Monday, July 13, 2009

We Are, In Fact, Amused

Well, this has been quite the royal week for us!

On Saturday, Victoria received the incredibly rare honour of a personal visit from the Emperor and Empress of Japan (and I along with many hundreds of others got a chance to greet them).

On Sunday, we learned to our great joy that members of the Royal Family will be visiting Canada in the near future. Prince Charles and Camilla will be touring parts of the country in November (including a visit in BC but we don’t yet know where ... he hasn’t been in Victoria since shortly after his marriage to Diana I’m told ...), and the Queen of Canada* herself, Queen Elizabeth II, will be coming to the country in mid-2010 (not for the Olympics, which will be over by then). Again, we don’t know if she will be coming here, but we certainly hope so.

*Yes, she’s queen of both Canada and England. And 14 other countries.

Prince Edward was here for a private visit a month or so ago (met with members of the military and VIPs only), but the Queen has not been in Canada since 2005.

Finally, we have learned today that the Queen has named former Prime Minister Jean Chr├ętien to the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can possibly be bestowed upon a Canadian (or just about anyone). Created by King Edward VII in 1902, the Order can only have 24 members, and opening only occur when someone dies. Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher are current members; Florence Nightingale, T.S. Eliot, Mother Theresa and Winston Churchill are former members.

Yeah, it’s a tough club to get into!

As Chr├ętien is, like most bold public figures, somewhat controversial here, we should note that we arrived in Canada long after his time and know little about him ourselves other than he is loved and hated by different groups. He appears to have been given the honour based primarily on his deep personal friendship with the Queen, which extended far beyond the usual political relationship the Queen has with most Prime Ministers (though he is also widely credited with having done a lot for Canada).

One of the many things I really, really enjoy about being in Canada is once again being a member of the Commonwealth. I am an unabashed fan of Queen Elizabeth II (though not of all royals, it must be said) and am very excited at the prospect of seeing members of the Royal Family make a visit here.


Anonymous said...

Like you, I too am a fan of the Queen. However, (he says with a twinkle in his eye....) my Queen spells her name with a "zed", not an "s".


ps Chretien, in my opinion, was a great PM.

pps Hello from Salt Spring.

Helena said...

Hi Heather, Hi Chas,

This is just an internal post and to let you know that I think of you all the time.

So happy to hear that you're becoming Canadianized (such a word?); Chas what is your status with immigration, you said you were an immigrant, but I didn't know if that meant your paperwork had gone through. Just wanted to let you know that I look forward to each and every post; the fireworks movie was AWESOME.

Love, Helena Mom

chas_m said...


(aside to our Salt Spring pal: "doh!! I'll fix that ..."