Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning monarch in Canadian and Commonwealth history. Throughout her extraordinary reign, she became the most widely travelled monarch, visiting more than 100 countries, often accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen delighted in meeting with people from all walks of life and in recognizing their contributions to society.
Canada was honoured to host The Queen on 22 Royal Tours. Their Royal Highnesses visited all regions of the country, developing a great understanding of and affection for Canada and its people.
I am sure that nowhere under the sun could one find a land more full of hope, of happiness and of fine, loyal, generous-hearted people. […] They have placed in our hearts a love for their country and its people which will never grow cold and which will always draw us to their shores.
Born on April 21, 1926, in London, United Kingdom, Elizabeth II was the first monarch to be crowned Queen of Canada. As the Canadian head of State, The Queen was formally designated commander-in-chief of Canada, and offered support and encouragement to members of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as to their families and loved ones. She also promoted unity and celebrated excellence by presenting awards to outstanding Canadians. Today, the powers held by The Queen, including those of head of State and commander-in-chief, are embodied by the governor general as the Crown’s representative in Canada.
The Queen cared deeply for the sacred relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples. Recognizing that the world’s diversity is its strength, she supported efforts towards reconciliation.
Throughout her reign, The Queen embodied the principles of service. On her 21st birthday, she addressed the Commonwealth, dedicating her life to the service of others:
I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
In Canada, The Queen supported important causes as patron or president of more than 30 Canadian philanthropic, cultural and charitable organizations.
The Queen was a steadfast and comforting presence to many Canadians, through times of great challenge and upheaval. She was dedicated to her people and inspired so many with her service and compassion. She will be greatly missed.