Reflections from the Queen’s “common face across Canada”

By Gordon Lambie
Reflections from the Queen’s “common face across Canada”
Bob Farnham standing alongside the certificate for his Royal Victorian Medal, as well as framed photographs and memorabilia from his work on several different royal tours. (Photo : Gordon Lambie)

It would be hard to find someone in the Eastern Townships who has spent more time in close contact with Queen Elizabeth II than Bob Farnham. While he now spends his days at home in North Hatley, the retired RCMP officer once served as personal security escort commander for the Queen during her journeys to Canada.
“She wanted a common face across Canada,” Farnham said, sharing that he served as commander for the last three or four visits the monarch made to Canada. During that time, the retired officer said that although the rest of the Canadian security detail would be shuffled as she moved from province to province, he remained at her side to provide a consistent presence.
In the wake of the Queen’s death last week, Farnham told The Record that he was more or less glued to the coverage of proceedings and reflections on her life that have been airing on television.
“It brings back a lot of good memories.”
Farnham joined the RCMP in 1959 and was almost immediately given his first duty dealing with the royals: to clean and polish the wheels of the vehicle for her royal tour.
Later in his career he went on to serve as motorcycle escort, and later driver of that car, before ultimately ending up on her personal security team.
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