Royal gun salute for late queen

More than 200 people gathered south of the Manitoba Legislative Building this morning for a royal gun salute to Queen Elizabeth.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/09/2022 (194 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

More than 200 people gathered south of the Manitoba Legislative Building this morning for a royal gun salute to Queen Elizabeth.

The tribute honouring the late queen boomed across the Assiniboine River, as 96 blank artillery rounds were fired by military reservists wearing earplugs. Today has been declared a national day of mourning, as a funeral was held for the late queen in London.

“It was a really good way to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth,” Sallie Hunt said. “The queen has been part of all of our lives.”

“It was a really good way to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth… The queen has been part of all of our lives.”–Sallie Hunt

The 72-year-old drove to Winnipeg from Kenora with her friend Fay Moore to witness the salute.

“We wanted to participate in some way, and we wanted to commemorate the queen,” Moore said. “We thought coming to Winnipeg was the way to do it publicly.”

The two friends wore black dresses and head coverings out of respect to the queen. Their respect for the longest-reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom grew over time, Hunt said.

“When I was younger, I was not a monarchist,” she said. Back then, she thought the monarchy was a waste of money, she said.

“I have come over my 70 years to realize the importance 0f the monarchy,” Hunt said. “It endures. It is above politics. It connects history.”

Manitoba’s special envoy for military affairs echoed that sentiment.

“You can see with the people around here, as well, they really respect the monarchy,” Len Isleifson, the Progressive Conservative MLA for Brandon East, said.

“It’s led us to where we are, and it’s going to lead us into the future,” he said. It’s an institution that is important to Canada and Manitoba and brings people together, Isleifson said.

“It shows unity across the country,” Isleifson said. “I think it’s important that we have this here (in Manitoba) as well.”

Many of the attendees lined up after the salute to sign the book of condolences inside the legislature.

“The books of condolence are gifted to the Manitoba Archives so that future generations of Manitobans can revisit this historic period of mourning,” Manitoba’s chief of protocol, Brad Robertson, said.

Books were traditionally sent to Buckingham Palace via the British High Commission.

The black pall ribbon on the queen’s portrait in the ornate room used for ceremonies at the Manitoba legislature will be removed Tuesday, Robertson said. While most other portraits will be taken down, that one will stay because it forms part of an art display alongside portraits of Prince Philip, King George and Queen Mary.

“Portraits of King Charles III will be received and erected in due course,” Robertson said.

An invitation-only memorial service will take place at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral in Winnipeg, which will be streamed live on YouTube and on the Manitoba government’s website. Church bells will toll 96 times before the service starts.

Flags on all provincial buildings, including the legislative building, remained at half-mast until the service ends. The Centennial Flame on Memorial Boulevard has been lit and will remain so throughout the period of mourning.

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Legislature reporter

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.

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