Prince Charles was named honorary commissioner of the RCMP Wednesday night, during the final public event of his three-day visit to Canada.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement after a performance by the Regina Symphony Orchestra at the RCMP's training centre in Regina, Sask.
He drew a connection between the traditions of the police force and those of the British monarchy.
"Like the RCMP, the Canadian Crown is a vibrant and active symbol of service to Canada," Mr. Harper said.
"The Crown has anchored our institutions of government and called our citizens to duty across the full breadth of Canada, both geographic and historic."
Mr. Harper presented the prince with a black-and-gold saddlecloth to mark his new honorary role.
Charles called the decision a "wonderful surprise" and said he was "profoundly touched."
He told the audience that his mother must have been given an RCMP uniform at some point, because the family has a photo of him as a child, dressed in full Mountie regalia.
Charles and Camilla will head back to England Wednesday night. The couple visited New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan during their brief tour, which included stops at local charities and meetings with federal and provincial dignitaries.