Heritage Structure | Section 2 – Toasts

Table of contents

APPLICATION

  1. This section prescribes the order and form for toasts to the Canadian and other heads of state throughout the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
  2. This section does not preclude or prescribe the order for other traditional or customary toasts, which might follow toasts to heads of state.
  3. In this section, the term gentlemen used in toasts when gentlemen only are present shall be replaced, as applicable, by “ladies” when ladies only are present or “ladies and gentlemen” when both ladies and gentlemen are present.

LOYAL TOAST

  1. The health of Her Majesty The Queen shall be honoured by means of a loyal toast in the following form in all messes of the CAF:
    1. The host or President of the Mess Committee (PMC) shall call for the loyal toast by standing and addressing the vice‑president in English or French: Mr/Mrs/Miss Vice, The Queen of Canada. The vice‑president shall stand and propose the toast in the other language.
    2. The loyal toast shall be – "Ladies/Gentlemen, The Queen of Canada". All shall rise and stand during the playing of the Royal Anthem (one verse only). Glasses may remain on the table, but typically are held at approximately waist level. On the completion of the anthem, before drinking the loyal toast, each will say “The Queen” or “À la Reine”. At mess dinners of units in which the Sovereign personally holds an honorary appointment, the address to the vice-president may include that appointment; e.g., "Mr/Mrs/Miss Vice, The Queen of Canada, our Captain-General".
    3. When an officer or other distinguished person is officially representing a country that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and that recognizes The Queen as its head of state, and that officer or person is entertained at a mess dinner, the loyal toast shall be to "The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth" in lieu of "Queen of Canada".
    4. When an officer or other distinguished person who is officially representing a country that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations but that does not recognize The Queen as its head of state, and that officer or person is entertained at a mess dinner, the loyal toast shall be to "The Queen of Canada, Head of the Commonwealth" and the procedure in paragraph 6 shall also apply.
  2. The loyal toast shall be drunk standing, whether "God Save The Queen", is played or not, except in Her Majesty's Canadian (HMC) Ships where the health of Her Majesty The Queen shall be honoured while seated. However, when Her Majesty The Queen, or any other member of the Royal Family is present, the loyal toast shall be honoured standing unless Her Majesty or other member of the Royal Family has expressed a wish that those in attendance remain seated. The pleasure of the royal personage should be sought beforehand.

TOASTS TO OTHER HEADS OF STATE

  1. When an officer or other distinguished person is officially representing a foreign state and is entertained at a mess dinner, the following procedure applies:
    1. The loyal toast shall be proposed first, except as noted in paragraph 8.
    2. When only one foreign guest is present, the form of the toast to the head of state of the country to which the guest belongs is "Ladies/Gentlemen, The President (or the appropriate title applicable to that state) of …...", following the format of sub-paragraph 4.a. The national anthem of the foreign country should then be played. A shorter version of the anthem may be used if it has been ascertained beforehand that this would be in accordance with the custom of the country concerned.
    3. When a number of nations are represented, the form is a collective toast, e.g., "Ladies/Gentlemen, The heads of states here represented", following the format of sub-paragraph 4.a. The national anthems of all the countries in the collective toast would not be played in this case.
  2. A member of a foreign force who is undergoing training with the CAF or covering a vacancy in a CAF establishment should not be considered an official representative of the member's country at a mess dinner unless so delegated. If a foreign guest is being entertained privately in a mess, there need be no deviation from the normal practice of proposing the loyal toast only.
  3. On board ship or in a fleet establishment it is customary to propose the first toast to the head of state of the country to which the guest belongs, and then the senior guest member of the other nation proposes the loyal toast. If the state is a member of the Commonwealth that does not recognise The Queen as head of state, the loyal toast shall be proposed first since it includes The Queen's title as Head of the Commonwealth, unless the head of the particular state in question is actually present when the custom first noted in this paragraph shall apply.
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