The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
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Former Governors General

From 1867 to 1931, Canada's governor general was chosen by the Sovereign, and the person chosen was always a British aristocrat. In 1931, the Canadian government was granted the responsibility to make recommendations to the Sovereign for the position of governor general.

It was only in 1952 that, without first consulting with the British prime minister, a prime minister of Canada recommended to the Sovereign one single name: Vincent Massey, Canada’s first Canadian Governor General. This nomination marked an important evolution in Canadian history.

The naming of a Canadian governor general reflected this country’s new sense of autonomy and identity in the post-war era. Since 1952, all of Canada’s governors general have been and must be Canadian citizens. As you will discover when reading their biographies, Canadian governors general come from all walks of life and are representative of the Canadian population.

The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean 2005-2010

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson 1999-2005

The Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc 1995-1999

The Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn 1990-1995

The Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé 1984-1990

The Right Honourable Edward Schreyer1979-1984

The Right Honourable Jules Léger1974-1979

The Right Honourable Roland Michener1967-1974

General The Right Honourable Georges Philias Vanier1959-1967

The Right Honourable Vincent Massey1952-1959

The Viscount Alexander 1946-1952

The Earl of Athlone 1940-1946

Lord Tweedsmuir 1935-1940

The Earl of Bessborough 1931-1935

The Viscount Willingdon 1926-1931

Lord Byng 1921-1926

The Duke of Devonshire 1916-1921

H.R.H The Duke of Connaught 1911-1916

Earl Grey 1904-1911

The Earl of Minto 1898-1904

The Earl of Aberdeen 1893-1898

The Earl of Derby (Lord Stanley) 1888-1893

The Marquess of Lansdowne 1883-1888

The Duke of Argyll (Marquess of Lorne) 1878-1883

The Earl of Dufferin 1872-1878

Lord Lisgar 1869-1872

The Viscount Monck 1867-1868

Date modified: November 2, 2015