Today marked a proud moment in the historical relationship between the RCMP and the Royal Family.
In recognition of the RCMP’s 150th anniversary and the upcoming Coronation, His Majesty King Charles III consented to assume the title of the RCMP Commissioner-in-Chief, a title previously held by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Upon acceptance of the title and rank, King Charles III was presented with a special commemorative RCMP Officer’s sword.
As Commissioner-in-Chief of the RCMP, His Majesty will play a titular role in recognizing the importance of the RCMP at home and abroad by highlighting the rich history between the RCMP and the Monarchy, which dates back to the genesis of the RCMP during the reign of Queen Victoria.
To honour Royal traditions, RCMP Commissioner Mike Duheme, along with Canada’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, officially presented the RCMP’s ninth Musical Ride horse to the family, Noble, to His Majesty King Charles III at Windsor Castle.
During Her Late Majesty’s reign, the RCMP presented the family with eight horses, three of which are currently in use as charger horses for the Royal Family: George, Sir John and Darby.
Participating in the ceremony today were Musical Ride members that are in the UK for His Majesty’s coronation procession. Three of these members and the three previously-gifted charger horses, as well as Noble, will participate in the coronation procession on May 6.
We are honoured His Majesty has consented to become our Commissioner-in-Chief and pleased to present a ceremonial sword in honour of this historic day. His Majesty The King is continuing the proud, decades-long tradition of accepting RCMP horses as gifts, which began with his late mother. This speaks to our breeding program’s international reputation for producing some of the finest Hanoverian horses in Canada. It also speaks to the strength and quality of our training program. The RCMP and the Royal Family have enjoyed a longstanding, personal relationship for many decades, and I look forward to it continuing for many more.RCMP Commissioner Mike Duheme
- The relationship between the RCMP and the Royal Family dates back to 1897, when a contingent of the North-West Mounted Police paraded in Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee procession in London.
- The more formal relationship traces back to 1904, when King Edward VII awarded the title of Royal to the North-West Mounted Police in recognition of 30 years of service to Canada and the Empire. This was the official berth of the Royal North-West Mounted Police.
- Since then, the organization—the Musical Ride, in particular—has shared a special bond with the Royal Family. Musical Ride members Sgt. Sarah Parent, Cpl. Matthew Quilley, Cst. Devonna Coleman and Cst. Tenzin Wanqkhang attended today’s presentation mounted on horses Sir John, Darby and George previously gifted to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Noble will also participate in the Coronation and will be ridden by Sgt. Jeremy Dawson.
- The RCMP has had a direct and personal link to The King as our Honorary Commissioner since 2012. His Majesty has now assumed the role of Commissioner-in-Chief which had been held by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
- The blade designed for the 150th anniversary sword is similar to the RCMP’s Battle Honours sword, in that it contains the four Force crests, maple leaves representing each one of the Provinces & Territories and the RCMP battle honours, which have been updated to now include Afghanistan. The sword now carries the cypher and Coat of Arms of King Charles III and RCMP 150th anniversary elements. It also has an inscription recognizing His Majesty as our Commissioner-in-Chief.
- In May 2012, the RCMP presented Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a similar sword with the blade and scabbard engraved to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. The sword featured the four Force crests, all battle honours and distinctions granted to the Force and the Queen’s Royal Cypher.