New Canadian Encyclopedia Article: Catherine (HRH The Duchess of Cambridge)

The Duchess of Cambridge celebrates Canada Day in Ottawa, July 1, 2011

The Duchess of Cambridge celebrates Canada Day in Ottawa, July 1, 2011

My latest Canadian Encyclopedia article is a profile of The Duchess of Cambridge née Catherine “Kate” Middleton. I discuss how Kate has become famous worldwide for her philanthropy and fashion since her marriage to Prince William, and is closely associated with the modernization of the monarchy. In 2011, she toured Canada with William.

The Middleton family has a connection to Canada. Kate’s paternal grandfather, Peter Middleton, served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, including two years of training at No. 37 Service Flying Training School in Calgary, Alberta (now part of the Calgary International Airport).

Click here to read my article on The Duchess of Cambridge in the Canadian Encyclopedia

Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Now Available in the USA and UK

My book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights, is now available for purchase from bookstores in the United States and United Kingdom!

Click here to order Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights from Amazon.com

Click here to order Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights from Amazon.co.uk

Hello! Canada Interview: The Life of a Princess

The newborn Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (photo credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

The newborn Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (photo credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

I talked to Hello! Canada about the lives of Princesses past and present for the magazine’s special edition on the birth of Princess Charlotte.

Click here to read  The Life of a Princess in Hello! Canada

Upcoming Radio Interview on the Monarchy: CBC World at Six on May 18, 2015

In honour of Victoria Day, CBC World at Six will be presenting a special about what the monarchy means to Canadians today. I will be discussing how royal tours and events have been brought to the attention of a new generation through social media as well as the delicate balance between maintaining the “royal mystique” and responding to the public’s interest in life behind palace doors. I will also talk about how William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are transforming the way the royal family is perceived by the public.

Following broadcast at 6pm on May 18, the monarchy episode of CBC World at 6 will be available for download as a podcast from CBC radio.

New Canadian Encyclopedia Article: Victoria Day

Victoria Day celebrations outside Government House in Toronto in 1854

Victoria Day celebrations outside Government House in Toronto in 1854

This Monday, Canadians celebrate Victoria Day, which is both Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday in Canada and a holiday in honour of Queen Victoria as a “Mother of Confederation.” My article in the Canadian Encyclopedia discusses the history and significance of Victoria Day, which has been celebrated in Canada since 1845.

Click here to read my article on Victoria Day in the Canadian Encyclopedia

New Canadian Encyclopedia Article: Fathers of Confederation: John William Ritchie

John William Ritchie

John William Ritchie

John William Ritchie of Nova Scotia is one of the least known Fathers of Canadian Confederation. Ritchie was a law clerk for the Legislative Council of Nova Scotia. While he did not attend the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864, he replaced Robert Barry Dickey as a delegate to the London Conference in 1866, which earned him recognition as a Father of Confederation. Ritchie’s support for Confederation was rewarded with a Senate seat, which he held until 1870, when he became a justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Ritchie’s daughter, Eliza, became the first Canadian woman to earn a PhD and teach in a university.

Click here for my article on John William Ritchie in the Canadian Encyclopedia.

New Canadian Encyclopedia article: Anne Elizabeth Haviland

The Lady Slipper, which became the official flower of the province of Prince Edward Island in 1947

The Lady Slipper, which became the official flower of the province of Prince Edward Island in 1947

My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia discusses Anne Elizabeth (Grubbe) Haviland (1818-1902) who assembled Prince Edward Island’s earliest known collection of botanical specimens. Her collection is now part of the herbarium at Kew Botanical Gardens, London. Haviland was also one of the most prominent women in nineteenth century Prince Edward Island society. Her husband Thomas Heath Haviland (the subject of one of my previous Canadian Encyclopedia articles) was one of the Fathers of Canadian Confederation and he became the province’s Lieutenant Governor in 1879.

Click here to read my article on Anne Elizabeth Haviland in the Canadian Encyclopedia

Canada’s History Magazine Interview: The Great Charter


I was interviewed by Christopher Moore at Canada’s History Magazine about King John,  Magna Carta and my new book Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights. I explained how King John’s failings as a monarch from his military defeats to his arbitrary rule brought together a broad coalition of rebel barons, clergymen and the rulers of Wales and Scotland in support of a Charter that placed limits on the monarch’s power. The interview is part of a longer article about the forthcoming Magna Carta Canada 2015 touring exhibition, which will bring Magna Carta and its Companion document, the Charter of the Forest to Canada for the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.  I also contributed the “Magna Carta by the Numbers” section of this article.

Click here to read: “The Great Charter: Why a thirteenth-century piece of parchment endorsed by an English king who was under threat of death has meaning for Canadians today.” in Canada’s History Magazine

My article “Magna Carta: From Medieval England to Canada Today” at 49th Shelf

My new book Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights is featured on the 49th shelf, a website devoted to Canadian books and authors. In my article at 49th Shelf, I discuss the Magna Carta of 1215, which was the first example of a King of England accepting limits on his powers imposed by his subjects. I also explain how the significance of this document has evolved over the past eight hundred years. Magna Carta has had a profound impact on Canadian history, politics and law. For the Fathers of Confederation, the constitutional and legal traditions informed by Magna Carta were essential to the creation of the new Dominion of Canada. The limits imposed on King John’s rule were essential to the development of parliament in the mid-thirteenth century and then the constitutional monarchy enshrined by the English Bill of Rights in 1689, which became Canada’s system of government.

Click here to read Magna Carta: From Medieval England to Canada Today at 49th Shelf

 

Interview: What does ‘Occupation: Princess’ mean? Here’s what the royals actually do

The Duchess of Cambridge celebrates Canada Day in Ottawa, July 1, 2011

The Duchess of Cambridge celebrates Canada Day in Ottawa, July 1, 2011

My latest interview for Yahoo Shine Canada discusses the wide range of official duties performed by royalty today. Since the reign of King George III, philanthropy has been a key role for royalty, especially princesses. Queen Victoria’s five daughters all assumed charitable patronages, many of which were devoted to the health and education of women and girls. Today, representing Queen Elizabeth II at official engagements is also an important role for members of the royal family. The Queen and Prince Philip have reduced their overseas travel in recent years and their children and grandchildren often represent them outside the United Kingdom.

Click here to read “What does ‘Occupation: Princess’ mean? Here’s what the royals actually do” at Yahoo Shine Canada