One of the most steadfast constants in Canadian history has been the presence of Queen Elizabeth II as the head of the Commonwealth. The Queen is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee and marking seventy years on the throne. It makes her the fourth longest-reigning monarch in history, the longest-reigning incumbent monarch, and the longest-reigning female monarch in history. For Canada, she has been a constant fixture in our lives for generations.
It is a sense of pride when we talk about being part of the Commonwealth and having the Queen as our Head of State. The real question is why? What is it about her that exudes such emotion in Canadians? She is embossed on our money; her picture adorns countless walls, and people speak highly of her. When Canadian politicians went to London to discuss the patriation of the Canadian constitution with the Queen, they found her to be highly informed and interested in the details of the subject. In 1980, Patriation removed the role of the British parliament from the Canadian constitution, however, the monarchy was retained.
I remember hearing anecdotes and stories regarding Canada’s long history with the monarchy. In this country’s infancy, British Parliament governed major decisions; it was how Canada entered into World War I. Afterward, Canada was granted its sovereignty and when World War II broke out, Canada joined with England, not because we had to, but because we were steadfast in our support of our ally. Would this have been different if there had been a struggle over our desire to be our own nation? Possibly, yet we had established a good relationship with the then monarch. There was no revolutionary war with England, and that lack of conflict solidified the foundation the Queen inherited when she ascended the throne.
Her Majesty engaged with Canadians on her worldwide tour following her coronation. She has repeatedly demonstrated her interest and affection for Canada in more than twenty Royal visits. That alone makes her worthy of our admiration. Canadian lives could be a lot different in subtle ways if it weren’t for the presence of the Queen. Perhaps we know that, and it is why we as a people support and celebrate her as much as we do.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year officially began on February 6, 2022. There won’t be another Jubilee in this reign, so let’s do the right thing and join together to celebrate and commemorate this historic milestone.
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