Happy Canada Day!
After 144 years of Canadian Confederation under assorted Federal Governments and more than a few “unusual” Prime Ministers among the 22 we have had, it took William and Kate to bring out well over 300,000 wildly enthusiastic and happy Canadians to Parliament Hill in Ottawa to show off Canada at is best.
Their visit personifies the reputation for openness, honesty, practicability, and directness that Canada has historically enjoyed (with a few recent blips). For her “walk about” Kate chose to re-use the dress that she wore at the time of her engagement and the Maple Leaf brooch the Queen wore last year on her visit to Canada last year. I was amazed at their ease in meeting ordinary Canadians and interacting with them in a personal manner (and not even any vetting or limit on the number of questions). Prince William briefly wore a pair of sunglasses offered by a well-wisher without any concern for the price they will now command on eBay.
“Pomp and Ceremony” do not seem to be part of Will & Kate’s visit, Their presence at a small citizenship ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec was the setting for short but meaningful and moving speeches on what it means to be a Canadian.
Kudos to the royal couple for helping us to see what Canadians really feel and believe. They are providing a refreshing change from the political posturing, self-aggrandizement and deliberate misrepresentation we had been exposed to during our recently completed federal election campaign. Just for this, if for nothing else, Canada needs to have the opportunity to periodically see ourselves reflected in the mirror of the monarchy to see what we are when at our best and what we can continue to become in the future.