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Queen in Right of Alberta
Alberta coat of arms.svg
Royal Coat of Arms of Alberta
Elizabeth II greets NASA GSFC employees, May 8, 2007 edit.jpg
Elizabeth II
Queen of Canada

Since 6 February 1952
Style: Her Majesty
First monarch: Edward VII
Formation: 1 September 1905

By the arrangements of the Canadian federation, the Canadian monarchy operates in Alberta as the core of the province's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy;[1] and is thus the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the province's government.[2] As such, the Crown, as it operates in the jurisdiction, is referred to as The Crown in Right of Alberta,[3] Her Majesty in Right of Alberta,[4] or The Queen in Right of Alberta.[5] The Constitution Act, 1867, however, leaves many royal duties in Alberta specifically assigned to the sovereign's viceroy, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta,[1] who's direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy.[6]


Constitutional monarchy in Alberta

The Queen of Canada (centre) with her vice-regal representative, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Norman Kwong (left), and her Alberta premier, Ralph Klein (right), at the official celebrations of Alberta's centenary, May 23, 2005.

The Crown functions in Alberta in the same way it does in all of Canada's other provinces, with the Canadian monarch– since 6 February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II– being represented and her duties carried out by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. This arrangement began with the 1905 Alberta Act,[1] and continued an unbroken line of monarchical government extending back to the mid 1600s. However, though Alberta has a separate government headed by the Queen, as a province, Alberta is not itself a kingdom.[7]

Government House in Edmonton is used both as an office and official event location by the Lieutenant Governor, while he or she resides in another home provided by the provincial Crown; the sovereign and other members of the Canadian Royal Family will reside at a hotel when in Alberta. The buildings are owned by the sovereign in her capacity as Queen in Right of Alberta, and not as a private individual; the houses and other Crown property is held in trust for future rulers and cannot be sold by the monarch except by her Lieutenant Governor with the proper advice and consent from the Executive Council of Alberta. However, members of the Royal Family have owned property in a private capacity: for a number of decades, King Edward VIII owned Bedingfield Ranch, near Pekisko, High River.


Royal associations

Alberta's monarchical status is illustrated via associations between the Crown and many organizations within the province, such as the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, as well as through royal names applied regions, communities, schools, buildings, and monuments, many of which may also have a specific history with a member or members of the Royal Family. Those in the Royal Family perform ceremonial duties when on a tour of the province, officiating at events, visiting hospitals, charities, communities, and the like, and there can be found throughout Alberta numerous plaques, cornerstones, and trees, documenting these official visits. For example, the fountain inside the Legislature Building was in 1959 installed to mark the first visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the building.[8] Also, for the province's centennial, the Queen unveiled in the same structure a series of stained glass windows that highlight the role of the monarchy in Alberta over the previous century. The centre window, at the front entrance of the building, focuses on the reign of Elizabeth II, including her Royal Cypher surmounted by the a St. Edward's Crown and flanked by wild roses, while the other windows commemorate the reign of George VI, Edward VIII, George V, and Edward VII, along with provincial emblems such as the coat of arms and the Alberta rose.[9]

Organizations in Alberta may be founded by a Royal Charter, receive a royal prefix, and/or be honoured with the patronage of a member of the Royal Family, such as the Royal United Services Institute of Alberta, which is under the patronage of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, which received its royal prefix from Queen Elizabeth II in 1990.[10] At the various levels of education within Alberta there also exist a number of scholarships and academic awards either established by or named for members of the Royal Family, Queen's Golden Jubilee Scholarships for the Visual and Performing Arts, through the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Recognition Act,[11] as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship.

Though the monarch does not form a part of the constitutions of Alberta's honours, they do stem from the Crown as the fount of honour, and so bear on the insignia a St. Edward's Crown and/or effigy and/or Royal Cypher of the sovereign, and the Queen or others in her family may bestow awards in person; the Queen presented in Alberta, on her official Canadian birthday in 2005, the insignia of the Venerable Order of Saint John to new inductees,[12] and when in the province in 2002 appointed Alberta citizens to the Royal Victorian Order.


George H. V. Bulyea, the first viceregal representative of the Crown in Alberta.

Alberta's monarchical history begins with the explorations of Henry Hudson, who, in 1611, embarked on the first trading voyage that led to the formation of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), founded by Royal Charter from King Charles II. The King claimed the entire Hudson Bay watershed– which covered land all of what is now Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Minnesota, North Dakota, and more– and called the area Rupert's Land, after Prince Rupert, who helped to form the HBC. In 1869, the territory was ceded to the Crown in Right of Canada, pulling it into the jurisdiction of the Northwest Territories (NWT), which was administered by its Lieutenant Governor, until the area that is today the province emerged as the Alberta Provisional District. The name was selected by then Govenror General The Duke of Argyll, to honour his sister-in-law and the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria,Princess Louise Caroline Alberta.[13] Alberta, along with Saskatchewan, entered into Canadian Confederation on 5 September 1905, by Royal Proclamation issued by Govenror General The Earl Grey. Reporting to King Edward VII on the events of the day, the Governor General said in a telegram: "[the province is] a new leaf in Your Majesty's Maple Crown."[14]

As part of their cross-country tour in 1939, King George VI and his consort, Queen Elizabeth visited Alberta by train. When the royal couple arrived in Edmonton, the regular population of 90,000 swelled to more than 200,000, as Albertans from surrounding towns came in to catch sight of the King and Queen,[15] and at one night time stop in the Rocky Mountains, the royal couple sang along with an impromptu a cappella rendition of "When the Moon Comes over the Mountain" that broke out amongst the gathered crowd when the moon emerged from behind the clouds.[16] George and Elizabeth's daughter, Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, first came to Alberta in 1951, on behalf of her ailing father. Three months later, she became queen, and returned to the province a number of times following, such as in July 1973, to celebrate the centennial of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and in 1978, to open the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.[17] In 1956, following his appointment, Lieutenant Governor John J. Bowlen became the first provincial viceroy in Canada to be granted an audience with the Canadian monarch, starting a tradition that continues today for all of Canada's Lieutenant Governors.[18]

At the time of Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee in 2002, the Government of Alberta introduced a number of events and initiatives for the occasion. More than 4,000 Albertans attended the Lieutenant Governor's Jubilee Levée on 23 June, where Lois Hole stated: "what we want to realize is how important the monarchy is to Canada and certainly to Alberta."[11] Three years later, the Queen was in Alberta again to mark the province's 100th anniversary of entry into Confederation, where she attended, along with an audience of 25,000, a kick-off concert at Commonwealth Stadium, re-designated the Provincial Museum of Alberta as the Royal Alberta Museum, and addressed the Legislative Assembly, becoming the first reigning monarch to do so.[19] At the same time, the Ministry of Learning encouraged teachers to focus education on the monarchy and to organize field trips for their students to see the Queen and her consort, or to watch the events on television.[20] Then, in 2009, the Queen's daughter-in-law, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, opened the Air Force Museum of Alberta in Calgary, spending an extended amount of time regarding the displays.[21]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Edward VII (20 July 1905), Alberta Act, 10, Westminster: King's Printer,, retrieved 16 June 2009  
  2. ^ Privy Council Office (2008). Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Ministers of State– 2008. Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-100-11096-7. Retrieved 17 May 2009.  
  3. ^ Crown in right of Alberta v. LRB and Municipal, [1998 Alta. L.R.B.R. 332 ] (Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta 14 August 1998).
  4. ^ Elizabeth II (1 January 2002), Canadian Airlines Corporation Act, 1.a, Calgary: Alberta Queen's Printer,, retrieved 27 June 2009  
  5. ^ Her Majesty the Queen In Right of Alberta v. Rhonda Fjeld, 0503 02287, 2008 ABQB 558 (Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta 15 April 2008).
  6. ^ MacLeod, Kevin S. (2008), A Crown of Maples (1 ed.), Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada, p. 16, ISBN 978-0-662-46012-1,  
  7. ^ Forsey, Eugene (31 December 1974), "Crown and Cabinet", in Forsey, Eugene, Freedom and Order: Collected Essays, Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Ltd., ISBN 978-0771097737  
  8. ^ Jackson, Michael D. (2005). "The Queen of Canada in Alberta". Canadian Monarchist News (Toronto: Monarchist League of Canada) Fall-Winter 2005 (24): 14. Retrieved 28 June 2009.  
  9. ^ Queen's Printer for Alberta (12 May 2005). "Unveiling offers window of opportunity for Royal watchers". Press release. Retrieved 28 June 2009.  
  10. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Royal Tyrrell Museum Cooperating Society. Retrieved 18 July 2008.  
  11. ^ a b Hoople, Chelsea (2002). "Alberta honours its citizens in the name of the Queen". Canadian Monarchist News (Toronto: Monarchist League of Canada) Autumn 2002. Retrieved 27 June 2009.  
  12. ^ Saint John Ambulance (24 May 2005). "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, presents the Order of Saint John Insignia". Press release. Retrieved 27 June 2009.  
  13. ^ Government of Alberta. "About Alberta > History". Alberta Queen's Printer. Retrieved 28 June 2009.  
  14. ^ Grey, Albert (4 March & 1 September 1905), "Grey to Edward VII", in Doig, Ronald P., Earl Grey's papers: An introductory survey (1 ed.), London: Private Libraries Association  
  15. ^ Goodine, Scott (19 May 2005). "1939 Royal Visit captured in a one-of-a-kind diary". Alberta Queen's Printer.  
  16. ^ Pigott, Peter (2005). Royal Transport: An Inside Look at the History of Royal Travel. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-55002-572-9.  
  17. ^ Government of Alberta. "Premier Ralph Klein > Royal Visit > Past Visits". Alberta Queen's Printer. Retrieved 28 June 2009.  
  18. ^ Munro, Kenneth (2005). The Maple Crown in Alberta: The Office of Lieutenant Governor. Victoria: Trafford. ISBN 141205317X.  
  19. ^ Government of Alberta. "Alberta Centennial Home > Official Events > Celebrate Alberta Kick-Off Party". Alberta Queen's Printer. Retrieved 28 June 2009.  
  20. ^ Government of Alberta. "Education Home > Centennial Projects > Alberta students encouraged to join the festivities the Royal Visit 2005". Alberta Queen's Printer. Retrieved 28 June 2009.  
  21. ^ Stepaniuk, Violette (2 July 2009), New museum in Calgary tells story of Canada’s Air Force, Skytech Dynamics Corporation,, retrieved 3 July 2009  

External links


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