P.E.I. native gets royal recognition for RCMP work

Jim Day
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RCMP Supt. Greg Peters is pictured near the Queen at Windsor Castle in 2009 during an afternoon tea that followed the presentation of Police Service Horse George.

Souris West native Greg Peters has had a royal time in his lengthy career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Now he is receiving high royal recognition.

The superintendent is the only Canadian to make the Queen's New Year's Honours List for the Royal Victorian Order in 2013.

Canadian historian Christopher McCreery, author of On Her Majesty's Service, Royal Honours and Recognition in Canada, says Peters is in exclusive company.

Less than 200 Canadians have been awarded this honour since its inception in 1896. Peters is believed to be the first Islander.

"You may see one or two Canadians a year,'' said McCreery.

"For someone in the RCMP to get it,'' he added, "it doesn't happen that often.''

Peters is humbled by the distinction.

"To be honoured in this way is a new thing for me,'' he said.

"It's something I really didn't see coming...for me, it's extremely humbling.''

Peters expects to travel to England in March to receive a Royal Victorian Order silver medal from Queen Elizabeth II.

He has not seen the citation that explains why he is receiving the special award. However, both he and McCreery assume the honour is in recognition of a culmination of work and not one specific role during his professional brushes with royalty.

In 2009, Peters led the presentation of Police Service Horse George to the queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in the UK.

In 2011, he led RCMP ceremonial, planning and execution for the Royal Visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Canada.

And perhaps his crowning moment came last year when he had the honour of working with the head of the British Monarch in helping organize a historic first to mark the Queen's 60 years on the throne.

For 24 hours, Royal Canadian Mounted Police stood guard at the ceremonial gates of Buckingham Palace in London in charge of the queen's safety, the first time a non-British unit had ever done so. Fifteen members of the RCMP, dressed in navy blue uniforms and ties, and riding black horses took over the special changing of the guard ceremony on May 23.

Peters relishes his interaction with the queen, who once invited the superintendent and his wife to stay as personal guests at Windsor Castle.

"I've been privileged to be back and forth to Buckingham Palace,'' he said.

"It's just an amazing honour to be with her and to share tea with her.''

Peters, the son of Therese and the late Joseph Peters, is director of strategic partnerships and heritage branch for the RCMP. He is also the RCMP Diamond Jubilee contigent commander.

He has enjoyed many memorable and gratifying roles during a 31-year career with Canada's national police force, but those duties that had a royal flare hold a particularly special place.

"Certainly the part that will stand out for me is the privilege to work with the Queen and the Royal Family,'' he said.

Organizations: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Queen's, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.Now Royal Honours Police Service Horse George Royal Visit

Geographic location: Canada, P.E.I., Majesty England Cambridge London Windsor Castle

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Recent comments

  • David
    January 13, 2013 - 02:13

    Good gawd..what next we will have the chest thumping of other people who received awards. Why can't people enjoy the moment when they receive something and than NOT try to impress in the future by raining on the next person's achievments. PEI seems to have it share of people who need to be seen as important or a legend in their own minds.

    • Dat
      January 14, 2013 - 08:57

      Didn't seem to me anyone was raining on anyone else's parade. Kudos to the RCMP for receiving the medal. It's a very prestigious honour. MBourgeois was just stating that he was not the first Islander to receive the medal. If anything, the person reporting should have done the research and made sure, before commenting, whether or not he was the first.

    • Dat
      January 15, 2013 - 09:49

      I've read a lot of the comments and some are focused on the "60+ hours a week". I happen to know that she did not work more than TWO weeks over the 60 hours. In the type of business she worked in, open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, it averages out to 40 hours per week. Mostly, work weeks amount to 36 hours one week and 48 the next week. Should she get EI? Not my decision to make, however, I don't believe she should be forced to travel to Charlottetown to work. Even with communting, the expense of that is depleting her income to the point where it would most likely not be feasible for her.

  • MBourgeois
    January 12, 2013 - 14:51

    In reference to your article noting that Mr. Greg Peters may be the only Islander to have received the Member Victorian Order honour, I'd like to bring to your attention that Ms Annette Bourgeois, a native Islander of Montague, PEI, and former reported of the Eastern Graphic, also had received this honour in 1999 (please see article below). If you would like any further information, and/or a photo, please feel free to contact me the email I have provided. Regards, MBourgeois Queen bestows medal on visit coordinator Premier's press secretary named to the Royal Victorian Order NUNATSIAQ NEWS KIRSTEN MURPHY The coordinator of the Queen’s visit to Iqaluit has been named to the Royal Victorian Order for the year of work she spent on the project. Queen Elizabeth II personally bestowed the prestigious medal last week on Annette Bourgeois, press secretary to Premier Paul Okalik. The exchange occurred behind closed doors at Inuksuk High School, immediately following an Arctic sport demonstration. Bourgeois called her one-on-one conversation with the monarch a “personal and private” moment. “It’s quite an honour. I knew there would be a gift but I was not expecting this. I had no idea,” said Bourgeois, who received an engraved watch from French Prime Minister Jacques Chiraq during his visit to Nunavut in 1999. The Royal Victorian Order was founded in 1896 by Queen Victoria and recognizes Canadians who have demonstrated exemplary service to the Queen or members of the Royal family. As a Member of the Victorian Order, Bourgeois will receive an invitation to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace every four years. She may also add the initials MVO to items such as letterhead and business cards. Approximately 105 Canadians have been named to the order. Bourgeois spent the past year working with officials at Buckingham Palace and the federal department of Canadian Heritage to organize the two-and-a-half-hour Iqaluit visit. The Nunavut trip was the first stop on the Queen’s 11-city Golden Jubilee tour across Canada this month.

    • Claudia Marisol
      January 14, 2013 - 09:00

      You didn't read it correctly - it says: The superintendent is the only Canadian to make the Queen's New Year's Honours List for the Royal Victorian Order in 2013. For 2013...not ever.

    • Dat
      January 15, 2013 - 13:40

      Maybe you should read better... Less than 200 Canadians have been awarded this honour since its inception in 1896. Peters is believed to be the first Islander.

  • Olive Bryanton
    January 12, 2013 - 09:33

    Congratulations to Greg Peters - this is also wonderful recognition for Canada's national police force - a very exciting event and well deserved.