My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia is about Monarchism in Canadian history, politics and culture. I discuss the role of monarchism in Canada’s Confederation, monarchist themes in Canadian literature, monarchist societies active in modern day Canada and critiques of monarchism. I also compare attitudes toward the monarchy in Canada with monarchism in other Commonwealth realms.
This year, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in British and modern Canadian history, surpassing the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria (1837-1901) My most recent article in the Canadian Encyclopedia discusses Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the second to be celebrated after that of Queen Victoria in 1897. I discuss the preparations for the celebrations, the Diamond Jubilee Medals in Canada, the Thames Diamond Jubilee river pageant and Commonwealth tours by members of the royal family including the Canadian tour by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in 2012.
My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia is a profile of a little known Mother of Confederation. Elizabeth Lee (Owen) Macdonald was born into one of Prince Edward Island’s elite families and married Andrew Archibald Macdonald, a Father of Confederation. She assumed leadership positions in both Island society and women’s organizations within the Church of England. In later life, she wrote a nine-part series of articles on local history titled “Charlottetown Fifty Years Ago” for Prince Edward Island Magazine.
My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia is about Mercy Anne Coles, a diarist and one of the key witnesses to the negotiations that preceded Canada’s Confederation in 1867. Mercy Coles was one of the daughters of George Coles, the first premier of Prince Edward Island. She attended the Charlottetown and Québec Conferences with her parents. Her diary, Reminiscences of Canada in 1864, is one of the most detailed sources about the events that preceded Confederation. The diary includes descriptions of the Fathers of Confederation and their personalities and brings light to the social politics of mid-19th-century Canada.
My latest article in the Canadian Encyclopedia is about Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Queen Victoria (who reigned from 1837–1901) was the first monarch to celebrate 60 years on the throne. Celebrations to honour the grand occasion — the first Diamond Jubilee — showcased the Queen’s role as “mother” of the British Empire and its Dominions, including Canada. Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier led the Canadian delegation to the London ceremonies, while communities across Canada held their own civic celebrations in honour of the Queen.
My most recent article in the Canadian Encyclopedia is about Queen Victoria and her role in Canadian history as a “Mother of Confederation.” Queen Victoria succeeded to the throne at age 18, following the death of her uncle, William IV, in 1837. She became an ardent imperialist and took an intense interest in her colonial subjects and her role as head of a vast British empire where “the sun never set.” Queen Victoria favoured Confederation and acted as a unifying influence for Canada’s provinces. While the Queen never visited Canada, five of her nine children spent time in Canada, where her name has been given to numerous public buildings, streets, communities and physical features. Queen Victoria also exerted a profound cultural influence, popularizing white wedding dresses, family Christmases and the use of anesthesia during childbirth.
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).
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.
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.
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.