FIT FOR A QUEEN
Cape Breton soldier has guarded royalty at Windsor Castle.
When Morgan Jardine joined the Royal Canadian Regiment as an infantry soldier four years ago, he never imagined he’d actually guard royalty.
“Oh no, not at all — this is a massive surprise to me,” said the 22-year-old from Florence, who as a private in the Royal Canadian Regiment recently spent a week watching over the Queen of England at Windsor Castle.
“I couldn’t be happier.” While she lives and works out of Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip spend most weekends at the royal residence in the Berskshire countryside outside London.
Jardine, who was outfitted in the distinctive pith-style Wolseley helmet and scarlet puggaree of the Royal Canadian Regiment full-dress uniform, never got to meet any of the Royal Family while on duty.
“We’d see them walk by and drive by, stuff like that. When you’re on guard you have to stand there, look forward and show discipline,” he said, adding there was still a special feeling being in the presence of royalty.
“You feel it in your heart, that’s for sure.”
His mother Michelle Jardine said the whole family, which includes husband Keith Jardine and daughters Cassie and Madison, is proud of Morgan’s accomplishments. In fact, she and her mother Carolyn Barry flew to London Thursday to visit Morgan.
“We’re over-the-moon proud,” she said. “It’s an amazing experience for a 22-yearold boy from Florence to be guarding the Queen. It’s pretty cool.”
Jardine, who is based in Gagetown, N.B., is one of more than 120 members of the Royal Canadian Regiment and the Royal Canadian Artillery Band Public in England from Oct. 21Nov. 22 as part of a public duties contingent.
He is currently stationed at Cavalry Barracks, a British Army installation located north of Hounslow Heath west of London.
Today, he’ll be marching with his regiment in the Lord Mayor’s Show, an elaborate parade featuring dancers, horses and military marching bands that is one of the most popular and enduring annual events in London.
On Sunday, he’ll be at Brookwood Military Cemetery — where Canadian casualties from the First World War and the Second World War are buried — for a Remembrance Day service.
After that he hopes to have a chance to explore more of the country before flying home to Canada on Nov. 17.
“It’s beautiful over here. It’s just so old and there’s just so much to see,” he said. “It’s really hard to take it all in because so much has happened throughout the years — hundreds and hundreds of years of history is in this place.”
Pte. Morgan Jardine stands at attention outside the guard room at Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England, on Oct. 21. The Florence native is part of a contingent of Canadian soldiers that recently guarded the Royal Family.