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No medal for you! – Canada won’t issue a medal for the historic platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

June 2022

Long may she reign.

Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating a record-breaking 70 years on the throne in 2022, but in Canada, you might not know it. In a break with the usual protocol, Canada will not be issuing a medal to commemorate this historic milestone, something that may never be repeated.

Her Majesty became the longest reigning monarch in the United Kingdom in 2015, and is currently the third longest reigning monarch in history, although by mid-June 2022, she will become the second longest, behind only King Louis XIV of France at 72 years, 110 days. Given that her mother Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, lived to 101 years old, there’s a good chance that she will exceed King Louis’ reign too. This is historic and deserves a proper celebration and one of the ways this is done is by issuing Jubilee medals to citizens of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

In Canada, the medals are awarded to citizens to “honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians” on the recommendation of the Governor General of Canada. In the Commonwealth, Jubilee medals, as well as Coronation medals, have been awarded British monarchs since the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887, although Jubilee coins have been awarded dating back to the Golden Jubilee of King George III, in 1809.

The Platinum Jubilee Medal, which will be issued in the United Kingdom and Caribbean Commonwealth nations, but not Canada, despite issuing medals for Queen Elizabeth’s Silver (1977), Golden (2002) and Diamond (2012) Jubilee years, in addition to a Coronation Medal in 1952.

It’s very disappointing that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declined to award Platinum Jubilee Medals, but it’s hardly surprising, given his family’s distain for the Royal Family. Trudeau’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, famously pirouetted behind the Queen’s back at Buckingham Palace in 1977, an outrageous show of disrespect.

The younger Trudeau also declined to issue a commemorative medal to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, despite Canada issuing medals to commemorate the 100th anniversary (1967) and the 125th (1992).

Despite the deliberate snub by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, six provinces, so far, will be issuing their own provincial Platinum Jubilee Medals: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Sources: In Pictures: The UK’s history of Jubilee Medals – The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022, A history of Jubilees | The Royal Family, List of longest-reigning monarchs – Wikipedia, No touching, jokes or pirouettes: when Canadians offended royal protocol | Globalnews.ca, Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal – Wikipedia.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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