Garry Toffoli

Crown, Canada and Commonwealth

The Crown means both the King and the repository of executive authority. The three – Crown, King, Executive Authority – are not separate though. They are synonymous. The several Canadian Interpretation Acts, the most recent passed in 1985 after the patriation of the Constitution, clearly and unequivocally state that the King is the Crown, the King does not represent the Crown as some assert. The Constitution Act, 1867 also declares that executive authority continues and is vested in the Queen. This is a declaratory section in the Constitution, that is to say a section that does not create something new but which recognises its pre-existence. The Constitution did not create the executive authority of Canada and vest it in Queen Victoria and her descendants, the Constitution was created by the Queen’s authority, and acknowledges that. 

Some also claim there are provincial crowns in Canada. Only in the most bureaucratic sense can this theory be sustained. The late Senator Eugene Forsey more accurately explained that there is one Crown of Canada, manifested through and shared by the several governments. That is what the Constitution Act, 1867 declared. There is no reference to separate provincial crowns. In other words, there are legal actions taken by the Crown (the Canadian Crown) in Right of Ontario, for example, but there is not an Ontario Crown. 

The Canadian Crown is separate from the United Kingdom Crown, however. The Canadian Crown did not emerge sui generis though, that is from its own source, as some academics, judges and politicians seem to think, but by the evolution of the British Crown. This has happened through constitutional acts and constitutional development as the original United Kingdom Crown multiplied itself (a term coined by Paul Benoit as more accurate than having divided itself) into the several Commonwealth Crowns of today. Because it multiplied in a form of celluar fission, each Crown possesses all the attributes of the original, not only a portion of it through division. 

Within Canada, however, multiplication of the Canadian Crown into separate provincial crowns in a similar substantive and social way has not happened. “Provincial Crowns” only exist as a form of legal shorthand to convey the fact that the King has both Dominion and provincial advisors and legislative bodies to advise and / or give consent to executive and legislative actions that are separate one from another. In short the relationship between Ottawa and the provinces and the Canadian Crown is comparable to the relationship between Westminster and the Commonwealth realms prior to the Statute of Westminster, but there is currently no movement towards a Canadian post Statute of Westminster type of relationship between them, though Quebec and now Alberta flirt with the concept.

So that is the Crown. Now Canada.

Though it is often called a nation, Canada is a country. A country consists of the land, defined by its territorial boundaries, the people or peoples who live in the territory, and the state, which is the institutionalisation of authority. In Canada the state is the Crown, i.e. the King, as noted. A country is not necessarily a nation, a nation is not necessarily a country, and a nation is only sovereign if it has a state. Parliament has acknowledged that Canada consists of numerous nations but there is some dispute regarding what those nations are. For example, the House of Commons passed a motion recognising the Quebecois as a nation within a united Canada but the current and some past Quebec governments maintain that it is Quebec, not just the Quebecois, that is a nation. First Nations are clearly recognised as nations in Canada but some of them claim to be sovereign. That would only be the case if the nations were also states, which the Canadian Government and the Constitution do not acknowledge. The Premier of Saskatchewan has suggested that Saskatchewan is a nation, but that is stretching the meaning of nation too far. One can, with greater validity, argue that English Canadians as a whole (meaning those Canadians, regardless of ethnicity, who function within a shared linguistic, social and political culture and common law tradition) are a nation within Canada, comparable to the Quebecois (or French Canadian) and indigenous nations.

The idea that nation is synonymous with country or state is a modern one that began with the French Revolution, which believed sovereignty resided with ethnicity or race. Prior to the revolution, nation had a much different meaning. It comes from Latin (natio), referring to birth and was applied by the Roman Republic and later Roman Empire to the Germanic tribes who were not Roman citizens. It was actually a somewhat disparaging term, not one of honour. Romans used the term civitas (from which we get civil, civilian and civilisation) to describe themselves. It never occurred to them to demean their status by calling themselves a nation. 

The roots of the Canadian constitutional order, including the Royal Proclamation of 1763 which recognised the inherent rights of First Nations, predate the French Revolution and the concept of the nation state. When Canadians started calling Canada a nation instead of a dominion (akin to the Roman civitas) they were actually demoting Canada, not elevating it. The transition should have been to call Canada a kingdom, as the Fathers of Confederation actually proposed. One often hears today that First Nations have a nation to nation relationship with the Crown. This is impossible, not because the First Nations aren’t nations, they are, but because the Crown is not a nation. The Canadian Crown exists above and separate from all the nations that comprise the people of Canada.

The third term examined in this article is the Commonwealth.

The understanding of the Commonwealth has changed in the past century. The use of the term within the British Empire actually began just after World War I to refer to the collective domestic self-governing dominions. With the Statute of Westminster in 1931 the dominions were recognised as equal to the United Kingdom and fully independent states for international purposes. As the contemporary academic Arthur Berriedale Keith explained, King George V, as the embodiment of the state in each realm became seven independent states in international law. Sir Conrad Swan, the Canadian who became Garter King of Arms, described how the Royal Arms of Canada, adopted in 1921, changed from being the King’s Arms of Particular Purpose for Canada to being the King’s Arms of Dominion and Sovereignty of General Purpose for Canada in 1931, without being physically altered. They remain as such today, although they have been artistically modified since then. 

1931 was thus considered the beginning of the official Commonwealth and allegiance to the King remained the basis of the Commonwealth. The latter was changed at the London Conference in 1949 when it was agreed that when India would become a republic the following year it would be allowed to remain in the Commonwealth, and the King’s role was changed from embodying collective sovereignty as well as separate sovereignties for each realm to only embodying the separate sovereignties. King George VI went from being the Crown of the Commonwealth to being the Head of the Commonwealth. Although he expressed the wish that India would be the exception it has since become the norm as only fifteen of the current fifty-six countries in the Commonwealth have King Charles III as their monarch. Five have other monarchs and thirty-six are republics. 

The Commonwealth Secretariat now maintains that the Commonwealth really began in 1949, not 1931, and that the Headship is not hereditary in the House of Windsor but is an elective office with the holder chosen by the governments of the Commonwealth. This was acted on when the governments chose the then Prince Charles to be the Head of the Commonwealth after Queen Elizabeth II’s death.

So, what are the challenges and perhaps the solutions to them faced by Canada and Canadians in this third decade of the 21st century? Let us start with the Commonwealth.

Many royalists have considered the Commonwealth to be a strength for monarchy in Canada. The Commonwealth, however, has always been a double-edged sword for the Canadian Monarchy. It may now become a serious threat and it is necessary to decouple Canada as a monarchy from Canada in the Commonwealth, while supporting both.

If the politicians in the other realms get their way, within the next few years of the King’s reign there will only be three countries that remain under the House of Windsor – the United Kingdom, Canada and Papua New Guinea. Politicians from many parties in the eight Caribbean realms have declared their support and plans for republics, as have some in Tuvalu. The Solomon Islands are looking to China for security arrangements that may well lead to ending the Monarchy. The current and past Prime Ministers of New Zealand have said that a republic is inevitable and the Government of Australia now has a Minister of State for the Republic to foster the end of monarchical government there.

Papua New Guinea is an anomaly, not a traditional monarchy. As Dr Richard Toporoski has explained, it received its independence from Australia, not the United Kingdom, and its constitution was written under the guidance of Australian republicans expecting it to be a republic. Thus, sovereignty is vested in the people, not the King. The people of Papua New Guinea did not wish to give up the monarch, however, so they added to their constitution a provision that the people invited the monarch of the United Kingdom to be their head of state. The King is not the embodiment of their state but merely the head of their, otherwise republican, state. It is, therefore, possible that the United Kingdom and Canada will soon be the only traditional monarchies of the House of Windsor. In that case republicans could argue that Canada should follow the rest of the Commonwealth and abandon the House of Windsor like the overwhelming majority of the Commonwealth and become a republic. Canada’s Commonwealth tie would then be used to support republicanism, not monarchy.

Of course, it is entirely possible that the peoples of the realms will reject the plans of their politicians and preserve their monarchical identities. Most of the realms require a referendum to establish a republic. That is what happened in Australia in its1999 referendum, when the republican option was defeated. But one may not be able to count on that outcome again.

One must anticipate, while not yet conceding, that the other realms may become republics. Sadly, it seems that many, and now perhaps most of the Palace officials are indifferent to the outcome, and actually believe it would be easier for the British Crown and Royal Family if all the realms became republics, as long as they remained in the Commonwealth, apparently the priority for the Palace.

Several British commentators, both media and academic, have made this observation, and many support such an outcome. The King himself, when Prince of Wales, said in Barbados in 2021 that Barbados staying in the Commonwealth was more important than it remaining a monarchy.

The late Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in London in 2022 and the King’s Coronation in 2023 symbolically demonstrated this attitude. If one remembers, or has seen videos of, the Coronation street procession in 1953, one may have noticed that the armed forces units marched in order of seniority – the United Kingdom in the senior position, then Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Ceylon, Southern Rhodesia etc., all being monarchies or crown colonies. India, the sole republic in the Commonwealth in1953, did not have its armed forces in the procession.

In the 2022 and 2023 events the British units were in the senior position but the rest of the Commonwealth countries were in alphabetical order, not seniority, with realms and republics mixed. So, even in ceremonial, the realms and republics are now treated by the British as having no distinction between them.

What is the best monarchical response to this? One possibility is an organised, official sub-association of the realms within the Commonwealth, which occasionally happens now, but on an adhoc basis when needed. For example, only the fifteen realms of the King signed the British accession proclamation in September, 2022. The proposal of CANZUK (a union of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom) is perhaps the most comprehensive version of this response, but if the United Kingdom and Canada are in fact soon the only Windsor monarchies left in the Commonwealth, it becomes an irrelevant option, and one would really then be talking about a simple British – Canadian partnership.

Further, on the negative side of the modern Commonwealth, some people would like the headship to rotate among the member countries rather than be vested in the House of Windsor. The Prince of Wales, when Duke of Cambridge, said he would be okay if he did not become Head of the Commonwealth. This assumes there can be a Head other than the senior royal in the House of Windsor. It is nonsense.

Canada belongs to many international organisations – the UN, NATO, Francophonie, Organisation of American States, Arctic Council. None have a head, nor should they, only secretaries general or secretariats. Neither should the Commonwealth unless the head of it is the Head of the House of Windsor. The headship is a unique, if limited, monarchical concept and cannot be transferred. There can be a Royal Head of the Commonwealth or no Head, as is the case in other international organisations.

The Commonwealth can, and probably will, continue as a viable and valuable international organisation, but it risks becoming less relevant as it becomes less royal and more republican. Their royal identity and heritage is what the countries have in common, even those which have become republics. As Queen Elizabeth II said, the Commonwealth is a family, and families, even distant relatives, share a heritage and a continuing affection for one another.

Families, even nuclear ones, seldom hold a common ideology, though, or even common values. Attempts to create common values among the Commonwealth countries are doomed to failure because they do not actually have shared political or social values that are unique in the world, any more than a nuclear or extended family does. The Commonwealth is the only international organisation that is actually based on being, and structured as, a family, not a coalition. If it doesn’t continue that identity in the future and tries to become an organisation of the like-minded, it will fail and lose all relevance.

To sum up, beyond having a royal Head, since the Commonwealth has already abandoned the tie of common monarchical governments, the Commonwealth is no longer a bulwark for the Canadian Monarchy.

What are the domestic challenges to monarchy in Canada that royalists have to respond to, and what should the responses be?

One current attack is on the alleged special connection between monarchy and colonialism and slavery. This has become particularly prominent in the Caribbean but is regularly heard in Canada too. While it is an historical fact, and shameful, that the British Empire played a role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery itself in the Caribbean, what critics ignore is that republics also engaged in colonialism, in slavery and in the slave trade. In fact the whole world has done so for thousands of years. Slavery was abolished in the British Empire more than a generation before it was abolished in the republican United States. The Confederate States of America, which wished to maintain slavery, were also a republic. The Emperor of Brazil was overthrown by Brazilian republicans because he had abolished slavery in that country. 

As the Canadian historian Hereward Senior noted, monarchy is the universal indigenous form of government. Republicanism, he said, is a European heresy that only spread to the rest of the world through European and American colonialism. In Canada it was Canadian nationalism more than British colonialism that drove the attempts to assimilate indigenous peoples, and First Nations hereditary chiefs are part of the monarchical identity of Canada. Abolishing monarchy would logically require the abolition of any role for indigenous hereditary chiefs in the First Nations that have them.

Colonialism, with its faults and virtues (and it has also had virtues) has been part of the evolution of all human societies – throughout the world and throughout time. It is not unique to Canada and the British Empire or to Europe. Indigenous societies in Asia, in Africa and in the Western Hemisphere practiced regional colonialism before they ever met a European. Like Western colonialism their colonialism had faults and virtues.

Switching from a monarchical constitution to a republican one to express a rejection of colonialism, when republics have happily practiced colonialism as much as monarchies, is a constitutional absurdity. If other countries choose to do so, Canada should not follow this foolishness. Canadian royalists must be forceful in responding to and counteracting this ignorance, however, pointing out the greater political and social sins of republics. On the issue of slavery, monarchies and republics are equally guilty and, since a country must be either a monarchy or a republic of some sort (there is no third option), the choice between the two must be made on other terms, areas in which monarchies are far superior to republics.

What are the other challenges royalists in Canada face? Related to the Commonwealth there are three problems in particular.

The relative absence of the Royal Family in Canada in the 21st century compared to the second half of the 20th, has become a problem for the Canadian Monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II had a stellar record of coming to Canada regularly and embracing Canadian life, but, due to age, she did not come after 2010. In the past thirteen years (to 2023) that the monarch did not come to Canada, the Prince of Wales (now King) has only come four times for just fourteen days and the Duke of Cambridge (now Prince of Wales) only twice for just sixteen days. Canadians constitute 30% of the King’s subjects and Canada has 60% of the population of the United Kingdom. Canada is therefore entitled to the presence of both the monarch and heir each for about three and half months every year. 

While that is probably unrealistic to expect, the senior members of the Royal Family must still spend significantly more time in Canada, and carry out Canadian constitutional roles, than they have, not just make periodic three to eight day tours. It appears that the King wishes to have a “slimmed down” Royal Family. This could be a disaster for Canada unless Canada gets its appropriate share of that family, as it has for decades depended upon the “junior” members to keep the Royal Family active in Canadian life.

Queen Elizabeth II was a great monarch and seldom made any serious mistakes, but she (or her advisors) made three major ones concerning Canada, that the country is still suffering from.

In 1962 the Duke of Windsor decided to sell the EP Ranch in Alberta. He had owned the property since 1919. A group of Canadian businessmen offered to buy the ranch and give it to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales for a home in Canada, as the Duke of Windsor originally had as Prince of Wales. The Queen declined the offer. Had the gift been accepted, the King would now have a private home in Canada comparable to Sandringham or Balmoral / Birkhall in the United Kingdom, with all the beneficial effects on the King and the positive optics for the Crown that would have resulted from it.

In 2005 the ministry of Paul Martin advised the Queen to drop having foreign ambassadors address their letters of credence to the Queen herself, though presented to the Governor General, and have them addressed to the Governor General instead. The Queen accepted this advice and the change was made. Soon after, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives came to power and he offered to reverse the decision. The Palace declined the offer as it didn’t wish the practice to become a political issue, changing with each new ministry. That was a sensible position but it should have taken effect when the monarchical practice was in place, not the ant-monarchical, which the Palace chose.

The third mistake was the failure of the Royal Family to facilitate a means for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2020 to continue with part time royal duties while living in Canada, as they requested. The Palace took the position that this was not possible, one either had to be a full-time royal or no royal. While the Sussexes did not have an automatic right to their request, in fact, as described above, part time royal duty of the Royal Family is all Canada gets. Prince Harry living in Canada, carrying out part time royal activities would have been a major upgrade for Canada, not a decline. As it is, he has already spent more time in Canada in the 21st century than other members of the Royal Family. 

In the 18th,,19th and 20th centuries several members of the Royal Family spent non-royal residences in Canada and carried out part time royal duties. Senior Royals have also engaged in commercial endeavours in the United Kingdom and Canada up to the present time. King James II, when Duke of York, was the Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Sandringham is operated by the King partly as a commercial enterprise, as was the EP Ranch in Canada. Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh once ran a film company, So the Sussexes’ request was not unprecedented, as it was widely portrayed.

The Palace and most British commentators looked at the issue strictly from a British perspective and not also from a Canadian one. The Duke of Sussex was criticised for practically being a traitor to the Crown in deciding to move to Canada (his original action), which, it must be remembered, was criticised in Britain as much as the subsequent move to the United States. In contrast, public opinion polls and political commentary at the time showed that Canadians, and Canadian politicians, overwhelmingly wanted the Sussexes to live in Canada. This is understandable since what the Duke did was no different from what the ancestors of almost all Canadians did when they left Britain, or another land, to come to Canada. Such criticism of the Duke of Sussex by modern Britons is quite insulting to Canadians. They may not be intentionally trying to insult Canada but they are just incapable of seeing and understanding that Canadians have their own ethos of kingship that, of course came from our British history, but evolved differently from that of the United Kingdom. With regard to the concept of the Commonwealth as a family, too many Britons still see Canada as a younger, underage brother or sister, in its relationship to Britain and to the Crown, rather than as an adult and equal sibling or cousin.

So, what conclusion can one come to from this historical survey and analysis? It is that Canadians are on their own. While, of course, they should remain family and friends with Britons and peoples in the Commonwealth, Canadians can no longer count on them for support in preserving the Canadian Monarchy. To be fair, it’s not their responsibility to do so. But, if there was any doubt in the past, it is clear now that Canadians will have to preserve and enhance the Canadian Monarchy with Canadian actions. What might these be?

First of all, the Canadian government must advise the King to carry out a parliamentary act within the first two years of his reign, that is to say, in 2024, either opening a session of Parliament or giving Royal Assent in Parliament. Administrations, both Liberal and Conservative have not arranged this since 1977, when Pierre Trudeau, father of the present Prime Minister, did so.

Secondly, on Coronation Day the Canadian Government made two important announcements. One was the design of the King’s Royal Standard for Canada. It is in flag format the Royal Arms of Canada. The same basic design was used by Queen Elizabeth II in what was referred to as the Queen’s Personal Flag for Canada, but the latter had a crowned E in the centre as the Queen’s personal symbol. The new design for the King is governed by the same principle as is used in the UK, namely that the Sovereign’s Standard (technically a banner) is the Royal Arms in banner form without a personal cypher. The announcement referred to the new design as the Sovereign’s Flag for Canada, not just the King’s personal flag, and stated that it would be used for all future sovereigns. So, kudos to the Canadian Government for this correct improvement of royal symbolism.

The second announcement was more controversial. A new heraldic Royal Crown of Canada was created for official uses on the coat of arms, armed forces’ badges, etc. There was some criticism about having a separate crown from the United Kingdom but most of the criticism was about the design. While keeping the general look of the Tudor Crown, which the King has chosen to use in the UK and elsewhere, the decision to drop the crosses and fleurs de lys and orb and cross, replacing them with maple leaves and the snowflake insignia of the Order of Canada generated the criticism. A preferable version of the new nationalistic design would have been to include the Canadian Cross of Valour above the snowflake and the Canadian Meritorious Service Cross and a fleur de lys in addition to the maple leaves on the rim. The criticism of the design has been muted, however, so it appears likely to be implemented over time, but could be improved. The image of the Scottish Crown, rather than the “English” Tudor Crown is often used officially in Scotland, so having a separate Canadian design for the Crown of Canada is not without precedent and may prove a good idea to enhance the visibility of the Canadian Monarchy.

A third action, related to the symbolic Crown, is that an actual, physical Canadian Royal Crown of the new design should now be created, which would be worn by the King when he opens the Canadian Parliament in person, as he does with the Imperial State Crown in the United Kingdom Parliament, and carried before the Governor General when the King’s representative opens Parliament, as is the practice with the Scottish Crown when the King opens the Scottish Parliament. A physical version of the “northern” diadem, designed for Queen Elizabeth II but which also currently only exists in heraldry, and was depicted on some images of Queen Elizabeth II for nearly twenty years, could also be created for Queen Camilla.

Fourthly, when not in use for state occasions, the Canadian Royal Crown and diadem should then be on display in Ottawa for Canadians and foreign tourists to visit and view in a regalia house along with other Canadian royal artefacts – non-indigenous and indigenous. These could include items such as the 1936 Vimy Pilgrimage medal of King Edward VIII, the 2010 Sovereign’s Sword of the Royal Canadian Navy, past Great Seals of Canada, the exact replica constitutional documents given to Canada by the United Kingdom in 1982 to mark the patriation of the Constitution, and the trowel used by Queen Elizabeth (consort of King George VI) in 1939 to lay the cornerstone of the Supreme Court building. New items, such as an indigenous eagle staff for the King should also be added, along with the original Queen’s Beasts from the 1953 Coronation, which were given to Canada in the 1950s. 

An appropriate eventual home for the regalia is the interim Senate Chamber, which will be available when the Senate moves back to the Centre Block of Parliament in 2032 after the restoration of the historic building is finished. The venue and collection would be a focus of Canadian sovereignty year round, to supplement the regalia’s use on special occasions.

 Fifthly, perhaps in conjunction with the parliamentary action, there should be a Canadian coronation-style ceremony for the King in 2024, supplementing the, inadequate for Canada, one held in Westminster Abbey. Monday 20th May, 2024 (Victoria Day) will be the King’s Official Birthday in Canada and would be an appropriate occasion, since it will be a statutory holiday in any event. Using distinctive existing and new Canadian regalia and a Canadian oath embracing the provinces and the indigenous peoples of Canada, it would enhance the Canadian identity of the Crown and the King of Canada, which did not happen in Westminster Abbey. At the Abbey ceremony Canada, and the realms other than the United Kingdom, were not even named in the coronation oath, as they had been in the two previous coronations (1937 and 1953) after the Statute of Westminster. They were simply referred to collectively as the King’s “other realms”. This was an outrageous insult to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. 

Regardless of what the other realms may or may not do, a Canadian ceremony is now a necessity, to correct the lack of proper recognition for Canada at the Westminster event. The details can be worked out but it could draw on both the traditional coronations at Westminster, the ceremony that actually took place in Ottawa on Coronation Day in 1953, and the installations of governors general in the late Queen’s reign, which included an oath, presentation of the insignia of Canadian honours and the Great Seal of Canada, to create an appropriate Canadian ceremony for the King. A proper coronation oath for the King of Canada must be administered at such a ceremony, referencing Canada, the provinces and the indigenous peoples.

Sixthly, the designation Dominion of Canada has been largely dropped from official usage for several generations, because it was erroneously thought to mean subordination to the United Kingdom. This is not true as it was adopted by the Fathers of Confederation as a synonym for Kingdom of Canada, which was their first choice, but which was denied because the Imperial Government thought “it would wound the sensibilities of the Yankees”, who opposed the creation of Canada. Invasion from the south was regarded as a real threat if Kingdom were adopted. The Imperial Government preferred continuation of the pre-Confederation title Province of Canada, which the Canadians rejected and the Canadians created instead their second choice of Dominion of Canada.

Threat of an actual American invasion is improbable in the 21st century, so American sensibilities are irrelevant, and British consent is no longer needed. Canada should embrace the vision of its founders and finally officially adopt the title of Kingdom of Canada to leave no doubt of its status in the world.

Finally, the Sussexes should be encouraged, and the way facilitated, for them to return to Canada to live rather than remaining in the United States, and to carry out part time royal duties as they originally requested, a course which would be in Canada’s interest. The current position that they cannot do this is a British decision, not a Canadian one, and is not binding on Canada. This would bring them back into the royal fold, thus ending the present, unfortunate tensions, would benefit Canada by giving it its particular and readily available branch of a slimmed-down Royal Family to support the King, and would allow the Sussexes to remain in North America, but in the monarchical half of the continent, as they originally chose. 

In early 2020 a poll reported that over sixty percent of Canadians wanted Prince Harry to be the next Governor General of Canada. That could, and should happen in 2026 when Mary Simon’s five years in office come to their end. In the meantime the Duke could be appointed a Deputy to the Governor General, under the provisions of the Constitution Act, 1867. It is a position somewhat comparable to that of a Counsellor of State in the UK, which critics of the Prince wish him removed as. The Duchess could also be made a Deputy to the Governor General by the provision in the Constitution. A future for Prince Harry as the subsequent permanent Governor General of Canada in the King’s reign would be a boost for monarchy in Canada. After all, the address of Rideau Hall is, perhaps prophetically, 1 Sussex Drive.

What matters in all these suggestions is that, as mentioned previously in this article, Canadians are on their own in what they decide to do for the Canadian Crown. That is not a tragedy to bemoan, but a challenge and an opportunity to meet and embrace. It is one that Canadians are more than capable of meeting, if they wish to.

 

Garry Toffoli is the author of numerous books and articles on the constitutional structures and history of the Canadian Monarchy, and a media commentator on royal events and issues. He is Vice-Chairman & Executive Director of The Canadian Royal Heritage Trust.