POLITICS

Army corps get royal treatment as Tories restore nod to monarchy in monikers

04/19/2013 02:51 EDT | Updated 06/19/2013 05:12 EDT
OTTAWA - Five branches of the army are getting the royal treatment.

The Conservative government is giving them back their historic titles.

Armour, infantry, signallers and two groups of engineers are being renamed the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps; the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps; the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals; the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers and the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

The Tories have also changed the name of the Land Force Military Police Group to the Canadian Army Military Police Group.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced the name changes Friday in Toronto.

MacKay says the old titles help soldiers connect with their history and traditions.

The "Royal" designations were bestowed at different times to the various groups as a mark of distinction. For example, the armoured corps was formed in 1940, but wasn't given the "Royal" prefix until 1945.

It's the latest re-branding exercise from a Conservative government that has sought to strengthen Canada's ties to the monarchy.

The Harper government previously restored the prefix "Royal" to the navy and air force.

Earlier this year, the Conservatives also slipped a word back into the name of the military. The Canadian Forces is now concurrently known as the Canadian Armed Forces, its old name before the word "armed" was dropped in the 1990s.

The government says these and other name changes will be phased in over the next year ahead of the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War.