Diamond Jubilee Luncheon with the Canadian Community (London)
London, England, Sunday, June 3 2012
It is with great pleasure that Sharon and I join you today for this Diamond Jubilee luncheon.
As you know, I have the honour of representing Her Majesty The Queen in Canada, and I am delighted that my time as governor general coincides with this wonderful milestone.
Being members of the Canadian community in the United Kingdom, you know the important role Her Majesty has played in the evolution of our country.
She is truly the Queen of Canada. Among the many Canadian events and milestones in which she has participated are:
- the opening of our Parliament in 1957 (and again 20 years later);
- the proclamation of our national maple leaf flag in 1965;
- the creation of the Order of Canada and the Canadian Honours System, and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Confederation in 1967;
- and the proclamation of the Constitution Act in 1982.
In sum, as Nathan Tidridge observes in his recent book, Canada’s Constitutional Monarchy, Her Majesty has reigned for just over 40 per cent of Canada’s history since Confederation! The photographic exhibit on display here at Canada House provides a wonderful visual record of The Queen’s remarkable record of service.
Allow me to elaborate for a moment on Her Majesty’s unique role as Queen of Canada, which is distinct from her duties in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms.
As the human face of the Canadian Crown, Her Majesty is the safeguard of our rights and freedoms as Canadians. Put simply, the Canadian Crown ensures both the continuity and responsibility of government.
This fact points to the great significance of Her Majesty’s 60-year reign. As Robertson Davies wrote:
“The Crown is the abiding and unshakeable element in government. Politicians may come and go, but the Crown remains … [it] is the consecrated spirit of Canada.”
For this reason, the Diamond Jubilee is as much a celebration of Canada as it is a celebration of The Queen’s lifetime of service. By remembering this as Canadians, we honour Her Majesty’s devotion to our country.
Thank you for being here to show your appreciation for The Queen’s lifetime of service, and for marking this important moment in our history.