Royal standards of Canada
The royal standards of Canada are a set of uniquely Canadian personal flags approved by the Queen of Canada for use by members of the Canadian Royal Family. They are used to denote the presence of the bearer within any car, ship, airplane, building, or area, within Canada or when representing Canada abroad. There are six personal royal standards, one each for the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, and the Earl of Wessex, as well as one standard for use more generally to denote the presence of any member of the Royal Family who has not previously been provided with a specific personal standard. 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 adopted and proclaimed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1962 for her use in her capacity as Queen of Canada. With its introduction, red and white, first proclaimed by George V in 1921, 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 defaced with the distinct device of Queen Elizabeth II used on her Head of the Commonwealth flag: a blue roundel with the initial E surmounted by St Edward's Crown and 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 twice: at the coronations of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II in 1937 and 1953, respectively. It was a banner of the 1921-1957 version of the Royal Arms of Canada, which at that time used green maple leaves in the escutcheon. The banner was in a 3:4 ratio and without defacement.
Other members of the Royal Family
There are currently five variants of the sovereign's royal standard, each approved by the Queen of Canada by letters patent for a specific member of Canada's 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. The sixth variant is used by any other member of the Canadian Royal Family who has not been presented by the Crown with a personal Canadian standard. 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 the Duke of Cambridge. These were developed over a three-month period and revealed 29 June 2011, just prior to that year's royal tour by the Duke of Cambridge; his flag was first flown from the cockpit window of the Canadian Forces airplane that carried him and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, to Canada in 2011, as it taxied after landing at Ottawa. Prince Charles' flag was first unfurled 20 May 2012 at CFB Gagetown, from the cockpit window of the taxiing Royal Canadian Air Force airplane that brought him and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, to Canada for royal tour marking the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. The Princess Royal's banner was first used during her October 2013 visits to CFB Borden 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. The ermine bordered Royal Standard was registered 15 January, 2015 for use by members of the Royal Family who do not have a personal standard for use in Canada.
All variants are in a 1:2 proportion. The Personal Standards 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.
A variant exists for use by all members of the Royal Family who do not possess a specific banner for use relative to Canada. It consists of the escutcheon of the Royal Arms of Canada surrounded by an ermine border.
The Prince of Wales
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Princess Anne, Princess Royal
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Other members of the Royal Family
Use and protocol
Prior to the adoption of the Canadian royal standards, members of the Royal Family who toured Canada used the royal standard they employed when in the United Kingdom; after 1931, each of those standards took on a dual role of representing a member of either the British or the Canadian Royal Family, depending on the context. Only during a 2009 tour by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, did the Prince of Wales use the British standard for members of the Royal Family who are not entitled to a personal standard of their own, rather than the standard used by the Prince of Wales for England and Wales.
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 Ottawa 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 Rideau Hall and 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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