Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in 1970 when the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada was removed from regular army service. He rose through the non-commissioned officer ranks to warrant officer until he was commissioned as an officer in 1972.

Demonstrating an ability for leadership, Ethell steadily rose to the rank of colonel. He successively became a veteran of 14 international peacekeeping deployments, with service in Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Central America and the Balkans. Following his military retirement in 1993,[3] Ethell became involved in humanitarian efforts, including CARE Canada.

He is an officer in the Order of Canada[4] and the Order of Military Merit[5] and a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence.

Lieutenant governor[edit]

On April 8, 2010, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his appointment as the next Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.[6] He was installed on May 11, 2010.[7] He was made a Knight of Justice in the Venerable Order of Saint John on September 11, 2010, and installed as vice prior of the order's Alberta Council.[8]

As the viceregal representative in Alberta, he was styled "His Honour" while in office and has the right to the style "the Honourable" for life. He succeeded Norman Kwong.

During his time as Lieutenant Governor, Ethell has sworn in each of Alison Redford, Dave Hancock, and Jim Prentice as Premier of Alberta. Rachel Notley was sworn in on his behalf by Catherine Fraser, the Chief Justice of Alberta, as Ethell was recovering from back surgery.



  1. ^ Lieutenant Governor of Alberta – Alberta Order of Excellence  Archived March 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Bennett, Dean. "Retired colonel ecstatic to become Queen’s right hand in Alberta." The Globe and Mail, May 9, 2010.
  3. ^ Lieutenant Governor of Alberta – Meet the LG  Archived February 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Office of the Governor General of Canada. Order of Canada citation. Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 26 May 2010
  5. ^ Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Canadian Honours Search Page". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 26 May 2010
  6. ^ Office of the Prime Minister of Canada (8 April 2010). "PM names retired Colonel Donald Stewart Ethell as the next Lieutenant Governor of Alberta". Queen's Printer for Canada. Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  7. ^ Alberta's new lieutenant-governor - troubled youth to Alberta royalty[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Knighted Archived November 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Canadian Heraldic Authority. "The Public Register of Arms, Flags, and Badges of Canada > Donald Stewart Ethell". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved February 10, 2014.

External links[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Catherine Fraser, The Chief Justice of The Court of Appeal of Alberta
Order of precedence in Alberta
as of 2016
Succeeded by
Ed Stelmach, Former Premier of Alberta