The mood was sombre in Langford at Veterans Memorial Park on Monday as West Shore residents marked the life of Queen Elizabeth II.
Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 gave remarks, played the “Last Post,” lowered and raised the Canadian flag and sang “God Save the King” in honour of the newly crowned King Charles III.
Various members noted the Queen’s commitment to service and the fact she was a veteran herself, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women’s arm of the British Army as an auto mechanic from when she turned 18 in 1944 to the war’s end in 1945.
Petty Officer First Class Jennifer Marcotte met Princess Diana once in Burnaby but never physically met the Queen in person. But she has spent her career seeing photos of the monarch everywhere, including at CFB Esquimalt where she currently serves.
“Like they said in the speech, I swore my oath to her. So that’s a big change for especially the past 70 years, it’ll be the first time there’s that big change and then swearing the oath to the King and continuing on with my career.”
The U.K.’s longest-reigning monarch died on Sept. 8 at the age of 96. Sept. 19 marked a peak in a period of mourning in countries throughout the world with a large funeral service held in Westminster Abbey before a military procession began escorting the Queen’s coffin to Windsor Castle, where she was laid to rest alongside her late husband Prince Phillip.
Victoria hosted the provincial commemorative service with a procession of military members and various dignitaries, including Premier John Horgan, walking from the B.C. legislature grounds to the Christ Church Cathedral.