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Why does Canada recognize the Queen of United Kingdom as its head of state?

 Why does Canada recognize the Queen of the United Kingdom as its head of state?

Author: Waqas Rafiq

Why does Canada recognize the Queen of United Kingdom as its head of state?

The Queen of the United Kingdom is recognized as the head of state in Canada. This can be a bit confusing for some people, as Canada is its own country. So why does it have a monarchy? And why does the Queen hold this position? Let’s take a closer look at this unique relationship!

The Canadian monarchy can be traced back to the early days of European colonization. When French and British settlers arrived in what is now Canada, they brought with them the concept of a monarchical system of government. This system continued when Canada became a British colony in 1763.

Under the British North America Act of 1867, which established the Dominion of Canada, the role of the Monarch was defined as follows: “There shall be One Parliament for Canada, consisting of the Queen, an Upper House styled the Senate, and a House of Commons.” The act also stated that “the Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen.”

In 1931, Britain recognized Canada’s independence with the Statute of Westminster. However, Canada chose to retain the Monarch as its head of state.

The Monarch is a symbol of national unity and stability and serves as a focus for Canadian patriotism. The Queen also represents Canada abroad and is an important part of our country’s relations with other nations. For example, when Canadian troops are deployed overseas, it is the Queen who gives them their official blessing.

The Controversial History of Canada’s Monarchy

Canada has had three different monarchs since its founding in 1867: Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and his son King George V, and Queen Elizabeth II. Despite the changes in reigning monarchs, many Canadians have remained loyal to the British Crown. But, why does Canada recognize the Queen of the United Kingdom as its head of state? And, what would happen if Canada became a republic?


For centuries, the land that is now Canada was inhabited by Indigenous peoples. In the 1500s, European explorers began claiming the land for their respective countries. The French established colonies in what is now Quebec and Acadia, while the British setup colonies in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In 1759, the British defeated the French in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which marked the beginning of British rule in Canada.

Colonial Period

For most of Canada’s colonial history, the country was under British rule. As such, the head of state was the monarch of the United Kingdom. This changed in 1867 when Canada became a self-governing Dominion within the British Empire. However, the monarch remained the head of state.

Gaining Independence

In 1867, the British North America Act created the Dominion of Canada as a self-governing entity within the British Empire. However, the Act maintained that the Dominion was subject to and bound by the Constitution of the United Kingdom. This meant that even though Canadians were given control over their own country, they were still technically under British rule. In 1931, the Statute of Westminster granted full legal autonomy to Canada and other Commonwealth realms, making the Canadian monarchy independent from Britain for the first time.

Self-Government and Confederation

While the Canadian monarchy is a constitutional one, meaning the Queen doesn’t have any real power, she is still considered the head of state. This is because, when Canada was first founded, it was a colony of the British Empire. And even after Confederation in 1867, the Canadian government wanted to maintain ties with Britain. So, they kept the monarchy as a way to do that. Over time, though, there has been much debate about whether or not Canada should keep the monarchy.

The Statute of Westminster 1931, Accession to Throne Act 1937, and Letters Patent 1947

The Statute of Westminster 1931 granted full political independence to the Dominions of the British Empire, including Canada. The Accession to Throne Act 1937 confirmed that any changes to the succession of the Canadian throne would require the unanimous consent of the Canadian Parliament. The Letters Patent 1947 declared that Elizabeth II would be Queen of Canada even after she ascended to the throne of the United Kingdom, making her the first Canadian monarch.

Modern Times

In modern times, the monarchy in Canada is largely a symbolic role. The monarch does not have any political power and is not involved in the day-to-day running of the government. However, the queen or king is still considered the head of state and represents Canada on official visits abroad and at home.

Where We Stand Today

Though the monarchy has been a controversial topic throughout Canadian history, today most Canadians view it as a symbol of our country’s rich heritage. While some may see the Queen as a reminder of our colonial past, others see her as a sign of stability and tradition. Regardless of how you feel about the monarchy, there’s no denying that it plays an important role in Canadian society.



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