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Canada Prince Andrew arrives in Halifax for ‘private working visit’

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, performs an inspection of the Guard of Honour during a visit to Government House in Halifax on May 23, 2019.

Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, arrived in Halifax on Thursday for a brief, low-key visit.

As the colonel-in-chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers, a Halifax-based reserve unit, Andrew took part in a military ceremony outside Government House, the official residence of Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc.

The formal honours, conducted with military precision under bright sunshine, included a royal salute and inspection of the guard of honour.

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More than a dozen soldiers, dressed in bright red tunics and white pith helmets, stood at attention as a military band played “God Save the Queen.”

Andrew chatted briefly with LeBlanc and a few of the soldiers, but he did not interact with the public before entering LeBlanc’s stately residence on Barrington Street.

The event was largely kept a secret until Andrew arrived. Only a handful of curious onlookers watched the ceremony from a nearby sidewalk.

Provincial officials say Andrew’s “private working visit” is aimed at commemorating the 150th anniversary of the infantry regiment’s creation.

Andrew took part in similar ceremonies in Halifax in 2007 and 2009.

The regiment traces its roots to 1749 when British Gen. Edward Cornwallis, the founder of Halifax and governor of Nova Scotia, ordered 10 companies to be formed in the port city.

The Princess Louise Fusiliers were formally authorized as part of the Canadian militia on June 18, 1869.

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“We are proud of our lineage as one of the oldest regiments in Atlantic Canada,” said Maj. Peter Dawson, the unit’s regimental major.

“We were the original volunteer militia recruited from the original settlers in the city of Halifax.”

Dawson said Andrew is expected to unveil a commemorative Canada Post stamp celebrating the anniversary during a private ceremony on Friday.

Eighth in the line of succession to the throne, Andrew is the second-youngest of the Queen’s four children.

He was bumped down the line of succession on May 6 when Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, announced the birth of their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

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