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February 3, 2011
Commemorative Medal Created for
the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
OTTAWA— His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced today that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has approved the creation of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The design of the medal, created by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, was unveiled by the Governor General today, at Rideau Hall.
His Excellency was joined by the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, who unveiled the official emblem for the Diamond Jubilee year and invited Canadians to prepare to mark this important anniversary in 2012.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal will mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne in 1952, which will be celebrated next year. The medal will serve to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
Fact sheets on the Diamond Jubilee Medal and the creation of new Canadian honours are attached. The artistic rendering of the medal, as well as additional information are available at www.gg.ca/diamondjubilee.
FACT SHEET ON THE QUEEN ELIZABETH II DIAMOND JUBILEE MEDAL
A new commemorative medal is being created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II accession to the Throne. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal will be a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it will serve to recognize significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
The Chancellery of Honours, as part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, will administer the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal program.
The inaugural presentation ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee Medal will take place in 2012. Further details will be announced in due course.
Description of the medal
The obverse depicts a crowned image of the Sovereign, in whose name the medal is bestowed. The reverse marks the sixtieth, or diamond, anniversary of the accession to the Throne of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The anniversary is expressed by the central diamond shape, by the background composed of a pattern of diamonds, and by the two dates. The Royal Cypher consists of the Royal Crown above the letters EIIR (i.e., Elizabeth II Regina, the latter word meaning Queen in Latin). The maple leaves refer to Canada, while the motto VIVAT REGINA means “Long live The Queen!”
The ribbon uses a new arrangement of the blue, red and white colours found in the 1953 Coronation Medal, the 1977 Silver Jubilee Medal, and the 2002 Golden Jubilee Medal.
The design of the Diamond Jubilee Medal was created by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, as part of the Chancellery of Honours.
Eligibility, selection criteria and distribution process
Information on the nomination process, eligibility and selection criteria, and distribution of the Diamond Jubilee Medal will be available at www.gg.ca/diamondjubilee at a later date.
FACT SHEET ON THE CREATION OF A NEW CANADIAN HONOUR
The Canadian Honours System was instituted in 1967, with the creation of the Order of Canada. Canadian honours recognize significant achievement, bravery and exceptional service to Canada or to humanity at large. Their creation follows a legal approval process, which may take several months, and which concludes with the approval of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as the Sovereign of Canada.
Who is involved in the creation of a new honour?
- The Sovereign of Canada is the authority for the creation of all official honours. Honours are created by letters patent issued by the Sovereign on the advice of the prime minister.
- The Chancellery of Honours, as part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, is responsible for administering the Canadian Honours System on behalf of the governor general, and provides support to the Honours Policy Committee.
- The Honours Policy Committee, chaired by the Privy Council Office, is made up of a group of senior public servants from various government departments who assist in the administration of Canadian honours.
- The prime minister is responsible for the Canadian Honours System. In 1980, the Prime Minister of Canada created the Canadian Honours Policy Committee in order to provide the prime minister with advice and assistance on the exercise of prerogatives with respect to honours and awards in Canada.
- Proposals for new honours can originate from different sources: officials in various federal and provincial departments, individuals in established organizations that serve the public, and private citizens.
What is the process behind the creation of a new honour?
- Proposals are sent to the Chancellery of Honours for review and to ensure that the new honour is compatible with the national honours policy and that it does not duplicate any existing honours.
- The proposal is presented for discussion and approval by the Honours Policy Committee.
- The Chancellery drafts the regulations, in consultation with the interested parties, and prepares the letters patent for signature by The Queen.
- The Chancellery also develops the design of the new insignia.
- If approved by the committee, the creation of a new honour is recommended to the prime minister via the order-in-council process through the Privy Council Office.
- On the recommendation of the prime minister of Canada via the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, the letters patent and design paintings are sent to Buckingham Palace for approval by Her Majesty The Queen. When The Queen signs the letters patent, the honour in considered officially created.
- The Office of the Registrar General of Canada affixes the Great Seal of Canada to the signed letters patent.
- The new honour is announced in a press release by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General and the information is published in the Canada Gazette.