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Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, the United Kingdom and 13 other Commonwealth realms (born 21 April 1926 in London, United Kingdom). The Queen has reigned since 1952 and is the Head of State of Canada, the United Kingdom and 13 other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth II was the first monarch to be crowned Queen of Canada. She is the longest reigning monarch in British and Commonwealth history and celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, in 2022.

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Gloria George

Gloria Mary Maureen George, Indigenous politician, activist and public servant (born 24 July 1942 in Hubert, BC). A tireless advocate for non-status Indians, George was elected president of the Native Council of Canada in 1975, becoming the first and only woman to lead a major Indigenous political organization.

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10 Interesting Facts About Queen Elizabeth II

In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Platinum Jubilee, the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. Over the course of her record-breaking reign, the Queen has witnessed unprecedented social, cultural and political change and travelled extensively throughout the United Kingdom, Canada and the wider Commonwealth. Here are 10 interesting facts about the long and eventful life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

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Royals Who Lived in Canada

There have been royal tours of Canada since the late 18th century, but some royalty stayed for longer than a few days or weeks and became property owners and/or long-term residents of Canada. Some lived in Canada on official business as military leaders or governors general, while others fled war, revolution or the paparazzi to find a safe haven. Here are 10 examples of royalty who lived in Canada.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee — 2002

In 2002, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne of the United Kingdom, Canada and other Commonwealth realms. The occasion was the focus of widespread popular celebrations in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, as well as increased discussion and debate concerning the monarchy and its future. In October 2002, the Queen and her consort, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, travelled across Canada for 12 days to celebrate the Golden Jubilee with Canadians.

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Erin O’Toole

Erin O’Toole, Member of Parliament (2012–), leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and leader of the Opposition (2020–2022), (born 22 January 1973 in Montreal, QC). Erin O’Toole served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and worked as a corporate lawyer before being elected as the Member of Parliament for Durham, Ontario, in 2012. He served as Minister of Veterans Affairs in 2015. In August 2020, he was elected leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and became the leader of the Opposition. Following the party’s loss in the September 2021 federal election, O’Toole resigned as leader on 2 February 2022 after the Conservative caucus voted in favour of his removal.

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Prince Charles (HRH The Prince of Wales)

His Royal Highness (HRH) The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles), heir to the thrones of Canada, the United Kingdom and 13 other Commonwealth realms (born 14 November 1948 in London, United Kingdom). Charles is the eldest son of Her Majesty (HM) The Queen (1926–) and His Royal Highness (HRH) The Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) (1921–2021) and has been the heir since his mother’s accession to the British and Commonwealth thrones in 1952. The Prince of Wales is honorary Colonel-in-Chief of seven Canadian military regiments and patron or president of more than 400 charitable organizations worldwide, including Prince’s Trust Canada.

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Prince William (HRH The Duke of Cambridge)

​His Royal Highness (HRH) The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William), second in line to the thrones of Canada, the United Kingdom and 13 other Commonwealth realms (born 21 June 1982 in London, United Kingdom). The Duke of Cambridge is a grandson of Her Majesty (HM) The Queen and the elder son of the heir to the throne, HRH The Prince of Wales (The Prince Charles)and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. As the leading member of the youngest working generation of the royal family, William has contributed to modernizing the monarchy’s image for the 21st century by his willingness to update royal traditions. He is married to Catherine Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, and has three children, Prince George of Cambridge (born 22 July 2013), Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (born 2 May 2015), and Prince Louis of Cambridge (born 23 April 2018).

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Henry Wise Wood

Henry Wise Wood, farmer, farm leader (born 31 May 1860 on a farm near Monroe City, Missouri; died 10 June 1941 in Calgary, AB). Henry Wise Wood was one of the most powerful agrarian and political figures in Alberta from 1915 until his death in 1941. A member of a Christian sect that emphasized the need for Christian ethics in economic activities, he served as president of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) from 1916 to 1931. Wood declined to become premier of Alberta in 1921 but played a powerful role in determining the government's policies and programs. He was a leader in the wheat pool movement that swept rural Alberta in 1923–24. He also helped develop the federal Progressive Party platform.

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Herbert Greenfield

Herbert Greenfield, farmer, politician, businessman, premier of Alberta 1921–25 (born 25 November 1867 in Winchester, England; died 23 August 1949 in Calgary, AB). Herbert Greenfield immigrated to Canada in 1892. He established a homestead north of Edmonton in 1906. By 1921, he was president of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and an interim vice-president of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA).

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Queen Mother (HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother)

Her Majesty (HM) Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, consort of King George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, the United Kingdom and 13 other Commonwealth realms (born 4 August 1900 in London, United Kingdom; died 30 March 2002 in Windsor, United Kingdom). In 1939, Queen Elizabeth became the first queen consort to visit Canada with her reigning husband. Her determination to remain in London during the Blitz made her an inspirational figure during the Second World War. Her tours of Canada spanned a 50-year period from 1939 to 1989. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2000.

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Bromley Armstrong

Bromley Lloyd Armstrong, CM, OOnt, Black trade unionist, community organizer and activist (born 9 February 1926 in Kingston, Jamaica; died 17 August 2018 in Toronto, ON). Bromley Armstrong was a pivotal figure in the early anti-discrimination campaigns in Ontario that led to Canada’s first anti-discrimination laws. A self-described “blood and guts” ally of the working poor, Armstrong demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the trade union movement and the battle against disadvantage and discrimination. For more than six decades, Armstrong worked for human rights, helping to generate civic and government support for racial equality and advocating for human rights reforms in public policy.

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Masumi Mitsui

Masumi Mitsui, MM, farmer, soldier, Canadian Legion official (born 7 October 1887 in Tokyo, Japan; died 22 April 1987 in Hamilton, ON). Masumi Mitsui immigrated to Canada in 1908 and served with distinction in the First World War. In 1931, he and his comrades persuaded the BC government to grant Japanese Canadian veterans the right to vote, a breakthrough for Japanese and other disenfranchised Canadians. Nevertheless, Matsui and more than 22,000 Japanese Canadians were displaced, detained and dispossessed by the federal government during the Second World War (see Internment of Japanese Canadians).

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Mahmud Jamal

Mahmud Jamal, Supreme Court of Canada justice, Court of Appeal for Ontario judge, litigation lawyer, author, teacher (born 1967 in Nairobi, Kenya). Mahmud Jamal is the first racialized person and the first South Asian Canadian to be appointed as a justice to the Supreme Court of Canada. A former Fulbright scholar with a background in law and economics, Jamal worked as a litigator with the Toronto firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP before becoming a judge with the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He began serving on the Supreme Court on 1 July 2021.

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Idola Saint-Jean

Idola Saint-Jean, feminist and pioneer in the fight for women’s suffrage (born 19 May 1880 in Montreal, QC; died 6 April 1945 in Montreal). The first woman from Quebec to run as a candidate in a federal election, she devoted over 20 years of her life to active efforts to improve women’s legal rights.

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30 Political Leaders

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, The Canadian Encyclopedia created 30 lists of 30 things that have helped define our identity, from famous people and historic events, to iconic foods and influential artists.

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Ezekiel Hart

Ezekiel (Ezechiel) Hart, politician, entrepreneur, militia officer (born 15 May 1770 in Trois-Rivières, Province of Quebec, died 16 September 1843 in Trois-Rivières, Province of Canada). He holds the distinction of being the second Jew to be elected to a political office in the British Empire (see Imperialism). He was also the first in Canada. Despite his business acumen and good standing in the community, Hart was not permitted to take his seat in Lower Canada’s Legislative Assembly, owing to his Jewish faith. This spurred a public debate on Jewish participation in politics. Ultimately, this concluded with an act granting political rights to Jews in Lower Canada in 1832. (See also Anti-Semitism in Canada.)

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Egerton Ryerson

Adolphus Egerton Ryerson, Methodist minister, educator (born 24 March 1803 in Charlotteville Township, Norfolk County, Upper Canada; died 18 February 1882 in Toronto, Ontario). Egerton Ryerson was a leading figure in education and politics in 19th century Ontario. He helped found and edit the Christian Guardian (1829) and served as president of the Methodist Church of Canada (1874–78). As superintendent of education in Canada West, Ryerson established a system of free, mandatory schooling at the primary and secondary level — the forerunner of Ontario’s current school system. He also founded the Provincial Normal School (1847), which eventually became the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Ryerson also served as principal of Victoria College, which he helped found in 1836 as the Upper Canada Academy. He was also, however, involved in the development of residential schools in Canada. This has led to increasing calls to rename Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) and other institutions named in his honour.