Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

A Castle Fit For A King

DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR when British children were being evacuated to Canada (and the United States) in the scores and thousands, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, famously said that her children would not go because "they would never leave without me, I would never leave without their father, and he would never leave." The popular decision to stay and endure the London Blitz allowed the Royal Family to look EastEnders in the eye, but it meant that the new stately home purchased outright for them in 1940 by His Majesty's Dominion Government, was never to be. Hatley Castle, the picturesque medieval tudor built between 1906 and 1911 by Sir James Dunsmuir in the outskirts of Victoria, British Columbia, almost became an official royal residence. (click to enlarge top photo)

From Royal Residence to Royal Roads

Yours truly remembers it as the tri-service Royal Roads Military College, which was my two-year feeder prior to attending RMC. But the spirit of Royal Roads was that of the old Royal Naval College of Canada, which trained hundreds of reserve and regular naval officers throughout the 1940s for the fast expanding Royal Canadian Navy. Sadly, the military college closed its doors in 1995, when it became Royal Roads University.

It's difficult to describe the beauty of the waterfront castle with its manicured gardens and fields. The photos, as stunning as they are, still don't do it justice. Missing is the forest smell, the garden breeze and the sheer royal majesty of the place. All I'll say is that it was like a piece of England. A piece of England fit for royalty.



Younghusband said...

I used to cycle past Pevensey castle when I lived in E. Sussex and always took pride in its windows. Originally vertical to accomodate bows, several hundred years later they were given a horizontal addition making them appear as crosses cut into the rock. This was to accomodate the Canadians' more advanced weaponry during the last war...

Scott said...

Remarkable. Very uncanny. Great to see the best of old England recreated in fine old Canada.

James said...

I'm intrigued as to where you found information on the castle being purchased as a residence for HM King George VI and his family. None of the websites associated with the site or university make mention of this point.

The Monarchist said...

I know - sad isn't it. This to me is the central historical fact of Royal Roads, yet nary a mention. It was told to me during my indoctrination to Roads as a gentleman cadet in the 1980s. The last of the Dunsmuir family passed away in 1937, and the government purchased it for a mere $75,000! in 1940. Once it became clear that the Royals would not be coming, the government immediately converted the premises into HMCS Royal Roads as a reserve training establishment. This quickly evolved into the Royal Naval College of Canada; the whole place reeks of navy tradition from the Neptune Stairs to the Quarter Deck, to the Nelson inscription: "duty is the great business of a sea officer; all private considerations must give way to it no matter how painful they are" ...the spirit of the place will be missed.

I'm afraid the only place where you'll probably find it is the Crown itself. I did some digging and came up with this 2004 speech at Royal Roads by the Lieutenant Governor of BC:

The Monarchist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Monarchist said...

Problems with the need to click on the below date for some reason?

Or copy and past this:

James said...

Fascinating! Thank you.