About The Crown

Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we invite you to visit our commemorative page to relive key moments of her visits to Canada and find information on the commemorative events held in her honour.

Please note that some information on the web pages about the Crown in Canada will be updated.

Canada is a constitutional monarchy. The Crown in Canada was first established by the kings of France in the sixteenth century. Organized as a royal province of France, both French and British kings and queens have reigned over Canada since 1534. Under Canada's sovereigns, the country has evolved from a French colony to an independent nation.

Canada’s Head of State

In today's constitutional monarchy, His Majesty King Charles III is King of Canada and Canada's Head of State. He is the personal embodiment of the Crown in Canada.

In Canada’s system of government, the power to govern is vested in the Crown but is entrusted to the government to exercise on behalf and in the interest of the people. The Crown reminds the government of the day that the source of the power to govern rests elsewhere and that it is only given to them for a limited duration.

The governor general and lieutenant governors

The governor general and the 10 lieutenant governors represent the Crown in Canada and act on the Monarch’s behalf.

The governor general’s role and responsibilities consist mainly in carrying out many of the duties on behalf of The King. For example, he or she presides over the swearing-in of the prime minister, the Chief Justice of Canada and cabinet ministers. However, there are powers that can only be exercised by The King. The lieutenant governors of the provinces perform similar duties at the provincial level.

The Parliament of Canada

The Parliament of Canada consists of The King, the Senate and the House of Commons. In the provinces, legislatures consist of the lieutenant governor and the elected assembly.

His Majesty's representatives act on the advice of the prime minister or ministers responsible to the House of Commons or the provincial legislative assemblies.

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