Topic: The RCR
In 1958, the 75th anniversary year of The Royal Canadian Regiment, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visited Canada and presented new Regimental Colours to the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Regiment. In preparations for this Royal Visit, extensive renovations were made to the Officers' Mess at Wolseley Barracks (Canadian Forces Base London). Among these renovations was a custom made royal cypher following that used by Queen Victoria. The Royal Canadian Regiment, having been granted the right to wear the cypher of Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1919 by King George V, is the only Commonwealth regiment to wear a deceased sovereign's emblems.
To this day, above the fireplace in Wolseley Barracks Officers' Mess, hangs the cast brass crown, “VRI” and scroll that constitutes the regimental cypher. These were designed and produced by London sculptor (originally of Owen Sound) Mrs Anna Brown, nee Shields. Mrs Brown was a graduate of the Ontario College of Arts.
While many who have visited the Mess have seen the cypher over the fireplace, often they remained unaware that two more examples of the crown and VRI are also to be found within the Mess. Inside the Mess entryway is a second set of double doors. Normally propped open, this positioning hides the fact that on each door, mounted on the black leather upholstery that covers the doors, are to be found two more sets of the cypher castings.