My article about Prince Rupert of the Rhine and Rupert’s Land in Canada’s History Magazine is now online

Prince Rupert Canada's history My article about Prince Rupert of the Rhine, cousin of King Charles II and 1st Governor of the Hudson’s Bay company appeared in the October-November 2015 issue of Canada’s History Magazine. The article is now available to read online. Here’s an excerpt:

“Prince Rupert of the Rhine, first governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, had a profound effect on Canada’s history. Following his flight from Prague as an infant, he spent his life constantly on the move, undertaking military service in continental Europe and Great Britain and leading the royalist navy to the west coast of Africa and the Caribbean.

Map of Prince Rupert's travels as Commander of the Royalist Fleet

Map of Prince Rupert’s travels as Commander of the Royalist Fleet

Rupert’s travels enabled him to recognize the significance of Radisson’s and Des Groseilliers’ discoveries and to envision an enterprise with the vast scope of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Moreover, the grant of Rupert’s Land to the company discouraged the Americans from expanding northward after the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence in the late eighteenth century.

Prince Rupert not only left his mark on the map of Canada, he helped to forge the modern nation.”

Click here to read “Canada’s Warrior Prince” on the Canada’s History Magazine Website.

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Upcoming Guest Lectures in 2016

Here is my schedule of guest lectures for October, November and December 2016. Click on the links for more information including times and ticket prices:

October 26, 2016, The Royal Commonwealth Society of Toronto Speaker Series: The Queen and Commonwealth, Arts and Letters Club, Toronto

November 2, 2016, Magna Carta and the Making of the Modern World, Aurora Cultural Centre, Aurora.

November 7, 2016, The Stateswoman: Perceptions of Female Leaders in 20th and 21st Centuries, Temple Emanu-el Lecture Series, Toronto

November 20, 2016, Victorian Christmas Traditions, Toronto’s 1st Post Office, Toronto 

December 1-19, 2016: 6 Lectures about Royalty and the Atlantic World Aboard the Azamara Quest during the Costa Rica, Panama Canal and ABCs cruise

 Click here to view a selection of lectures about my book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights.

 

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My column in the Globe and Mail: Why William and Kate are bringing their children on royal visit to Canada

The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George arrive in Sydney. Photo credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George arrive in Sydney. Photo credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

My column in today’s Globe and Mail discusses royal children and royal tours.

“Royal children on tour influence popular perceptions of the monarchy in two ways. First, they create a personal bond between royal parents and the public – parenting provides common ground between royalty and people of all backgrounds.

Second, royal children personify the future of the monarchy. Like Queen Victoria during the last years of her reign, Elizabeth now has three generations of direct heirs. At various points over the course of her long reign, there has been debate about the future of the monarchy. The presence of George and Charlotte in the coming royal visit demonstrates the potential for the monarchy to enjoy public support in Canada and the wider Commonwealth for generations to come.”

Click here to read the full column in the Globe and Mail

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Upcoming Guest Lecture: The Future of the Monarchy and the Global Commonwealth, September 16, Kingston Later Life Learning

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in Canada in 2010

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in Canada in 2010

I will be giving a talk about The Future of the Monarchy and the Global Commonwealth for Later Life Learning in Kingston, Ontario on September 16, 2016 at 10am.

The talk will be followed by a sale and signing of my book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Click here to purchase my book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada

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BBC News Interview: When the Duke of Windsor met Adolf Hitler

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor meeting with German Chancellor Adolf Hitler in 1937

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor meeting with German Chancellor Adolf Hitler in 1937

A collection of 60 photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor – the former King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson – touring Nazi Germany in 1937 has been auctioned for £6,830 this week. I was interviewed by BBC News about the controversial royal visit and am quoted in the article “When the Duke of Windsor met Adolf Hitler.

Following his abdication in 1936, the Duke of Windsor was eager to carve out a new role for himself and ensure that his wife was treated as a full member of the royal family even though she had not received the title of “Her Royal Highness.” There was no precedent for an abdicated sovereign assuming an active public role on behalf of the current sovereign and the Duke was frustrated that he appeared to be expected to live a quiet life in exile.

The Duke of Windsor was familiar with Germany and had numerous relatives there. He seems to have envisioned a diplomatic role for himself as a mediator between Britain and Germany. Right up until the outbreak of the Second World War, there were senior figures in the British government who thought a lasting peace could be negotiated through diplomacy and the the Duke seems to have shared their views. When war was imminent in 1939, the Duke contacted Hitler hoping to negotiate a peaceful solution, attempting to draw upon the rapport they developed during the 1937 visit.

The Duke of Windsor’s ties with Nazi Germany made him a liability for Britain during the Second World War and he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas, which removed him from Europe for the remainder of the war. In the Bahamas, the Duke and Duchess  continued to cause anxiety for the British government as their visits to the United States attracted an enormous amount of public attention and the Duke expressed pessimism about a British victory. He would not receive further official positions following the end of his term as Governor of the Bahamas.

Click here to my interview with BBC news in the article “When the Duke of Windsor met Adolf Hitler”

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in Government House in 1941

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in Government House in 1941

For more about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in the Bahamas, see my blog posts:

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s Arrival in the Bahamas in 1940

Miami and a Murder Mystery: The Duke of Windsor as Governor of the Bahamas 1940-1945

For further reading about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, see my book reviews:

That Woman by Anne Sebba: Book Review of the latest biography of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

Friday Royal Read: Princes at War: The Bitter Battle Inside Britain’s Royal Family in the Darkest Days of WWII by Deborah Cadbury

The Woman Before Wallis: Prince Edward, The Parisian Courtesan and The Perfect Murder by Andrew Rose (Review)

 

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My Imperial Spain course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies begins March 15

Losreyescatolicos I am teaching an eight week course about Imperial Spain at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies on Tuesdays from March 15 to May 3, 2016 from 11am to 1pm. All are welcome

Click here to Register

Ferdinand and Isabella transformed a united Spain into a world power, sponsoring Columbus’ voyages to the Americas and forming alliances with other European kingdoms. This new Imperial Spain had a dark side: the rise of the Inquisition, the expulsion of Spain’s Jewish population and the exploitation of the native peoples in the colonies. Gold and silver from the Americas made Spain’s rulers the richest in Europe until its Golden Age came to an end with the wars of the 18th century. Learn about the rise and fall of Imperial Spain and its lessons for politics and international relations today.

Click here to Register

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New Canadian Encyclopedia Article: Monarchism

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in Canada in 2010

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in Canada in 2010

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.

Click here to read Monarchism in the Canadian Encyclopedia

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Review of Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada in Resource Links Magazine

My 1st book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights has been reviewed in Resource Links Magazine for teachers and recommended for students in Grades 9-12.

Here is an excerpt from the review: “Lavishly illustrated throughout, Dr. Harris gives a well-rounded history of the document and its creation and guiding principles. She explains the impact of the document right through to seeing it as a basis of the United Nations’ Universal declaration of Human Rights. Of particular interest to students may be the importance of the Magna Carta in Canada’s history through to the present day. As well, Dr. Harris looks at the impact of it on the American and French Revolution…Highly recommended for both school and public libraries.

Click here to read the full Resource Links review

Click here to read all reviews of Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada

Click to here to purchase Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights

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My article about Prince Rupert on the cover of Canada’s History Magazine

Prince Rupert Canada's history My article on Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the cousin of King Charles II who became the first Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, is the cover story for the October-November issue of Canada’s History Magazine. In the article, I discuss Rupert’s adventure filled life including his escape from Prague during the 30 Years War as a child, his victories and defeats as a cavalier general during the English Civil Wars, his time as privateer in the royalist navy and his meeting with explorers Pierre-Esprit Radisson  and Médard Chouart, Sieur des Groseilliers that led to the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Pick up a copy of the October-November issue of Canada’s History Magazine to read my article on Canada’s Warrior Prince.

My interview with Canada’s History Magazine about Prince Rupert is available on the Canada’s History website

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Friday Royal Read: The Queen at the Council Fire by Nathan Tidridge

 The book launch for The Queen at the Council Fire: The Treaty of Niagara, Reconciliation, and the Dignified Crown in Canada took place at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on August 13. The museum is currently displaying an original copy of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, a document that has become known as the “Indian Magna Carta,” as part of a unique companion exhibit to the Magna Carta: Law, Liberty and Legacy exhibition opening at the museum on August 15. The Royal Proclamation’s 250th anniversary took place in 2013, prompting new discussion of the complicated relationship between Canada’s government and First Nations.

In The Queen at the Council Fire, Nathan Tidridge, an educator and author of Canada’s Constitutional Monarchy: An Introduction to Our Form of Government and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent: Father of the Canadian Crown, explores the impact of the 1764 Treaty of Niagara on Canada’s history. While much less known to non-indigenous Canadians than the Royal Proclamation, this gathering of First Nations at Fort Niagara accompanied by a treaty symbolized by the Covenant Chain Wampum is viewed as the birth of modern Canada by the country’s first peoples.

The Queen at the Council Fire places an important emphasis on the role of language in these early treaties between the Crown and Canada’s first nations. The familial words employed in the treaties meant equality to the First Nations but subordination to the Europeans. There were also differences concerning the importance of the treaties. European negotiators often viewed the treaties as an endpoint in their relations with indigenous peoples while First Nations leaders viewed these documents as part of an ongoing, living relationship. The nature of the Crown itself changed over the course of the Treaty relationship. The development of responsible government and the modern Canadian constitutional monarchy from the eighteenth century to the present often conflicted with the personal relationship between monarch and First Peoples enshrined in the treaties.

In a chapter on “Building community, a model royal visit” Tidridge highlights the importance of the work of the Earl and Countess of Wessex in engaging with First Nations communities in Canada. The Queen’s youngest son and daughter-in-law visit Canada almost every year but their itineraries are privately funded “working visits” rather than higher profile “official visits” and therefore receive less media coverage. In September 2014, the Countess of Wessex visited Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation in Northern Ontario with a delegation of high profile women, spending the night on the reserve. The extended stay provided opportunities for shared experiences and extended engagement with the community.

The Queen at the Council Fire: The Treaty of Niagara, Reconciliation, and the Dignified Crown in Canada is a thoughtful examination of the relationship between the Crown and Canada’s First Nations. There are works of Canadian history that devote a single chapter to Canada’s First Nations and treat the monarchy as a relic of Canada’s past instead of a living institution. The Queen at the Council Fire instead places both the monarchy and First Nations history, language, culture and belief at the centre of Canada’s history, providing a framework for strengthening the vital relationship between the Crown and Canada’s First Peoples in the future.

Next week: Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The Story Of Women In The 1950’s by Virginia Nicholson

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