To the Cree people Charles is Kisikawpisim Kamiyowahpahmikoot

(The sun watches over him in a good way)


Our Queen Consort

(whose great-great-great grandfather, a son of Hamilton, ON, was Prime Minister of the Province of Canada)

“Every time I come to Canada … a little more of Canada seeps into my bloodstream – and from there straight to my heart.” NL, 1990“Canada is a celebrated champion of human rights, peacekeeping and diversity … with, if I may say so, Canada’s commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples demonstrating a remarkable determination to forge an ever better society.” Parliament Hill, Canada150, 2017

“As I get older, it is particularly heartwarming to see my children coming to know and love this great country, just as the Queen and my late father have, and I and my wife in turn.” St John’s, NL, 2022

“My wife and I were most concerned to hear of the appalling devastation caused by storm Fiona and particularly wanted to send our profound sympathy to the people of Atlantic Canada whose lives, livelihoods and properties have been so badly affected by this disaster. We have fond memories of our recent visit to your beautiful region and know that your resilience and sense of community will help you through these unbelievably difficult times. We would also like to express our deep appreciation to the first responders, the military and to community members who are doing so much to support others during this extremely challenging period. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with all of you as you work to recover and rebuild.” The first such message in our King’s reign was sent to the people of Atlantic Canada, September 28, 2022


An overview of Canadians’ long relationship with our new Monarch

The Prince of Wales’ multi-focussed interests, ranging from a concern for the built environment to sustainable farming practices to rainforest preservation, and from humane architecture to his serving as a principal interlocutor between Islam and the West, and—above all—to his work among youth and enterprise through the Prince’s Trust—have for decades found increasing resonance amongst Canadians, and over recent years, the Trust was extended to Canada. Throughout the last 52 years, as well as his holding many honorary appointments in the Canadian Forces, the personal presence in Canada of the Heir to Canada’s throne, now our King, has long been a familiar sight.

As a young man, Charles dove under the Arctic ice cap, emerging with an inflated suit to make him somewhat resemble the Michelin Man of the tire manufacturer’s advertising fame! However amusing the photograph, the dive was a deliberate and carefully staged event by the Trudeau government. No better image could have informed the world in July, 1970 of Canada’s assertion to sovereignty over its northern lands and water passages, a role then being tested by both the United States and the Soviet Union.

Themed homecomings, linking the Prince’s interests to Canadian values and concerns, have been a regular part of Charles’ diary, whereby he came to know Canada, and Canadians gained impressions of the then Prince of Wales in person rather than through the often-distorted media stories.

Given that the Royal Family, like any family, has gone through its ups and downs, Canadians also have come to know Charles through our sharing in the good and bad times of his life. We hailed his bride, Diana, Princess of Wales, during the couple’s triumphant Maritime tour in 1983, while in 1986 no less adulation accompanied a British Columbia tour culminating in their visiting Expo 86 in Vancouver. A warm welcome also came to them throughout an Ontario tour in 1991. It was on this occasion that Charles and Diana were memorably reunited with their sons, William and Harry, aboard HMY Britannia, which was docked in Toronto Harbour.

In common with a world perhaps too easily forgetful of the deep unhappiness marriage breakdown inevitably brings to our own family and friends, Canadians eagerly consumed details of subsequent unhappiness in Charles and Diana’s lives, and made judgments based on, at best, incomplete knowledge of all the circumstances involved. This emotional reaction to the very public breakdown of the Prince and Princess’ relationship was rekindled in the genuine grief coupled with over-wrought emotions that accompanied Diana’s tragic death in 1997.

However, like our counterparts throughout the Commonwealth, as time passed many Canadians gradually came to judge Charles less as a figure in a ghastly soap opera and more as whole man, with many talents along with – as all of us – flaws. The burgeoning of support for his various causes, and his evidently close relationship with his sons, led most to wish for him the same happiness so many of us have found in second marriages, in this case a union approved by The Queen and welcomed by William and Harry. This more sympathetic view was apparent by the time of Charles’ marriage to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005 – and in the warm, welcome given the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall on their first Canadian homecoming as a couple in the fall of 2009.

The newlywed couple’s first homecoming also reminded Canadians of Camilla’s direct ancestral links to Canada, through a former Prime Minister of the Province of Canada, Sir Allan MacNab, a son of Hamilton, Ontario (and builder of Dundurn Castle) who was the Duchess’ great-great-great grandfather.

It was followed by even more successful visits in 2012, 2014 and for Canada 150 Celebrations on Parliament Hill in 2017 – and a brief Jubilee tour last May to St John’s. Ottawa and the Northwest Territories.


Common sense answers to often-asked questions!

We should like to stress above all that whatever the changes The King has ordered for this event, Charles remains by nature and past practice a deeply-traditional person – as was our Late Queen.  At the same time, both Monarchs recognized the need to move ever so gently to reflect changing times. To cite but one example, some fretted that the end of the world was nigh when early in her Reign The Queen abolished the ceremony of debutantes wearing ostrich feathers who were “presented” at Court, thereby to “come out” in society!  We know that it is only in that light, and the danger that too much ossified tradition can be unhelpful to any institution, that Charles has determined some adjustments, some of which doubtless will become the new normal if one can think of a Coronation in such a way, and some not.

Charles became our King at the moment of The Queen’s death. Obviously, that was the time to mourn Elizabeth II’s decease and honour her dedicated service. The Coronation is the formal and joyous affirmation of  the new Reign. It combines a solemn ceremony in the Abbey Church, a place redolent of history, the site of every previous coronation, where William the Conqueror was crowned on Christmas Day, 1066!

At its heart, the ritual is simple. The people acclaim a new Sovereign; he is blessed with holy oil and invested with ancient symbols of that sovereignty (such as a ring, the orb and sceptres) culminating with the placing on his head of the Crown, chief symbol of considerable weight, physically and morally. The Queen Consort is also crowned to fulfill her supportive role. They then receive the Holy Communion – many Christians’ way of gaining strength through the sacrifice it memorializes. The King then leaves the Abbey to receive acclamation of the secular world which welcomes him with a gorgeous procession, balcony appearances and several more days of concerts, shared community lunches, fireworks and purposeful service to others.

The Coronation is especially important to the Realms, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. For its pageantry and ceremony mark a conscious and public commitment to our form of governance, by expressing loyalty to The King who in his person receives our Allegiance.

One must remember that the military strength of 1953 still reflected not only World War II but the Korean War, which ended shortly after the Coronation. It was also an age of much greater deference to tradition, of no electronic media and instant (sometimes mis)-communication of our present age, and of the “British Empire” still being very much a part of the consciousness of the times – the Commonwealth as we know it not having sprung into life as a force for shared peaceful cooperation.  What is today a strength, and the chief reason for Canada’s continuing allegiance to the Crown as a Canadian institution was in 1953 more mystic, more universally accepted and definitely “British.”

The King expressed his desire for a scaled-down Coronation. What that adjective means is of course subject to interpretation.  We have some sympathy for those who might say such an event is a time to pull out all the stops; one can also understand the sentiments of those who think unemployment, energy crises, homelessness and similar issues would argue for a minimal celebration. Truth is, steering a moderate course is usually a prudent thing albeit it be criticized by both ends of the opinion spectrum.  What is great, and grand, and wonderful is that institution not simply survives but thrives – and in the end, ceremonies do constitute memorable and cohesive occasions which bind us – but in the end folk will judge the Reign by the degree that Charles, in his own distinct way, emulates the selfless service of his mother.

As for the Coronation coach, the shorter parade route (which many will choose to watch in the comfort of their homes) to the Abbey is made in the State Coach so that The King and Queen arrive for what will be but the beginning of a very long day in relative comfort. And then we will enjoy the splendid Golden Coach bringing them back to the Palace via a longer route, with a far larger retinue of pomp and circumstance accompanying them than took them to the Abbey – the hope being that its two occupants will be so borne on a tidal wave of cheering and love that they will little notice the “challenging” and rather bumpy experience of the ride itself, the Coach sprung as it is on leather straps!

Some muttering about today’s safety regulations not permitting the erection of stands in the Abbey as happened in 1953 to allow the much greater attendance might easily have been overcome. That aside, however, it is important to remember that billions will be able to watch the ceremony (with a far closer view of the proceedings than many inside the Abbey!) as opposed to the very limited coverage of TV in 1953 where RCAF aircraft shuttled film canisters across the Atlantic so that eager Canadians could crowd around tiny television screens!

Our King’s decision was in line with his desire for a somewhat scaled-down ceremony. It has been suggested that in a future Coronation the first 2000 or so according would be chosen based on the order of precedence and needs of the Commonwealth Realms as in the present case – but then allowing perhaps the same number of guests to be chosen by public lottery in the Realms according to their populations, with an allocation for other Commonwealth countries. People think nothing of paying $10 for their distant chance of winning the bi-weekly lotteries in Canada.  Imagine the excitement this would engender!  The proceeds of the ticket sales would cover their expenses and leave a hefty amount for charities. Perhaps William might want to consider such a plan – may it be many years hence – as a further iteration of  “a people’s coronation.”

The Coronation takes place in an historic venue within the overall traditions, increasingly flexible, of the state church into which Charles was born. While there will certainly be more non-Anglican/Christian elements in the service than was true of 1953, the essentials will remain Anglican. Scots will welcome the King & Queen shortly after to a service reflective of their state religion and traditions in Edinburgh.

We all attend weddings, funerals, perhaps baptisms and many enjoy singing Christmas carols. It is not for us to judge the mixed motivations involved:  some do so to join in prayer within the rites and beliefs of a denomination, some for social reasons; some for both.  We should look at the Coronation Service in much the same way. Some will enjoy the pageantry and people-watching; some will be deep in prayer; and one supposes most will occupy a middle ground comfortable to them which is no one else’s business!  We are certain that all who are “there” via TV are loyal Canadians wishing Charles and Camilla well, and hoping that they find strength through the faith which they take very seriously.  Thus we can all “care” about the proceedings.   And a fine thing would be for we and all who view it with us, wherever that may be, to stand and sing with pride the Royal Anthem at the end of the ceremony, so uniting “with heart and voice” with our Commonwealth friends around the world!

One of the oldest continual aspects of kingship, dating back in the history of many countries, involves the assent to the succession given by a free people. This from an age wherein there was no means to identify the king other than seeing him in person, or possibly via a sketch or painting. It is a tradition carried on today to remind Charles, and the world, that this and any form of governance in democratic societies ultimately rests with the people – whose values and aspirations are represented by a non-partisan monarch who is determined to earn their “homage and service.”

The Patriarch of Jerusalem (Orthodox) and the Archbishop in Jerusalem (Anglican) recently blessed oils to be used at the Coronation.  An interesting explanation of the gathering of the oils from holy places on the Mount of Olives and the essential oils used to perfume may be referenced at

Over the centuries, the imposition of Oil on the Monarch’s body was regarded such a sacred rite that the “view” was obscured by Garter Knights holding a canopy over the King – as indeed likely will be the case this May. It was considered that the anointing that “made” the man a King, rather than what most people today would consider the highlight of the ceremony, the crowning itself.

It is also probable – as is true of many churches which lives-stream services these days – that the receiving of the Sacrament (the consecrated bread and wine) is considered a most private act, and so The King and Queen will probably be able to share with each other this intimate encounter with God during a rare moment without the gaze of cameras. Who would begrudge them it?

Quite apart from many of the traditional robes being trimmed in ermine, raising in some quarters concerns that probably did not exist previously, this decision seems to reflect The King’s wish for a slightly more contemporary note to the Coronation.  Whether the lack of this particular part of the Coronation’s pageantry will prove popular or permanent remains to be seen.

While the Rite has not been released at time of writing, it is understood that The Queen will be anointed, receive regalia and be crowned (with Queen Mary’s Crown) and blessed to confirm her role as Queen Consort (though the formal “Consort” qualifier is rightly disappearing from everyday use) – who shares the burdens of office with her beloved husband, but exercises none of the Prerogative powers and duties of the King, a King Regnant. Though obviously of different gender and personality, Camilla will play a role similar to the tremendously important one taken on by the Duke of Edinburgh throughout the last Reign; we admire her, and rejoice at her full acceptance as a devoted wife and hard-working Royal.

The British taxpayer will pay the bill up front – with the largest increase (other than inflation) compared to 1953 being security in an age of a new and very real threat environment, and the presence in one place of many crowned heads and national leaders from around the world. On the other hand, there will be considerable income derived from the sale of television rights, the Royal Collections’ sales of souvenirs – and of course a huge boost to the economy in respect of transportation, hotels, restaurants – you name it.

Canadians will pay only the expense of transport, housing and food for the Governor General, the Prime Minister and whoever else may comprise the rest of Mr. Trudeau’s choices for the Canadian delegation. The costs will be fully disclosed.  At that point, naturally, republicans will grouse over “tremendous expense. ” The number of passengers on the government plane make little difference: any private flying is costly and necessary in this case. Hotels and meals don’t come cheap in London; but we doubt anyone would expect our representatives to stay in B&Bs and queue to buy a sandwich at Pret a Manger. Canada is a Realm. 6 coronations since 1867 work out to one every 28 years or so. We can handle it.

Think? nothing in particular. Proof of a free society under the Crown. They will have their brief moment in the media sun. In Russia or Iran they’d be confronted with billy clubs and disappear into prison for decades, or worse. In Britain’s polity, they will likely cooperate with police to ensure a safe place to demonstrate that doesn’t infringe on the security arrangements, block emergency traffic lanes and prevent viewing by the crowds gathered to celebrate.  Of course we utterly disagree with their views, and think it perhaps “bad manners” to impinge on Charles & Camilla and the world’s big day – but better a civilized protest than an unruly fracas!

People who make their beds can lie in them.

What do you say about polls released in Britain and Canada relating to the popularity of the Monarchy and/or The King?

Nothing much.  If we worried about the polls then the League might never have been founded as evidently the monarchy was a lost cause in 1970, or it could have disbanded a few decades later when polls showed dramatic support. Positive polls about the Crown rise dramatically when a popular royal wedding occurs; they plummet when a member of the royal family runs into trouble. At best, polls are a snapshot of a moment – highly variable in an age of instant “news” via the Internet. At worst, they reflect the biases of the questioner and the questions.

Prime Minister Trudeau had it right when he observed last year “When I hear from Canadians about the things they’re preoccupied about, and the things they want their governments to work on, it’s not about constitutional change.”  A heavy burden lies on our government to make sure our King makes frequent homecomings to Canada as did his late Mother to entrench respect and affection for him, and on our republican friends to demonstrate substantive advantages that would flow from the wrenching debate leading to changing the only form of government we have known which, whatever its flaws and our own, has led us to a prosperous and free society – the envy of much of the world.