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Former governor-general Adrienne Clarkson, who endeared herself to Canada's soldiers, sailors and air crew by spending Christmas holidays with them overseas, has been named colonel-in-chief of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment.

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor says Ms. Clarkson always showed a deep interest and concern for the members of the Canadian Forces while she was their command-in-chief at Rideau Hall.

Ms. Clarkson made many pilgrimages to First and Second World War battlefields and cemeteries and even to Afghanistan and related areas during her tenure as governor-general.

She's the first Canadian to actually serve in the role as civilian advocate for the soldiers of the PPCLI; she'll be replacing Lady Patricia Brabourne, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, during a ceremony in Edmonton on March 17.

Ms. Clarkson says she's "deeply honoured" and proud to accept the role.

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