The Duchess of Edinburgh in Canada
Published 07 November 2023
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh is visiting Canada from Friday 3rd to Wednesday 8th November 2023 as Colonel-in-Chief of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, and Patron of Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals.
Saturday 4th November
Today, The Duchess watched her military affiliations compete for The Countess of Wessex Cup. The annual competition was set up in 2012 and sees HRH's military regiments come together to compete in a series of physically and mentally challenging military skills events including navigation, observation, open water rescue, and obstacle courses.
The competition was hosted by last year’s winners the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, of which HRH has been Colonel-in-Chief since 2004.
The Duchess tried out her hand at the Winona Rifle Range and met competitors taking part in the competition, which aims to develop bonds of friendship and mutual understanding between the regiments.
Recently appointed as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment and Royal Colonel of The Queen's Own Yeomanry, it was HRH's first opportunity to meet members of the regiments and watch them compete.
Earlier in the day The Duchess visited Iniskillin winery. Internationally renowned for its award winning ice-wines and for its pioneering role in establishing the Canadian wine industry, in 1975 its founders were given the first winery license in Canada since prohibition.
In the evening, The Duchess attended a dinner in support of the Lincoln & Welland Regimental Foundation.
Sunday 5th November
Today, The Duchess of Edinburgh attended a Service of Remembrance at the St Catharine’s Cenotaph, accompanied by the Honorable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
The Duchess laid a wreath as Colonel in Chief of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment.
Following the Service, Her Royal Highness visited the Lake Street Armories where she met soldiers of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment and their families.
The Duchess was presented with The Canadian Forces' Decoration by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Bradley and Commanding Officer Philip Dyson in recognition of her long standing service to the Canadian military.
Her Royal Highness awarded promotions to two members of the Regiment before taking part in the regimental photograph.
The Duchess later travelled to Toronto, where she will undertake a series of engagements in support of the Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals.
Monday 6th November
The Duchess of Edinburgh today visited Toronto General Hospital, of which she has been Patron since 2005.
On arrival, Her Royal Highness toured the newly opened Michael Lawrence Turk emergency rapid assessment centre. Specifically designed to provide additional privacy for patients in a healing environment, the centre has assessed over 37,000 patients since it opened in March. During her time at the centre, The Duchess met staff and patients being treated by the emergency medicine team.
Her Royal Highness went on to tour the offices of the University Health Networks Foundation, which was set up to support research, education and patient care across the UHN network of hospitals.
The Duchess then met the social medicine team to learn more about the hospital's programmes supporting vulnerable communities in Toronto.
Finally, The Duchess met cardiac and vascular patients at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and heard about the Centre's work with indigenous communities in Canada.
Tuesday 7th November
This morning in Toronto, The Duchess of Edinburgh held an audience with the incoming Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Madam Edith Dumont.
The Duchess went on to visit the Donald K Johnson Eye Institute Clinical Research Unit at Toronto Western Hospital, where she heard about the hospital's use of tele-opthalmology and AI to increase screening rates for diabetic retinopathy.
Her Royal Highness met staff and tried her hand at a virtual reality visual rehabilitation tool which uses visual stimulation on brain injury patients to improve fields of sight.
The Duchess also visited the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, where she heard about the psoriatic arthritis programme, before heading on to the Kremble Brain Institute where she launched the Peter Gilgan programme in neuroregeneration research, which will focus specifically on spinal injuries.
Finally, Her Royal Highness attended a reception for Toronto Western Hospital staff held as part of Staff Appreciation week.
The Countess of Wessex's speech at the Sovereign's Parade, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
As you climb each step think of the thousands of officers who have gone before you; those who fought and survived, those who fought and died in the many campaigns since...