Remembering Prince Philip's long-standing military ties to London, Ont.
LONDON, ONT. -- Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died at 99 years old, and the late Duke of Edinburgh leaves behind special memories for one particular military regiment in London, Ont.
Despite his advanced age one of the things Philip held onto was his military attachments.
Though he dropped many Royal duties in his retirement, he continued to serve as Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Canadian Regiment (The RCR). The 4th Battalion of The RCR remains in London, Ont.
The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, located at Wolseley Barracks (the former CFB London), was established in 1983 with an official visit from Prince Philip.
The museum was established in order to preserve regimental history and is used to teach regimental history through its wide series of collections and artifacts.
Retired colonel Joe Altchison served with the regiment in London three times over a 10-year period, including as base commander from 1987 to 1991 and as colonel of The RCR, in its entirety, from 2011 to 2015.
Altchison recalls Philips's visit, which also marked the 100th anniversary of the regiment.
“It was absolutely spectacular, I mean the 100th anniversary of any organization, any institution, is significant, where you can apply pomp and ceremony to the occasion, made it very special.”
Altchison met Philip eight times in his lifetime. Three of those were in London, Ont., while another personal meeting involved just the two of them at Buckingham Palace.
Still, he believes the visits to London, Ont. and The RCR's traditional home, meant the most to him.
Overall, he says his greatest takeaway was from his meetings was the Duke's ability to be a Royal and a leader and still be welcoming.
“I think the thing that struck me then, and struck me a number of times, is the way in which he deals with people. You’ve never seen anybody work a crowd, the way His Royal Highness worked a crowd. And he had that knack of focusing on whoever he was speaking to"
With reporting from CTV's Sean Irvine and Justin Zadorsky and files from the Associated Press.