It is Canada’s 150th birthday, and the Queen of Canada is celebrating the special occasion with a new Canada-themed portrait.
Sitting on an ornate gold-coloured chair and wearing a pale gold dress, Her Majesty sported a platinum Canadian maple-leaf brooch on her left shoulder, a piece of jewellery she inherited from her mother Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The portrait was taken by Toronto-based photographer Ian Leslie Macdonald.
The brooch was originally given as a gift to the Queen Mother by King George VI on their first tour across the Atlantic in 1939. The Queen- then Princess- borrowed it for her first visit to the Commonwealth country in 1951. The tradition continued when she lent the brooch to the Duchess of Cornwall on her first trip in 2009 and to the Duchess of Cambridge to mark her first official visit in 2011.
Canada has maintained links with the British crown since the establishment of the Confederation of Canada in 1867 when the British North America Act laid the foundations for a Canadian Parliament and a justice system.
In 1982, the Canada Act effectively ended British control and transferred all powers to make constitutional changes to the Canadian government. The monarchy, however, was retained.
The Queen, who is represented by the Governor General of Canada, is a popular figure in the country. Over her 65 years as a monarch, she has made 24 visits and received a warm welcome from Canadians on every occasion. She has once referred to Canada as a ‘second home.’
On a visit to celebrate the 143rd Canada Day in 2010, Her Majesty said, ‘’I have watched with enormous admiration how Canada has grown and matured while remaining true to its history, its distinctive character and its values.
‘’This nation has dedicated itself to being a caring home for its own, a sanctuary for others and an example to the world.”
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are representing the Queen in this year’s celebrations.