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Coming soon to a public office near you: King Charles III’s face?

Government offices, municipal halls not required to display royal portraits, new one not ready yet
The decision on where the official portrait of King Charles is displayed when it’s released has its share of controversy. (Monarchist League - Victoria branch website)

Getting the goods on when and where the official Canadian portrait of King Charles III will hang depends on how the questions are framed.

Don Schaffer, acting chief administrative officer for the District of Sooke, said the portrait would be hung in Municipal Hall as soon as it’s available, likely after the coronation of King Charles III in May.

The B.C. Lieutenant-Governor’s office, too, will likely wait until May, and officials there suggested that Heritage Canada would be the definitive source.

In response to that and other questions, Heritage Canada said in an email, “An official Canadian portrait of King Charles III will be released in due course.”

According to Heritage Canada, hanging royal portraits in public places such as post offices, government offices, or municipal halls is not mandatory.

ALSO READ: B.C. First Nations leaders call on King Charles III to renounce Doctrine of Discovery

After the provincial government changed B.C. Ferries from a Crown corporation to a private corporation in 2008, B.C. Ferries removed the Queen Elizabeth II portrait from ships undergoing maintenance work. The reason at that time was that it was no longer necessary.

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8, B.C. Ferries was again under the spotlight for its royal portraits. Keeping with reconciliation efforts with First Nations, it announced in November that it would not replace the remaining royal portraits with one of King Charles III.

The First Nations Leadership Council, which includes the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, First Nations Summit and Assembly of First Nations have urged King Charles to renounce the Doctrine of Discovery as his first priority on the road to reconciliation. The Catholic Church initiated the doctrine in 1452, which enabled Britain and France to seize lands in North America.

“We call for this international law doctrine to be renounced by the King of England,” the FNLC said in a statement. “With a change in Canada’s head of state, it’s time for a change in the Crown’s approach to Indigenous sovereignty.”

Monarchist League of Canada and the Monarchist League’s Victoria branch representatives could not be reached for comment.

RELATED: Queen Elizabeth II, longest-reigning monarch in British history, dies at 96

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About the Author: Rick Stiebel

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