The Lieutenant Governor wears the Civil Uniform for Speeches from the Throne, the New Year's levee and other special events. The present style of Civil Uniform was adopted in 1837, early in the reign of Queen Victoria. Six classes of civil uniform exist (Privy Councillor, First Class, Second Class, Third Class, Fourth Class, Fifth Class). At one time the Civil Uniform was worn by the Governor General, Lieutenant Governors, the Prime Minister, Premiers, Cabinet Minister, senior civil servants and members of the Vice-Regal Household. Today in Canada the Civil Uniform is almost exclusively worn by a number of Lieutenant Governors, and over the past 60 years it has become inexorably linked with those who represent the Crown in the provinces.
In all six different types of Civil Uniform have been worn in Canada; The Governor General's Civil Uniform, the Full Dress Civil Uniform, the Half Dress Civil Uniform, the Evening Dress Civil Uniform and the Summer Dress Civil Uniform (also known as Tropical Dress).
The Civil Uniform presently worn by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia is a 2nd Class Half Dress Civil Uniform. It originally belonged to The Honourable Sir Frederick William Borden, MP for Windsor Nova Scotia and long serving Minister of Militia and Defence (1896-1911). This same uniform has been worn by most of Nova Scotia's Lieutenant Governors since the Borden family gave the uniform to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor following Sir Frederick's death in 1917. Due to his large stature The Honourable Victor de Bedia Oland a 2nd Class Half Dress Civil Uniform was made by Geives of London in 1968.
Further information on the different classes and types of Civil Uniforms worn in Canada can be found in Chapter 15 of Canadian Symbols of Authority.