Queen Elizabeth II visits Canada with Prince Philip for an early celebration of her 2012 diamond jubilee, which marks her 60 years on Britain's throne. She did the same thing for her golden jubilee in 2002, and she has made one visit in between -- in 2005. Protests against the monarchy are likely, but, because of the age and frailty of the couple -- she will be 84 and he 89 -- they should be spared the kind of reception anti-monarchists recently gave Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.
The royal visit will include stops in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Manitoba, and in Ottawa on Jul 1 for Canada Day festivities. Riot police were called in as protesters pelted soldiers with eggs and chanted anti-monarchy slogans during the visit of Prince Charles and his wife to Montreal in Nov 2009. The arrival of the couple at a Black Watch barracks was delayed by 40 minutes as riot police cleared the streets, with protesters chanting "Majesty go home." Once inside the Black Watch hall, the prince presented new colours to the regiment, of which he is colonel-in-chief. Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a Commonwealth Realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. The prime minister is the head of government. The Governor General is the representative of the Queen and acts in her name on the advice of Parliament. By definition, a republic is a government without a monarch as head of state. Citizens for a Canadian Republic, one of the anti-monarchist organizations, want the Consitution amended to allow for a democratically chosen Canadian citizen to serve as head of state. They argue that the act of attaining full-fledged status as a democratic republic within the Commonwealth would be the completion of a process of independence that began over a century ago. They regard the monarchy as an outmoded and regressive institution that has no real relevance to most Canadians. Their counterparts, who include the Monarchist League of Canada, promote the benefits to Canada of the monarchy. The League recently ran the results of a study of the cost to Canada of the monarchy. The League calculated that the monarchy costs Can. $50,146,896 or $1.53 per Canadian. (Written Mar 2010)
Date written/update: 2010-07-28