Thursday, 26 June 2008

A Royal visit for Quebec's 400th birthday celebrations

While the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper found it unwise to invite Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Canada, to celebrate Quebec's 400th birthday, the province will not be without a royal dignitary:

French Prince Jean, Duc de Vendôme, will be in Quebec to join in the city's birthday party. On his website Gens de France, Prince Jean posted the news that he will be in Quebec from 28th June to 6th July.

Le Prince Jean se rendra au Québec du 28 juin au 6 juillet et pour le 400ème anniversaire de la fondation de la ville. Le duc de Vendôme est invité par la ville de Québec.

Prince Jean is son and heir of Prince Henri, Comte de Paris, who is claimant to the French throne.

Of course it is only right that the descendent of the French kings who founded the American colonies should be present at the celebrations. It is equally not understandable that the Canadian Royal Family should not be represented other than by the Governor-General.

The non-invitation to Queen Elizabeth caused a stirr in the Canadian media, when it was first reported in December 2007:

CBC News December 10, 2007
"Montreal newspaper La Presse reported that the federal government is not inviting Queen Elizabeth to la vielle capitale' s birthday bash next summer because it would be too controversial. The newspaper report was based on federal documents obtained under access to information laws.

"The Quebec government said it was disappointed to hear the news because it thought an invitation should have been extended despite possible reprisals. Quebec hasn't ruled out the possibility of appealing the decision, said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Benoît Pelletier.

"'We told the Canadian government about our wish to have the Queen present at the 400th anniversary celebrations,' Pelletier told Radio-Canada, the CBC's French-language service.

"'We know there would be controversy if the Queen came to Quebec. But this controversy would be provoked by a minority of people, and we can't be at the mercy of these minorities, these individuals, who still have their gaze turned towards 1760.'"

----------------------------- News Staff wrote:

"Canada's monarchists are upset at Ottawa for what they say is an 'insult' to the Queen, after she was left off the list for Quebec City's 400th birthday bash next year.

"Dignitaries from around the world will be in Quebec City next year to celebrate the city's birthday.

"But there are media reports that the Tories have vetoed a visit by the Queen apparently because it may upset soft nationalists and separatists in Quebec.
NDP Leader Jack Layton said that he doesn't understand why the Queen has been shut out of the ceremonies.

"'Given the people of Quebec City -- I'm sure -- want everyone to come and celebrate the magnificent 400th birthday, I don't know why anyone would want to exclude the Queen,' he said."

No comments: