24th June; 4th and final day of TRH’s visit to Canada – Edmonton & Calgary

Sophie was in Alberta today, as part of The Earl & Countess Wessex’s short working trip to Canada.

https://twitter.com/SarahNKraus/status/746374529681752064
courtesy of Sarah Kraus, Global Edmonton.

Her Royal Highness was in Edmonton this morning to attend the sod turning ceremony and to celebrate the re-naming of Light Horse Park in Old Strathcona. The Countess was appointed to the role of Colonel-in-Chief of the South Alberta Light Horse Regiment (Alberta’s Regiment) in 2006.

The Countess of Wessex was invited because of her connection to the regiment said Lt. Col. Troy Steele. “She’s the colonel in chief of the regiment,” he said to reporters. “The park is named after the regiment, Light Horse Park, and we felt it fitting that she along with our Holy Trinity Anglican Church and our First Nations representatives truly open this park as a symbol of our bond and commitment to the community.” More in this article.

https://twitter.com/MinDhariwal/status/746396053465817088
courtesy of Min Dhariwal/CBC News & Sports Reporter, who wrote on Twitter: 
“Countess of Wessex was in #yeg this am. Must say she was very pleasant. I almost tried for a fist bump!”

“This [re-naming] will reflect and capture the history of the Albertan Cavalry units to which the armoury was named after 19th AB Dragoons (1st unit in the area), which was rolled into the current Sth AB Light Horse (Alberta’s oldest Regiment). Both are distinguished regiments and both were horse-mounted in their earlier days”.

courtesy of Journalist Ashley Wiebe, with kind thank you for her help!

“The name will also highlight the nature of Alberta where we are famous for our horsemanship going back to WWI, when mostly Albertans were tasked with breaking in of new mounts at Southhampton in the UK because of their inherently natural skills with the animals”. You will learn more here and here.

https://www.facebook.com/779671542161219/photos/?tab=album&album_id=925179334277105
courtesy of Alberta’s New Democrat Caucus – click on pic to be redirected and view full gallery

When completed, the park will include a new cenotaph and a refreshed green space where the community can participate in November 11th Remebrance Day services and also come and learn of the area’s historical connections to the surroundings.

courtesy of Journalist Ashley Wiebe, with kind thank you for her help!

During sod turning ceremony, HRH has given helping hand to Kent Hehr, who is a Minister of Veterans Affairs, lawyer, community leader and Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of Calgary Centre. In 1991 Hehr became paraplegic, it was a tragic result of an accident. He was shot as a bystander in a drive-by shooting. The video of sod turning with HRH can be found here.

https://www.facebook.com/779671542161219/photos/?tab=album&album_id=925179334277105
courtesy of Alberta’s New Democrat Caucus – click on pic to be redirected and view full gallery

At today’s event Mr Hehr said “I congratulate the members of the Old Strathcona neighbourhood and the regimental foundation for working together to tell the story of the Regiment in Light Horse Park. Given that we are in one of the most significant periods of remembrance in our generation it is wonderful to see the cenotaph refurbished and relocated to this new setting for greater prominence and community recognition.”

print screen of video

Sophie also provided lovely remarks: ​”It’s a true pleasure to be able to come and perform this task along with everybody here. I hope that it will be a huge success for the future and the children that play around the base of the memorial will do so in the knowledge that there were men who fought very bravely for the freedom that Canada enjoys and that they will know the contribution that the South Alberta Light Horse played in that freedom.” You will hear HRH’s speech in this video.

https://twitter.com/BoyerMichel/status/746375095682109440
courtesy of @BoyerMichel / CTV News

Before the ceremony, Sophie toured the park acknowledging the cenotaph and she also stopped to chat with several students from King Edward, Mount Carmel and Garneau schools who were on hand for the ceremony. Article on HRH’s attendance in the re-naming ceremony can be found here. Another article including video of ceremony, short walkabout and Sophie’s speech is here.

https://www.facebook.com/779671542161219/photos/?tab=album&album_id=925179334277105
courtesy of Alberta’s New Democrat Caucus – click on pic to be redirected and view full gallery

Afterwards, Sophie headed to Fort McMurray with Canadian Governor General David Johnston. Fort McMurray, which is located in North Eastern Alberta was devastated by a wildfire in May. More than 80-thousand people were forced to flee their homes. Many residents and businesses were destroyed in the fire.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746417173539676160
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News

HRH The Countess of Wessex arrived at Fort McMurray International Airport at 12:30 p.m., accompanied by the Honourable Sarah Hoffman (Deputy Premier of Alberta), and was welcomed to Fort McMurray by His Excellency. She was joined by Her Worship Melissa Blake, Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB).

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746419094765789184
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News –
Fire Chief Darby Allen giving the Countess and GG Johnston a briefing on the fire damage

Afterwards, His Excellency and Her Royal Highness, joined by their hosts, went on a bus tour of Fort McMurray and saw the Beacon Hill neighbourhood that was ravaged by the wildfires.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746422274606006272
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News – witnessing damage in Beacon Hill

As the group witnessed the scope of the damages, they have been briefed by Dale Bendfeld, Director of Municipal Law Enforcement and RCMP Support Services at RMWB; Christopher Graham, Assistant Deputy Chief of Emergency Management at RMWB; and Darby Allen, Regional Fire Chief of Fort McMurray.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746422274606006272
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News

Next step for HRH, Gathering with Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Presentation of the Governor General’s Commendation for Outstanding Service. “Together, we are looking forward to meeting first responders, volunteers and residents who have been deeply impacted by the wildfires,” GG Johnston said in media release. “Our visit to Fort McMurray will allow us to show our ongoing support and to recognize so many great Canadians for their outstanding work.” 

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746430897830846464
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News

Following their tour of Fort McMurray, His Excellency and Her Royal Highness have met with police officers, firefighters, volunteers and citizens who acted as first responders during the wildfires. According to The Sun, Sophie gave no speeches, choosing instead to personally thank Alberta forestry workers, firefighters, police officers and volunteers. Speaking to a group of RCMP officers, her voice began to break as she thanked them for their “fantastic work.” She said: “You did an amazing job”. More here (including video).

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746432682947600390
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News –
RH speaking with RCMP detachment members

The gathering took place at Shell Place, which temporarily served as one of the evacuation centres during the crisis. Shell Place is a sports, recreation and mixed use complex now under construction in Fort McMurray, Alberta, which will include SMS Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium and performance venue, as well as a field house, badminton centre, softball and baseball tournament facility, non-profit and meeting spaces, and recreation trail.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746426815846068224
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News

Sophie stopped outside Shell Place to meet small crowd of McMurrayites. She has signed a Canadian flag that was handed to her by a woman who said she saved it from her house, which was completely burned by the fire.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746434237654437888
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News – HRH with brave RES firefighters

There, His Excellency has taken opportunity to speak and present the Governor General’s Commendation for Outstanding Service to the Mayor of the RMWB in recognition of the entire community’s dedication, courageous efforts and tremendous spirit at a time of greatest need.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746437577385742336
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News –
HRH with AB Wildfire

His Excellency and Her Royal Highness concluded their visit to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo with a gathering at Fort McMurray #468 First Nation, a small community of over 300 residents who came to the rescue of thousands of evacuees before its members had to flee the area themselves due to the threatening wildfires.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746449849092964352
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News

Upon arrival, His Excellency and Her Royal Highness were welcomed by Ron Kreutzer, Chief of Fort McMurray First Nation, and councillors. A traditional ceremony with an opening prayer, traditional dancers and remarks from the Chief has followed.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746449849092964352
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News

His Excellency has made a speech and then presented the Governor General’s Commendation for Outstanding Service to the Chief of Fort McMurray First Nation (Ron Kreutzer) for the community’s outstanding courage in facing adversity and its generosity in helping victims by providing food and shelter.

https://twitter.com/cindyamerongen/status/746454506389463040
courtesy of Cindy Amerongen via Twitter

On Facebook Fort Mcmurray #468 First Nation wrote: “Our members opened their homes to evacuees, opened up our land (Indian Beach) for people to stay, provided food, water and sewer service to evacuees. Our brand new store was one of the last ones not burnt south of Fort McMurray and we kept it open 24hrs and had extra shipments of fuel brought down from Edmonton so all evacuees had fuel to get somewhere safe“.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746458667243888640
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News

The Countess of Wessex was gifted with moccasins by Fort McMurray #468 First Nation’s elder.
The Fort McMurray Reserves consist of four areas. Reserve #175 is located about 20 kms east of Fort McMurray. The other three areas, Reserve #176, 176A and 176B are located near Anzac on Gregoire Lake approximately 50 kms southeast of Fort McMurray. Gregoire Lake Reserve #176 is the largest and most populated reserve.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746452529026732032
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News

Sophie wouldn’t be Sophie if she would have missed the opportunity to hold babies and take lovely pictures with people who have gathered to greet and meet her. HRH even declared she would take home, one cute baby, with her. I wanted to officially say ‘thank you’ to Chris Vandenbreekel, for the fabulous coverage of HRH’s visit, both in words and in pictures and for the kind permission to use the pictures on my blog. His story of the visit can be found here.

https://twitter.com/Vandecision/status/746455806938226688
courtesy of Chris Vandenbreekel/News Director at MIX 103.7 News

Articles and videos about Sophie’s visit to Fort McMurray can be found at Global News Canda, here; Edmonton Journal, here; Edmonton CTV News here, Fort McMurray Today here; Focus TV here.

© Photography by Chris Schwarz courtesy of Government of Alberta
Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex meets with guests of the reception at the National Music Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

After those events, The Countess went to Calgary, where she was rejoined with her husband, The Earl of Wessex. There TRH’s attended a Reception at the new Studio Bell at the National Music Centre, Calgary, Canada. Studio Bell is home to the National Music Centre (NMC), a national cultural organization devoted to amplifying a love, sharing, and understanding of music. It will be officially opened next week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq9896CVe3w&feature=youtu.be
print screen of YouTube video by Your Alberta, click on pic to be redirected and view the video. It starts at around 13:58 minutes

The event was in honour of TRH’s and was hosted by Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda. Remarks were given by Andrew Mosker – President & CEO of National Music Centre, Ricardo Miranda and Prince Edward. Right after HRH’s finished his speech, official programme eneded and TRH’s went to the airport for their flight home. You will spot Sophie in two brief moments in the video, at the starts, before speeches and right at the end.

© Photography by Chris Schwarz courtesy of Government of Alberta
Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex and Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta meet with guests of the reception at the National Music Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

As for Prince Edward (earlier in the day), as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, HRH attended a Gold Award Ceremony at Olympic Park, Calgary, Canada. He presented achievement awards to 150 young Albertans. Coverage can be found here. And later as Patron of Globe Theatre Saskatchewan, attended a Reception at the Globe Theatre, Regina, Canada.

© Photography by Chris Schwarz courtesy of Government of Alberta
HRH The Earl of Wessex  and Mr. Andrew Mosker, President and CEO of the National Music Centre in Calgary take a tour through the National Music Centre prior to the reception.

As this royal visit comes to an end I wanted to give thanks to all the people (public, press, reporters, journalists etc.) who were so very kind with sharing pictures of TRH’s visit and for their kind permissions to use those on my blog. I do not remember a single recent abroad visit of The Wessex couple that would have gotten such an amazing coverage. Once again, THANK YOU!

© Photography by Chris Schwarz courtesy of Government of Alberta
His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex and The Honourable Ricardo Miranda, M.L.A., Minister of Culture and Tourism, Government of Alberta.

Regina Leader Post has some lovely insightful articles of TRH’s vsit to Canada. Click here to view them.

Outfit & jewellery:
morning & afternoon
Nude/pinky jacket, no ID.
Analena Dress Hibiya Orchid by Erdem.
UFO back to front pearl earrings.
UFO pearl drop bracelet.

UFO bangle that debuted on day 2 of TRH’s visit to Canada.
Jaeger LeCoultre “Reverso Classique” watch.  
Sophie Habsburg clutch bag, “In & Out“. 
New, Prada Suede pointy toe pump in navy.
evening
Sandro Valina Jacket.
Oscar de la Renta Black Floral-print Stretch-silk Sheath dress.
Smokey quartz earrings by Boho Betty UK.
Clutch & bracelet as earlier in a day. 

9 thoughts on “24th June; 4th and final day of TRH’s visit to Canada – Edmonton & Calgary

  1. can i ask about her wedding and Engagement that she is wearing now ? in pic she didn't wear her Engagement ring ….ok some people don't wear it every time but her wedding ring mmmmm… i feel she wears gold and diamond one …… what is your opinion ?

    Like

  2. Anonymous

    Being an Canadian, it so heartwarming that Sophie took the time to visit Fort McMurray and I'm sure she uplifted many spirits. I wish their royal highnesses time in Canada was a little longer, love Edward and Sophie. Many thanks to Anna for her lovely coverage.
    Kind Regards, Pamela

    Like

  3. Molly

    I believe Sophie is wearing an eternity ring instead of her wedding and engagement ring. Some women wear all 3 (Duchess of Cambridge for example) but Sophie appears to only wear her eternity ring. Sophie has worn this for a few years I believe. Perhaps she prefers just the one ring? I love her engagement ring more but her eternity ring is lovely.

    Like

  4. Anonymous

    Really enjoyed the updates on TRHs Canadian Tour ! Sophie has just seem shine ! Lovely to read that Prince Edward, was having an enjoyable time. They make a perfect team ! Thanks Anna for all your hard work ! It never goes unappreciated ! ��

    Like

  5. Sophie seems to have two engagement rings, the second one was most likely a gift on a wedding anniversary around 2005. Sophie prefers her eternity band on daily basis as I believe it's simply more comfortable to wear, especially with delicate clothes etc.

    Like

  6. Alejandra Ramírez

    Super mega excellent coverage Anna!
    You truly are Sophie's angel and one of her best and most loyal admirers!
    I do hope she sees all the amazing job you do!
    God bless! 😀
    Keep on the hard work! 🙂

    Like

  7. Prince Edward is, to The Lady Rose Gilman (1980), Lady Ella Mountbatten (1996)
    and Prince Nickolai of Denmark (1999) The Countess is to Lady Alexandra Mountbatten (1998).

    Like

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