Marriage and family
After the war, Princess Elizabeth's marriage caught the
world's attention. On November 20, 1947, Princess
Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.
Queen and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh have four
children and eight grandchildren. Prince Charles, now
The Prince of Wales, Heir to the Throne, was born in
1948. Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, was born two
years later. Prince Andrew, now The Duke of York was
born in 1960, and Prince Edward, now The Earl of Wessex
arrived in 1964.
Elizabeth becomes Queen
February 6, 1952, the 25-year-old received news of her
father's sudden death. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.
Millions watched the first televised British coronation,
and others listened by radio. Canadian guests at the
coronation included Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent and
Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas.
1953, a Canadian law, the Royal Style and Titles Act,
formally conferred upon Elizabeth II the title of Queen
Throughout her reign, Canada has seen
many key historical developments: our evolution as a
bilingual and multicultural society, our rededication to
democratic principles and our enhancement of a
collective sense of shared values and purpose. She has
been, and continues to be, a fundamental part of that
identity. As the Prime Minister stated in his
congratulatory message to Her Majesty The Queen on the
occasion of the 50th anniversary of Her Accession to the
Throne (February 6, 2002):
"As Queen of Canada, you have borne witness to our
national growth and, indeed, have been present for
many historic moments in the life of our country. I
have had the honour to be in your presence on
numerous occasions, and have always admired your
commitment to Canada and your very genuine affection
Charitable work and military appointments
Although the Queen celebrated her 80th birthday in 2006,
she continues to champion public and voluntary service
around the world. She is patron of more than 600
charities and organizations.
Majesty uses her patronage and prestige to raise
awareness about issues in Canada ranging from health
care to multiculturalism. She is patron of more than 30
charitable and military organizations in Canada.
Queen continues to highlight the critical role of the
Canadian Forces by serving as Colonel in Chief of more
than a dozen regiments across Canada.
On numerous fronts, The Queen’s relationship with Canada
and Canadians continues to grow stronger with each
passing year. She has given her
patronage to many Canadian organizations and
retains a special relationship with the
Canadian Forces. Further, as our Head of State, she
is the fount of our
Canadian Honours System that recognizes significant
achievement and service of Canadians in numerous fields
of human endeavour, such as the Order of Canada, Order
of Military Merit, as well as decorations for bravery,
meritorious service and for gallantry.
Visits to Canada
Over the past fifty three years, Her Majesty has
maintained a very visible and significant presence in
our country. She has indeed been witness to many
historic occasions. In 1957, she officially opened the
1st session of the 23rd Parliament; presided over the
inauguration of the St-Lawrence Seaway in 1959;
celebrated the Centennial of Confederation with
Canadians in 1967; declared open the XXIst Olympiad in
Montreal in 1976; was honoured for her Silver Jubilee
anniversary in 1977; proclaimed the Constitution Act,
1982 which emcompasses the Canadian Charter of Rights
and Freedoms; officiated at the opening of the
Commonwealth Games in Edmonton in 1978 and Victoria in
1994 to name but a few.
In 2002, Canadians turned out in record numbers to greet
The Queen during Golden Jubilee celebrations. In 2012,
The Queen will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee - her 60th
anniversary as Queen.
(Source: Department of Canadian Heritage)