Prince Charles receives medal marking years as honorary member of Canadian navy

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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CFB ESQUIMALT, B.C. - Prince Charles, wearing a sword and a Canadian naval uniform Monday during a blustery outdoor ceremony marking the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Canadian navy, reminisced about serving alongside Canadian sailors during the Cold War.
On the last day of his visit to British Columbia, the Prince of Wales made an appearance at CFB Esquimalt, near Victoria, home of the Canada's Pacific Naval fleet.
There, he witnessed the raising of the Canadian navy Centennial Flag at Duntze Head, the rocky look-out point at the entrance of Esquimalt Harbour.
"It takes me back, if I may say so, thinking about today, to when I was serving in the Royal Navy, some, I hate to say it, 35 years ago," said Prince Charles. "I did spend some time serving alongside the Canadian Navy in different parts of the world when the Cold War was very much in being."
Prince Charles was awarded a second clasp to his Canadian Forces Decoration medal in recognition of his 32 years of honorary service as colonel-in-chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment.
"I cannot tell you how touched, flattered, honoured I am to have been given this clasp to the Canadian medal that I have, which I do wear with great pride, all the time," he said.
"Today, for me, it is the greatest possible privilege for me to wear the Canadian navy uniform, to have been made a vice-admiral, and all I can say is, ladies and gentlemen, I salute you for all the work you carry out."
He inspected the Guard of Honour as the naval base's Naden Band performed O' Canada.
Then Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, spoke to naval officers, members of their families and base workers, many in their work coveralls and boots.
Bill Smith, who served 27 years in the Canadian navy, said Charles asked him where he'd served. Smith told him he's served his entire duty, except for one month, on the Pacific.
Chief Petty Officer Malcolm Conlon said he and the prince compared medals during a brief chat after the ceremony. The prince was holding a cup of tea as he spoke to Conlon.
"I got mine for serving in the Gulf War in 2005, and I'm presently on HMCS Regina, but at that time I was on HMCS Winnipeg," he said. "It's always nice to meet the prince, and the future king."
Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden thanked Prince Charles and Camilla for attending the ceremony.
"Ships at sea, both at home and abroad, doing the business of the nation," he said. "And although it affords a great opportunity, the purpose of the navy's centennial is not just to tell this story to all Canadians.
"It's also to publicly renew our commitment to Canada," said McFadden. "That's what we in uniform do this morning."
The royal couple is now headed to Ottawa.

Organizations: Royal Navy, Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Regiment

Geographic location: Canada, British Columbia, Victoria Ottawa

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