Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Astounding Revelation

We noted this fact in the preamble to the petition, now we have it confirmed from no less a royal authority as Christopher McCreery.

30 November 2010

Mr. Kevin Pittman
Clerk of the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence
The Senate of Canada

Dear Mr. Pitman;

I have followed with interest the deliberations of the Committee in relation to the possibility of altering the name of Maritime Command to either Canadian Navy or Royal Canadian Navy.

When King George V granted the Royal designation to the Naval Service of Canada in August 1911, the term “Royal Canadian Navy” came into use. We do not know the exact date that the King granted the designation; however the authority for the term was set out in a letter dated 16 August 1911 addressed to the Governor General. The letter explained;

His Majesty having been graciously pleased to authorize that the Canadian Naval Forces shall be designated ‘the Royal Canadian Navy’, this is the title to be officially adopted.

This message was forwarded to Prime Minister Sir Wilfid Laurier by the Governor General on 29 August 1911 and it was then published on page 1819 of the Canada Gazette dated 11 November 1911.

The granting of Royal designations continues to be an element of the Royal Prerogative within the Sovereign’s personal discretion. The granting of a Royal designation does not expire, rather it is an honour granted to organizations and institutions at the pleasure of the Sovereign.

An example that Royal designations do not expire, providing the parent organization continues to exist in some form, can be found in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. When established in 1873 the Force was known as the North West Mounted Police. In recognition of the important role that the NWMP played in the development of the Canadian west the Force was granted the designation Royal in 1904 and became the “Royal North West Mounted Police.” In 1920 the RNWMP was merged with the Dominion Police to create the “Royal Canadian Mounted Police.” Because the parent organization – the RNWMP – had been granted the Royal designation in 1904 there was no requirement to seek the Sovereign’s permission to continue using the Royal designation, even though the new organizational name was in a slightly reworked form.


There are also examples of Royal designations being revoked or ceasing to exist. This was true in the case of the Royal Canadian Humane Association, which was granted the designation Royal by Queen Victoria in 1894. The organization wound up operations in early 2001 and ceased to exist in February 2001. The organization was subsequently re-established in 2002 and on 23 April 2003 the Queen granted permission for the designation “Royal” to be used once again.

Had the Royal Canadian Navy been abolished or gone bankrupt it would be necessary to seek the Queen’s permission for the restoration of the Royal designation. However, this is clearly not the case. With the advent of unification in 1968 the three services of the Canadian Armed Forces (what is today commonly referred to as the Canadian Forces), namely the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force, were merged into one service. The pre-1968 designations were not abolished but merely overlaid with a new organizational structure at the direction of the Minister of National Defence. To return the designation “Royal Canadian Navy” to use, all that would be required would be an organizational order signed by the Minister of National Defence.

Seeking the Queen’s consent for the use of the Royal designation and term “Royal Canadian Navy” would not be necessary as the designation “Royal Canadian Navy” continues to live on in the permission granted by her grandfather in 1911. As a courtesy, were the term “Royal Canadian Navy” to return to common usage, it would be appropriate for the Government of Canada to inform Her Majesty of this alteration in the designation of part of Her Majesty’s Canadian Forces. This would be done through a letter from the Governor General to the Queen.

Please to not hesitate to contact me if you or the Committee have any further questions.

With all kind regards,

Christopher McCreery


  1. At least the excuse that it would require mountains of work and pages of amendments has been nullified. Let's see what other roadblocks the republicans and so-called Canadian identity proponents can throw up.

  2. In light of this development, our petition will need some updating. I have removed the following language that was in our header:

    "To commemorate the Canadian navy's centennial in 2010, we the petitioners call upon Parliament to ask Her Majesty that she be pleased to restore the Royal designation to the Canadian navy and Canadian air force, and so to build upon the success of our unified Armed Forces by celebrating the unique and proud heritage of its distinctive Services"

    We can't ask Parliament to restore that which was never taken away. The substance of the matter continues, but this is a very welcome revelation indeed.

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The Petition moves along...

May 1: Laurie Hawn, M.P. agrees to support petition
April 30: Sent draft petition to The Dominion Institute to seek their sponsorship
April 28: Sent draft petition to Captain(N) Pickingford, Project Manager, Canadian Navy Centennial Project
April 27: Sent petition to Blaine Barker of the Royal Canadian Naval Association and Bob Nixon of the Naval Officer's Association of Canada and Peter Dawe, Executive Director of the RMC Club
April 26: The Monarchist League of Canada members are supportive
April 25: Interesting - even heated - debate over at the Navy, Army, Air Force Forum, where the "Yeas" have it by a two-thirds majority.