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Reflections from the SwampKing Charles III and Canada

King Charles III and Canada

Reflections from the Swamp
Richard van Duyvendyk

Dear Readers

Greetings, and welcome back to Reflections from the Swamp. It has been about a month since I’ve written in the Millstone. You may recall that we were awaiting the first goose to land on the icy pond. Pretty exciting stuff. There is only so much excitement a man can handle! I had to take a break. Yes, I lead a sheltered life. Since then, we’ve had two floods on Coady Creek, with flood waters covering the driveway and inching their way toward the house. Spring is the time of year when we have what looks like lake frontage, with the music of several frog choirs singing day and night.

The frog choirs reminded me that someone kissed a frog, and he became a prince. Is there another prince out there just waiting to be discovered? The coronation of King Charles III is coming up, with the singing at Westminster Abbey almost as beautiful as the choirs of frogs. I thought I’d pull myself away from listening to all the frogs and comment on how I feel about Canada and the monarchy.

Most of my friends are ex-monarchists and declined the invitation to come over, sip tea, and watch the coronation in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday. I feel surrounded by my exes. How could so many people be wrong? On Saturday, there will be the coronation of Charles III in London at the unsaintly hour of 4 am our time. I missed Queen Elizabeth’s coronation because I wasn’t born in 1953. Coronations don’t happen very often. I’ll be at my five-year-old granddaughter’s birthday party; however, I will try to see some of the day’s highlights in London.

My granddaughter showed me her feet the other day. Someone had painted her toes a soft robin’s egg blue. She told me that her feet didn’t usually look like this. She thought that maybe these feet were somebody else’s feet. She said that she usually has “ordinary” feet. The blue-painted feet looked like they belonged to a princess.

I imagined a room filled with five-year-old girls in their Halloween costumes. Most had painted toes and elaborately princess dresses as. Ipsos, and Angus Reid, the polling people, asked them if they supported the monarchy in Canada. 98% of the girls said yes. They believed that the constitution should be altered so that the ruling monarch of Canada would always be a princess with painted toes. These results are considered accurate 19 out of 20 times.

I don’t need Ipsos to tell me that Canadians better liked Queen Elizabeth than King Charles. Ipsos polled Canadians and found that only 47% agreed that King Charles and Camilla would keep the monarchy relevant. 57% of Canadians agree that the monarchy is too linked to colonialism and slavery to have a place in today’s Canadian society. About twice as many Canadians view Camilla unfavourably as favourably. Part of me supports Camilla because I believe in forgiveness, second chances, and celebrating life.

During my university days, I studied how pollsters can alter the results of surveys by changing the demographics or income levels of those polled. I suggest interviewing those who watch Coronation Street or collect royal plates, cups, and teaspoons. I would argue that these people know things royal and would be an informed grouping for a meaningful poll. The support for the monarchy would likely be higher.

Part of my support for the monarchy comes from the fact that the monarchy makes Canada different than the Americans. The Americans have a Senate, a President, and a House of Representatives that seldom agree on anything. In contrast, Canada has one room, the House of Commons, where MPs make all the political decisions. We have a Senate, but the Senate can’t block laws made by the House of Commons. We have several parties, Minority Governments, so parties have to cooperate. Our Head of State, the Governor General or the King agrees with the majority’s will in the House.

I like having the Royal Canadian Air Force, crown lands, the Royal Mint, and Victoria Day. I like having a historical connection to other countries in the Commonwealth, such as Australia and India.

King Charles sees reconciliation with Indigenous people as a top priority. Mary Simon, our Governor General, is an Inuk woman and our first official indigenous representative of King Charles. Most indigenous people feel a historical connection to the monarchy. Many feel King Charles’ concerns about climate change and environmental protection are similar to indigenous beliefs.

Most Canadians are taking a wait-and-see approach to how King Charles handles himself. Meanwhile, all our little princesses with their painted toes are happy we still have kings, queens, and especially princesses.

[photo credit:, Flickr]




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