Royal Visits - or Homecomings, as we Monarchists like to call them - are always a reason for celebration. They are a chance for Canadians to again reacquaint themselves with their Sovereign and the monarchy. So, while the Crown is often left to function in the background away from the public eye much of the time, during the days when The Queen is here Canadians' focus is on HER and this wonderful system of government we call constitutional monarchy.
Of course, The Queen's visit will follow on the tails of the visit of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. That's two Royal Homecomings in less than a year apart. Great time to be a Canadian monarchist!
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Monday, The Queen announced the appointment of former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to the Order of Merit. Mr. Chrétien served as Minister of Justice in the early 80s and, as such, was a key player in the negotiations leading to Canada's new, repatriated constitution. Eventually, Mr. Chrétien served three "terms" as prime minister - and was Canada's head of government during The Queen's hugely successful Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002.
Love him or hate him, one thing that I always admired about Mr. Chrétien was his insistence that the monarchy was not an issue in Canada and his refusal to open a debate on the subject.
Congratulations, Mr. Chrétien.
Until next time,