We like to think of ourselves as her favourite commonwealth country and she has given us reason to. Canada is the country most visited by the Queen during her reign.
What else should you know about Queen Elizabeth II?
The British monarchy and our place in the commonwealth play an important role in our Canadian identity. For most Canadians, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch and head of state we remember. This is not surprising, considering that in September 2015, she became the longest-reigning monarch in Britain and the Commonwealth, passing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years and 216 days.
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Here are ten interesting facts about Canada’s longest reigning monarch:
1. Queen Elizabeth II has visited Canada 23 times and her Royal Tours have included stops in all of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories.
2. While in Canada, The Queen uses her Personal Canadian Flag, which bears the arms of Canada with The Queen’s own initial “E” in the centre. This flag is flown day and night at any residence in which she is staying.
3. After visiting Canada for the first time in 1951, Princess Elizabeth famously said: “I am sure that nowhere under the sun could one find a land more full of hope, of happiness and of fine, loyal, generous-hearted people.”
4. Notable Canadians present at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on June 2, 1953 include:
5. As a wedding gift, members of the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League gave Queen Elizabeth II a gold maple leaf brooch set with diamonds.
6. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police gave The Queen several Burmese horses which Her Majesty rode from 1969-1986. Canada has also given Her Majesty two black beavers, which have been placed in the care of the London Zoo.
7. The Queen has sent more than 100,000 telegrams to centenarians in the UK and the Commonwealth during her reign.
8.Sir John Irving Bell received the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2015. The famous Canadian immunologist and geneticist was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his service to the fields of medicine and academia.
9. All naval vessels of the Royal Canadian Navy are named with the prefix HMCS (which stands for Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship).
10. Queen Elizabeth II is the last surviving head of state who actively served during World War II. Her Majesty joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Services where she trained as a driver and mechanic, drove a military truck and rose to the rank of Junior Commander. Her Majesty served along with approximately 25,000 Canadian women who enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces during WWII.
Do you have any memories or stories of Queen Elizabeth II? Share them with us in the comments below!