Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen is sitting on a golden chair, wearing a golden dress with the Canadian diamond maple leaf brooch and triple string of pearls.

Her Majesty The Queen marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 by wearing the Maple Leaf Brooch: Photo credit and copyright: © 2017 Ian Leslie Macdonald

Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926. She was the first child of King George VI (The Duke of York) and Queen Elizabeth.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was the first of Canada's sovereigns to be proclaimed separately as "Queen of Canada." It reaffirmed the Monarch's role as independent of that as Monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. She dedicated her life to public service and served Canada and Canadians throughout her reign. On her 21st birthday (April 21, 1947), she addressed the Commonwealth and dedicated her life "whether it be long or short" to the service of others. In her 7 decades as Monarch, she was steadfast in keeping her promise, a promise valued by Canada and the Commonwealth.

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Early life and education

Princess Elizabeth was educated at home with her younger sister, the late Princess Margaret. During that time, the future queen learned French, which she spoke fluently.

Princess Elizabeth gave her first radio address at age 14 as bombs dropped on London during the Second World War, in which she served.

Marriage and family

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh walk side by side. They are in front of a staircase, outside.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh depart the HMCS St. John's after the completion of the International Fleet Review in Halifax on June 29, 2010.

On November 20, 1947, Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, His Royal Highness Prince Philip. They had 4 children:

Elizabeth becomes Queen

After her father's death, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. Canadian guests at the coronation included the Prime Minister, Louis St. Laurent, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Louis Breithaupt and his premier, Leslie Frost, as well as Premier of Saskatchewan Tommy Douglas, Quebec Cabinet ministers Onésime Gagnon and John Samuel Bourque, Mayor of Toronto Allan A. Lamport, and Chief of the Squamish Nation Joe Mathias.

In 1953, a Canadian law, the Royal Style and Titles Act formally conferred upon Elizabeth II the title of Queen of Canada.

Charitable work and military appointments

Queen Elizabeth II is smiling in front of a row of World War II veterans.

The Queen greets veterans from the Second World War at plaque unveiling at HMCS Sackville in Halifax on June 29, 2010.

Queen Elizabeth II championed public and voluntary service around the world. She was patron of more than 600 charities and organizations, of which 36 are in Canada. These included the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Nurses Association. This sense of service has been transmitted to all members of the Royal Family.

The Queen highlighted the critical role of the Canadian Forces by serving as Colonel-in-Chief, Captain General and Air Commodore-in-Chief of the following units across Canada:

  • Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada
  • The Calgary Highlanders
  • Canadian Military Engineers
  • The Canadian Grenadier Guards
  • Governor General's Foot Guards
  • Governor General's Horse Guards
  • The King's Own Calgary Regiment
  • Le Régiment de la Chaudière
  • The Royal New Brunswick Regiment
  • The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
  • Royal 22e Régiment
  • 48th Highlanders of Canada
  • The Canadian Armed Forces Legal Branch
  • The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders
  • The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment
  • The Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering

In 2012, the Queen became Commissioner-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). She held the title of Honorary Commissioner as of 1953.

Royal Patronage – Canadian organizations

Tours of Canada

Queen Elizabeth II walks outside between 2 rows of ceremonial guards. A ceremonial guard also walks beside her.

The Queen inspects the Guard of Honour mounted by the Ceremonial Guard on Parliament Hill, July 1, 2010.

The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) and The Duke of Edinburgh first toured Canada in the fall of 1951. Throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth II completed more Royal Tours in Canada than to any other Commonwealth country.

The Queen's 2010 tour marked her 22nd official tour of Canada as our Queen. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh participated in many public events, including the Canada Day Noon Show on Parliament Hill on July 1 and the celebrations of the centennial of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Special anniversaries

The year 2012 marked Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, her 60th anniversary as Queen of Canada. 

On September 9, 2015, a historical milestone was reached. Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning sovereign in Canada’s modern era.

The Queen receives the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch from former Governor General David Johnston. The Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch: sapphires are in the centre, surrounded by diamonds in the shape of snowflake.
The Queen is presented with the Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch by former Governor General David Johnston at Canada House, London. Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall (2017)

In 2017, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the 150th anniversary of Confederation as well as her Sapphire Jubilee, her 65th anniversary as Queen of Canada. At an event in Canada House, London, former Governor General David Johnston presented a Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch to The Queen, a gift of thanks from the people of Canada.

In 2022, The Queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70th anniversary on the Throne. To mark this historical milestone, a series of initiatives took place throughout Canada to honour The Queen’s service and dedication to this country.

Death and commemorative events

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96 on September 8, 2022. Visit her commemorative page to relive key moments of her visits to Canada and find information on the commemorative events our nation held in her honour.

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