Canada set to ring in Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee with celebration fit for a queen

Jordana Divon
Daily Brew

Will and Kate may be the hot royals of the moment, but Canada has enjoyed a long relationship with the prince's grandmother - even though these days we see her most on the back of our 20-dollar bill.

So perhaps it's fitting that the Canadian government has set aside a whole stack of them to pay for an elaborate celebration in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

As the National Post reports, Heritage Minister James Moore announced the $7.5-million plan to mark the Queen's 60th year on the throne as a "rare" chance to honour her "dedicated service to our country" and remind her Canadian subjects of "the important role of the Canadian Crown."

"By supporting this most historic and significant anniversary, our Government is delivering on its commitment to reinforce our heritage through active celebration of our institutions that define who we are as Canadians," he added.

Minister Moore was accompanied Tuesday by Governor General David Johnston at the Royal Canadian Mint, where both men were on hand for the striking of the first Diamond Jubilee medal.

The medal will be one of 60,000 awarded to Canadians who have made "significant contributions to their communities" and "helped create the Canada of today."

The money has been earmarked to "increase awareness about this national milestone" and encourage Canadians to celebrate the anniversary in ways that are most meaningful to them.

In a shortlist provided by Canada Heritage, that encouragement includes, in addition to the Jubilee Medal program, support for community activities and celebrations, and promotional items, like flags, pins, commemorative coins and stamps.

The Post also reports that A Crown of Maples, the federal booklet on the role of the monarchy in Canada's system of government, will be revised and republished.

A national Diamond Jubilee Week will also launch on February 6, 2012, during which time many of the medals will be handed out, and series of as-yet undefined activities will take place. February 6, 1952 was the day then-Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne as Queen of Canada after the death of her father, King George VI. She was crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953.

Moore noted the upcoming milestone marks only the second time Canada has celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of a reigning monarch. The first time occurred when Queen Victoria rang in her six-decades on the throne in 1897.