Queen Elizabeth II waves as she leaves the Royal York Hotel in Toronto Friday October 11, 2002. The Queen left for New Brunswick where she will continue her twelve-day Golden Jubilee tour of Canada. (CP PHOTO/Kevin Frayer)

A new day, a new monarch and a new conversation to have

“Rest in peace, my Queen, you deserve it,” Deb reflects

As an American, I grew up pledging allegiance to the flag every morning of my school days. Our pledge went like this: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

As a young adult in my early 20s, I chose to immigrate to and live in Canada. After my children were born, (they are dual citizens), I decided if I was going to remain in Canada, I needed to have citizenship as well. When you do that, during your ceremony you swear a different kind of allegiance.

It went like this: “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada, and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.”

I have never known a time in my life without the Queen. Growing up, she was the head of the Royal family to me, later in life she was my Queen. My Father-in-law fought proudly for her during WWII, and would not tolerate any perceived disrespect for her. He gladly shared stories with me and my children of why she was so important.

What I personally admired most about her, was her sense of commitment and duty. A world in which people jump jobs and careers often, marriages often fail in a few years, is not a world in which committing to a job or a person or a cause sticks.

Her Majesty’s commitment did.

Her sense of duty was remarkable. She served as head of the Commonwealth, not giving opinions on political matters, as that was not her place. She ascended to the throne when Winston Churchill and Harry Truman were in office, and met so many more prime ministers and presidents after them. Moving in their circles, but not intruding.

She toured the world, witnessing so many momentous events and ever-changing times, and she represented her country and the Commonwealth with dignity and grace for decades.

There will never be another like her, at least not in my lifetime. I was sad when she died. I signed the book of condolences online. And I quietly thanked her for her lifelong service and prayed she will finally rest.

In looking forward, like many, I wonder about the future of the monarchy. I’m not sure of the relevance, something I did not question while Her Majesty was alive.

I think there are hard days ahead for countries of the Commonwealth, and for King Charles III.

The Royals, have struggled over the years with scandals, divorce and very public family rifts. I’m not sure people will see them with the same reverence they did the Queen. They are, after all, flawed like the rest of us. She somehow seemed to rise above.

The monarchy also represents immense pain and heartache for many. As we, in Canada, have conversations about our own path of reconciliation, we also have to understand for our Indigenous population the Queen, and now King, represent colonial repression and generational trauma.

We will all have to examine our hearts as we move forward, these are changing and challenging times. We also need to heal. We need to consider our path forward seriously.

I have no ill will for our new King, I’m just not sure of the “fit” anymore for Canada. I think it will be an interesting conversation for our country, and many others, to have.

Rest in peace Your Majesty, and thank you.

 

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, passes the City Chambers on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022 on the journey from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where it will lie in rest for a day. (Jane Barlow/Pool Photo via AP)

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, passes the City Chambers on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022 on the journey from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where it will lie in rest for a day. (Jane Barlow/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain’s King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace, London, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. (Yui Mok/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain’s King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace, London, Friday, Sept. 9, 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. (Yui Mok/Pool Photo via AP)