Canada’s Queen

As Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II embodies the Canadian state. She is the source of law, the principal guardian of the constitution, the fount of honour, the focus of allegiance and the personification of a life consecrated to service (Christopher Plummer, speaking on Parliament Hill, Canada Day, 2010). A biography of The Queen is available on the Canadian Heritage website here, and more information about her life and activities throughout the Commonwealth can be found on our links page. This article simply lists some of the significant events highlighting her continuous involvement with Canadians during her reign of over 62 years.

A complete record of The Queen’s Canadian homecomings together with much other information about our monarchy, including a list of organizations granted Royal Patronage and the designation Royal, may be found at the Canadian Heritage website here.

Some Canadian Highlights of the Reign

1953 The Royal Style and Titles Act is passed by Parliament, making Elizabeth II officially Queen of Canada.
1957 The Queen opens her Parliament in Ottawa.
1959 The Queen of Canada travels to the United States, where she opens the St Lawrence Seaway together with President Eisenhower during a 45-day tour of all 12 provinces and territories.
1964 The Queen attends events in Charlottetown and Québec City to mark the centenary of the conferences leading to Confederation in 1867.
1967 The Queen celebrates Canada’s centenary by visiting Ottawa and Expo 67, the World’s Fair, held in Montréal.
1970 The Queen begins her custom of visiting provinces marking their centenary within Confederation: Manitoba in 1970 (together with the centenary of the Northwest Territories); British Columbia in 1971; Prince Edward Island in 1973 (together with the 300th anniversary of the founding of Kingston, Ontario, and the centennial celebrations of the RCMP); Saskatchewan and Alberta in 2005.
1973 Receiving guests while in residence at Rideau Hall, The Queen presides at the annual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Ottawa.
1976 The Queen declares open the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal; with Prince Philip and her children, she supports Princess Anne as she competes in Olympic equestrian events at Bromont, Québec.
1977 Canada’s monarch celebrates her Silver Jubilee by opening Parliament and visiting the National Capital Region.
1978 The Queen declares open the 11th Commonwealth Games in Edmonton in the course of a 12-day homecoming.
1982 The Queen proclaims the patriated Constitution of Canada in a ceremony held on Parliament Hill.
1983 While visiting the United States, The Queen informs President Reagan that I am going home to Canada tomorrow, subsequently making a four-day homecoming to British Columbia.
1984 Canada’s Sovereign celebrates the bicentenaries of the founding of New Brunswick and Ontario in the course of a 13-day homecoming.
1987 During a 16-day homecoming, The Queen presides over the annual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Victoria.
1992 The Queen celebrates the 125th Anniversary of Confederation by presiding at Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill.
1994 As Canada’s monarch, The Queen presides at Canadian D-Day commemorations in France. During a 10-day homecoming, she declares open the 15th Commonwealth Games in Victoria. Accompanied by her Canadian prime minister, she dedicates the Canada Memorial, honouring the fallen of both World Wars, at Green Park, London.
1997 In the course of a 10-day homecoming, The Queen attends the 500th anniversary landing re-enactment of the Matthew, at Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador.
2002 The Queen celebrates the Golden Jubilee with a homecoming to the five regions of Canada.
2004 As Queen of Canada, the Sovereign attends the Canadian commemoration service marking the 60th anniversary of D-Day, at Juno Beach, Courseulles-sur-Mer, France.
2007 Visiting France as Canada’s Sovereign, The Queen re-dedicates the Vimy Memorial.
2010 Unprecedented numbers of Canadians hail their Queen as she presides for the fifth time at Canada Day ceremonies on Parliament Hill during a 10-day homecoming.

The Queen’s Canadian Military Appointments

Reflecting her role as Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, The Queen holds the following honorary appointments as Colonel-in-Chief, except where noted:

  • The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise’s)
  • The Calgary Highlanders
  • The Canadian Grenadier Guards
  • The Canadian Armed Forces’ Legal Branch
  • The Canadian Military Engineers
  • The 48th Highlanders of Canada
  • The Governor General’s Foot Guards
  • The Governor General’s Horse Guards
  • The King’s Own Calgary Regiment
  • Le Régiment de la Chaudière
  • The Rocky Mountain Rangers
  • The Royal New Brunswick Regiment
  • The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (as Captain General)
  • The Royal 22e Régiment (The Van Doos)