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La Citadelle de Quebec: Changing of the Guard, Royal 22e Regiment


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#1 gwb123

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 06:14 PM

La Citadelle de Quebec is a European style "star" fortification that overlooks the strategic heights over Quebec City and the Saint Lawrence River.

 

Military bastions there have existed in various forms since the 1600's, defended by both the French and British.  The imposing works that exist in their present form were built to defend the vital waterway from the feared territorial ambitions of the United States.

 

https://www.lacitade...ts-history.html

 

Today, it is the headquarters of the Royal 22e Infantry Regiment. The historic unit is notable for both it's royal designation and the fact that it is manned by French speaking soldiers.

 

https://en.wikipedia...l_22nd_Regiment

 

In keeping with the traditions of the British Army, during the warmer months of the year May through October, the unit conducts a changing of the guard ceremony promptly at 10 am, with a similar ceremony for retreat at 4 pm.

 

My wife and I were lucky enough to view one of these occasions, and these are some of the photos we were able to take during this colorful event.

 

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#2 gwb123

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 06:19 PM

The crowd gathers and lines up around the parade field.  One of the local guides told us earlier this week they had seen at least 1,200 visitors come to view the ceremony.

 

At 10 am sharp a sole trumpeter above the main gate sound a bugle call that signals the start of the event.

 

The band then appears:

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#3 gwb123

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 06:25 PM

The incoming guard detachment then appears and along with the tunes of the regimental band proceeds to the far end of the parade ground.  They then conduct an inspection of the guard.

 

All commands are in French, but anyone with a military background can pretty much follow along with the time honored routine.

 

The large building in the background is the Hotel Frontenac, built in the 1800's in a style that suggests a French castle.

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#4 gwb123

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 06:28 PM

The guard that is being relieved arrives onto the field.  The two contingents and the band engage in a series of maneuvers designed to reinforce the hand over of responsibility.

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#5 gwb123

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 06:32 PM

More maneuvering...

 

The Regimental Mascot, Batisse, makes his rounds around the parade ground.

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#6 gwb123

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 06:34 PM

With the ceremony completed, the incoming guard takes their positions around the post.

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#7 gwb123

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 06:35 PM

Batisse and the Sergeant of the Goat remain to meet the public.

 

Batisse holds the rank of Colonel;  members of the regiment are required to render a salute in his presence.

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#8 gwb123

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 06:39 PM

I hope you have enjoyed these photographs.  It's an impressive display of drill and ceremony and well worth the time if you visit Quebec City. 

 

After the ceremony is over, guided tours are available of the Citadelle, along with a self guided visit of the regimental museum.

 

I will add more about that in another thread.

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#9 The Meatcan

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 10:52 PM

Great photos and narrative, Gil! Looks like an absolutely stunning drill. Batisse seems pretty sociable for top brass!

​Terry



#10 oliviermilitaria

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:07 AM

Great pictures of a city and a place that I love ! 



#11 SARGE

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 10:49 AM

I too have seen this changing of the guard at Quebec.  Quite a spectacle and the goat is quite important to the regiment and the drill.  



#12 gwb123

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:32 PM

Added photo...

 

The weapon of the day appears to be an M-4, a modern US made variation of the M-16.

 

One difference between the US Army and this Canadian Regiment... their soldiers were allowed to carry and fix bayonets. 

 

In my day, ours were kept under lock and key in the arms room!

 

Note the onlooking Regiment members in modern uniform.  They are there to make sure an over zealous tourist does not get in the way of the proceedings.  If they were not listened to, there were also some very visible, imposing, and armed Military Policemen on hand as well.

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#13 Proud Kraut

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:49 PM

Verry impressive, thanks for sharing this experience!




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