I discussed Queen Victoria’s legacy in Canada with Janet Davison at CBC News. While Queen Victoria never visited Canada in person, all four of her sons and her daughter Princess Louise spent time in Canada and set precedents for future royal tours. Queen Victoria also exerted political and cultural influence over the development of 19th century Canada and her birthday remains a Canadian holiday to the present day.
In October-November, 2019, I will be teaching a new course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies – The Nordic Nations: From Vikings to Modernity. The course will take place on Wednesday afternoons from 2-4pm. Click here for more information and to register!
ABOUT THIS COURSE
The Nordic nations – Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway – are consistently among the top 15 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index. Their societies and culture are admired around the world. But prior to this success is a long, turbulent history. Learn about the history of the Nordic nations, including Vikings, warrior monarchs, the Second World War and immigration to North America. We’ll explore how the countries of northern Europe emerged from poverty and political upheaval to become some of the most successful countries of the 21st century.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
- Explore the cultural influence of the Nordic countries around the world.
- Learn about the unique histories of the Nordic nations.
- Discuss how successful societies can emerge from a difficult past.
My latest article in The Canadian Encyclopedia is about Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey, Governor General of Canada from 1904 to 1911 (and the grandson of the British Prime Minister Earl Grey who reputedly received tea flavoured with oil of bergamot as a diplomatic gift, popularizing “Earl Grey” tea). As Governor General of Canada, the 4th Earl Grey established awards that honour Canadian arts, drama and sports. The Grey Cup is still presented to the winning team of the Canadian Football League championship.
Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
“What stands out to me about the investiture is how it resembled a medieval ceremony,” said Toronto-based royal historian and author Carolyn Harris. “But in fact, the investiture ceremony for the Prince of Wales was a 20th century invention.”
It was considerably more elaborate than previous investitures, and the first such ceremony to be broadcast via the increasingly popular medium of television.
“Half a century ago, Queen Elizabeth II invested her son Charles as the Prince of Wales in an elaborate ceremony at Caernarfon Castle. But the ceremony was not without controversy, taking place amid the rapid social change of the 1960s and protest from a growing Welsh nationalist movement… “
Here is the introduction: “US President Donald Trump is expected to make an official state visit to the UK in June 2019, which will include a state banquet and ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. But who was the first American leader to make a state visit to Britain? Which two monarchs wrestled one another during a state visit? And how has Queen Elizabeth II welcomed world leaders in the past? Dr Carolyn Harris takes a closer look at the pomp and history of the state visit to Britain, and those of British monarchs abroad… “
Queen Victoria was born 200 years ago today on May 24, 1819. Her sixty-three year reign had a profound impact on the history of the monarchy and her legacy endures to the present day. I discussed Queen Victoria’s legacy with Aurora Bosotti at the Daily Express along with other historians of the Queen’s reign including Marlene Koenig, author of Queen Victoria’s Descendants, Julia Baird, author of Victoria the Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire and Helen Rappaport, author of numerous books about Queen Victoria and the Victorian era including Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert and the Death That Changed The Monarchy.
On May 18, 2019, Lady Gabriella Windsor (the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent) married Thomas Kingston at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. Lady Gabriella is the third member of the royal family to be married at St. George’s Chapel in the past year. Senior members of the royal family attended the wedding including the Queen and Prince Harry. In an interview with Janet Davison at CBC News, I discussed Lady Gabriella, her branch of the royal family, and her wedding.
I wrote a short history of the name Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor for the BBC History Magazine. I discussed the long history of the name Archibald or Archie among the Scottish nobility including an ancestor of the new royal baby, how Harrison mirrors Norse and Anglo-Saxon patronymics from before the Norman Conquest and the emergence of the surname Mountbatten-Windsor for junior members of the royal family from 1960 to the present.