In spite of the recognition of the seriously damaging effects of colonization, First Nations recognize that their treaties were signed with the Crown. They remind us that there can be no discussion of the role of the Monarchy in Canada without their input.
At the Accession Ceremony at Rideau Hall, I was so aware of how grateful we are that our first Indigenous Governor General, Mary Simon, with her gravitas and dignity, is shepherding us through these historic times. Inuit have always seen themselves as First Canadians and Canadians First. For many years, I have felt very strongly that it would be truly therapeutic on the journey of reconciliation to have an Indigenous person leading us in ceremony.
As a child the Queen played a huge role in our family. The bedroom I shared with my sister had two large portraits of Charles and Anne.
My mother was her greatest fan. She dressed like the Queen, carried purses like the Queen, and as a florist made the nosegays that were presented to the Queen at the Queen’s Plate.
At my mother’s 75th birthday, one of the designers from our flower shop dressed as the Queen to present a nosegay to my mother! It was so wonderful. I secretly went with him to my mother’s closet to pick an outfit and a purse. He then went down to Church and Wellesley to buy a matching pair of pumps. The moment when ‘The Queen’ presented the nosegay to my mother was truly memorable. It made us all so happy to see my mother so celebrated by ‘The Queen’.
My husband Peter has a much closer connection to the Queen. His father was a Canadian spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain – shot down in the English Channel. He organized the Coronation of Elizabeth II on behalf of the RAF and then became an Aide de Camp to the Queen.
I love these pictures of the Queen and the Coronation Souvenir Programme that we celebrate chez nous.