Victoria Day Ripe for Royal Reflection

Victoria Day Ripe for Royal Reflection

As published in the Hill Times: May 25, 2022

As the memory of prince Charles’ Ottawa visit fades, I’m left wondering why he didn’t linger to celebrate Victoria Day. Perhaps he anticipated a barrage of awkward questions from those seeking redress for past royal misconduct?

Aside from lending her name to a host of Canadian towns, counties and even a city, the late queen Victoria means little to most Canadians beyond the May long weekend. The darker aspects of her imperial exploits in Africa, India and the Middle East have been mainly deleted from official history.

Unfortunately, royalty will endure until Canadians realize that the monarchy is nothing but a pricey cult of personality. It’s worth remembering that British rulers once had arbitrary powers of life and death over their subjects and that much of their personal wealth is derived from the business of inflicting British violence on other nations.

However, if you must venerate the “crown”, you may agree with an anonymous monarchist who once wrote this of royalty:

“…I shouldn’t have to adore them personally. That they are Royal is enough. Our job as subjects is to line the parade routes and bow meekly as they pass.”

Canada’s historical and political relationship with British royalty is sufficient justification for both scrutinizing and critiquing an expensive institution of little credibility.

Morgan Duchesney