17 Aug 2011

Canada to reinstate 'Royal' for navy and air force

5:56 am on 17 August 2011

After a gap of 43 years, Canada is to reinstate the 'Royal' for its Navy and Air Force names.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced on Tuesday the two forces would again be known as the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

A Liberal government in 1968 removed the 'Royal' label from the military when the three main branches were unified under the banner of the Canadian Forces.

''Restoring these historic identities is an important way of reconnecting today's men and women in uniform with the proud history and traditions they carry with them as members of the Canadian Forces,'' Mr MacKay said.

''A country forgets its past at its own peril.

''From Vimy Ridge to the Battle of the Atlantic and from Korea to the defence of Europe during the Cold War, the proud legacy of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force will once again serve as a timeless link between our veterans and serving soldiers, sailors and air personnel."

Canada became a self-governing Dominion in 1867 but retained its ties to the Crown, which represented in Canada by the governor general.