The Passing of The Duke of Edinburgh

RCMP Veterans’ Association

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Garth Hampson

Passing of The Duke of Edinburgh

Dear Members of the Association

Ottawa Division Member, Garth Hampson has shared some of his experiences when working with the Royal Family. They are rather intriguing and thus are being shared given the extensive exposure our members have had to the Family.

Garth begins,

“I appreciate that the organization is recognizing the role our members have had with the Royal Family and particularly the late Duke of Edinburgh. During my time in the Force and in retirement I have had many opportunities to perform and meet the Royals, mainly because of my years as soloist at Rideau Hall since 1964 to the present. My first personal contact with the Duke of Edinburgh was in 1959. I was stationed at Fort Providence and the police aircraft flew in all the members to cover security for the Prince when he visited Yellowknife. The Queen was to have been in attendance but she stayed on in Whitehorse due to morning sickness. That pregnancy resulted in Prince Andrew. I noticed at Akaitcho Hall where the Duke was presented to dignitaries and leading lights in the community that he spent a good deal of his time with native youth.

The year the Queen and Duke celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary they came to Ottawa where Jackie Holtzman, the mayor of Ottawa, hosted a reception for 2500 couples who were also celebrating their 50th anniversary. The Mayor, the Duke, the Queen and I were the only ones on this 4 by 8 Wenger stage and I was obliged to sing the Royal and Canadian anthems. I was told that it was the first time the Queen had heard the Royal anthem sung in both official languages. I was greeted by both Royals and the Duke commented to me that “You must have sung Rose Marie a million times”.

In 1988, aware of the major contribution the Duke had made in the formation of the Duke of Edinburgh awards for Youth I organized the RCMP Charity Ball that year to honor the Award Program. Monies raised went to underwriting the costs of the Awards syllabus for the following year in Ontario. We sold out because I was able to get The Prince Edward to be a part of the evening. It was an evening to remember with much glitz and glamour with people attending from various parts of Canada and even the United States. People wanted to be in the presence of Royalty. Band members were at their best and some of them became part of the intermission show which featured a spoof on Cinderella. Kerry Ann Kutz, our first female soloist was our Cinderella. The Prince Edward sat with gold award winners from Toronto as well as my son Brad and his escort was my daughter Diana who had just graduated from Depot. This special evening was a crowning achievement for the Band activities that year.

Brad had been awarded the Gold Medal of the Awards program in his latter teen years and got to meet the Duke of Edinburgh at the official presentation at Rideau Hall. All my family were there while I was on tour in western Canada and missed all the fun. The program still exists and millions of young people around the world have benefitted from their association with it.

Although the Duke was obliged to walk two steps behind the Queen I feel that he was instrumental in bringing strength to the House of Windsor. He certainly made strong support for Her Majesty, who holds the Force in very high esteem.

Garth Hampson- Retired Staff Sgt. #19201.”

We also have some comments from Brad

“Interesting Dad – In 1989 when the Duke visited Montreal for 4 days I was deployed by RCMP VIP to be his hotel security at the Queen Elizabeth.

I spoke to him often during the 4 days – he was very engaging + pleasant. Great sense of humour!!!”

Brad Hampson

And now, through the work of Garth we now know that we have a gold medallist in our midst, Brad (who recently became a member of Ottawa Division).

James Forrest
Director of Communications



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