Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Commences

It was 60 years ago today that Queen Elizabeth became sovereign upon the death of her father King George VI. She was a glamorous 25-year-old princess at the time, but today she is the second longest reigning sovereign in Britain’s history. She was a symbol of a new age, especially as she ascended the thrown following the hardships of Second World War, and today she watches as her grandson Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton experience a similar reverence from the public. Queen Elizabeth has met nearly a quarter of all American presidents and a fifth of all British prime ministers, including Winston Churchill, as well as a bevy of the world’s most stellar personalities. It’s hard to imagine all of the things she has seen and all of the changes in her country that she has been at the helm of throughout the last six decades. But in every moment of her extensive time as Queen, she has shown absolute dedication to dutifully serving her country through it all.

Canada has had a long-standing love for its official head of state: she has visited our nation on several occasions, developing a familiarity among the people of our country spanning several generations. Canada’s frequent appearance on royal itineraries is a clear indication that these adorations are mutually shared by the Royals as well. It is no surprise that Canada will be on hand to support and pay tribute to the Queen’s remarkable 60-year reign. Starting today, there will be worldwide celebrations culminating in a lavish ceremony in London on the anniversary of her official coronation. Canada will play host to Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, in May, and will also mark the occasion through smaller local ceremonies in the coming months. Ottawa has pledged $7.5 million to help fund four months worth of commemorative activities across the country, starting with flag-raising ceremonies in all provincial capitals on this morning.

Some may share the opinion that in these rough economic times, such elaborate celebrations are unnecessary. But for a Queen who has lived a life of servitude and sacrifice, such a focus seems appropriate.

-Brooke Benjamin