On September 9, 2015, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II reached the milestone of serving the longest reign in modern history of 63 years, surpassing her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria. In honour of this occasion, Mayor Nenshi has proclaimed September 9, 2015 as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Longest Reign.
“On behalf of City Council and the citizens of Calgary, it is my privilege to acknowledge this historic day in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” said Mayor Nenshi.
Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. In 1953 a Canadian law gave her the title Queen of Canada. Her Majesty has made 22 official tours in Canada since her accession to the throne, more than any other Commonwealth country.
In 1959, on her first official visit to Calgary as the Queen of Canada, Her Majesty was greeted by a carpet of buffalo skins rather than the usual red carpet. Over 100,000 people attended the Stampede in hopes of seeing the Queen and as the royal motorcade approached the grandstand, the crowd sang Home on the Range. Five of the visits to Canada have included Calgary, most recently in 2005 during the Centennial celebration of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
In addition to being Queen of Canada, Her Majesty is also Head of the Commonwealth and the monarch of 16 members of the Commonwealth, known as Commonwealth realms. Canada was a founder member of the Commonwealth in 1931 when its independence was recognized under the State of Westminster. Nearly 30 percent of the world’s population (or two billion citizens) belong to the modern Commonwealth. It is the world’s oldest political association of sovereign states with members who cooperate within a framework of common values and goals.
A portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II can be found in The City’s Council Chamber. It serves as a reminder that Canada is a member of the Commonwealth.
The Queen of Canada continues to champion public and voluntary service to over 600 charities, of which 33 are in Canada (including the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Nurses Association). She also serves as Colonel-in-Chief, Captain General and Air Commodore-in-Chief of 13 military units across Canada; locally The Calgary Highlanders.