The present monarch is Elizabeth II officially titled Queen of Canada (Reine du Canada) who has reigned since February 6, 1952. She, her consort and other members of the Canadian Royal Family undertake various public and private functions across Canada and on behalf of the country abroad. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role, holding ultimate executive authority, though her Royal Prerogative remains bound by laws enacted by her in parliament and by conventions and precedents, leaving the day-to-day exercise of executive power to her Cabinet. While several powers are the sovereign's alone, most of the royal constitutional and ceremonial duties in Canada are carried out by the Queen's representative, the Governor General; as such, the Governor General can sometimes be referred to as the de facto head of state. In each of Canada's provinces the monarch is represented by a lieutenant governor. The territories are not sovereign, and thus do not have a viceroy.
The Canadian monarch, besides reigning in Canada, separately serves as monarch for each of fifteen other Commonwealth countries known as Commonwealth realms. This developed from the former colonial relationship of these countries to Britain, but they are now independent and the monarchy of each is legally distinct.
Given these arrangements, it is considered impossible for the monarch of Canada to receive an ambassador from, or send an ambassador to, any country of which he or she is also monarch; essentially sending an ambassador to him or herself. Instead, the practice of sending High Commissioners developed, wherein an individual is sent to be a representative in one realm of the government in another.
The provincial and federal governments keep records of expenditures associated with the Crown, but no official report on the full cost of the monarchy is compiled. Every three years, the Monarchist League of Canada issues a survey, based on the various federal and provincial budgets, expenditures and estimates, that outlines a yearly cost for the functioning of the Crown. The 2005 survey found that the institution cost Canadians roughly $49 million in 2004. Previous surveys found that the overall cost of the Canadian Crown was $22 million in 1999, and $34 million in 2002. (This does not take into account the inflation of the Canadian Dollar over these years.)
Upon a demise of the Crown (the death or abdication of a sovereign) it is customary for the accession of the new monarch to be publicly proclaimed by the Governor General, on behalf of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, which meets at Rideau Hall after the accession. Ted McWhinney theorised that failure to make this proclamation would result in an empty throne for Canada, leaving the Governor General as full head of state; however, the proposal was met with criticism from legal experts. Regardless of any proclamations, the late sovereign's heir immediately and automatically succeeds, without any need for confirmation or further ceremony; hence arises the phrase "The King is dead. Long live the King!" Following an appropriate period of mourning, the monarch is also crowned in the United Kingdom, though this ritual is not necessary for a sovereign to reign; for example, Edward VIII was never crowned, yet was undoubtedly king during his short time on the throne. All incumbent viceroys, judges, civil servants, legislators, military officers, etc., are not affected by the death of the monarch, as per the 1927 Act Respecting the Demise of the Crown, though they are required to re-take the Oath of Allegiance. After an individual ascends the throne, he or she typically continues to reign until death. Monarchs are not allowed to unilaterally abdicate; the only Canadian monarch to abdicate, Edward VIII, did so with the authorization of the Canadian government granted in His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act, 1936. A special Act of Canadian Parliament – the Succession to the Throne Act, 1937 – later confirmed this in law.
Today the sovereign is regarded as the personification, or legal personality, of the Canadian state, described by the Department of Canadian Heritage as the "personal symbol of allegiance, unity and authority for all Canadians," a concept akin to that expressed in the statement by King Louis XIV: "l'État, c'est moi", or, "I am the state. Elizabeth II said in 1973: "But it is as Queen of Canada that I am here, Queen of Canada and of all Canadians, not just of one or two ancestral strains. I want the Crown to be seen as a symbol of national sovereignty belonging to all. It is not only a link between Commonwealth nations, but between Canadian citizens of every national origin and ancestry," while Robertson Davies stated in 1994: "the Crown is the consecrated spirit of Canada. Therefore, the state is referred to as Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (French: Sa Majesté la Reine du chef du Canada), and likewise for the provinces. (e.g., in Right of Ontario, etc.). For example, if a lawsuit is filed against the federal government, the respondent is formally described as Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, or simply Regina. Likewise, in a case in which a party sues both the province of Saskatchewan and the federal government, the respondents would formally be called Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Saskatchewan and Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. All Canadians live under the authority of the Crown, and anyone born in Canada, whether to citizens or to landed migrants, is recognised as a natural-born subject of the Crown, as per common law.
As such, the monarch is the owner of all state lands (called Crown land), buildings and equipment (called Crown held property), state owned companies (called Crown Corporations), and the copyright for all government publications (called Crown copyright), as well as guardianship of foster children (called Crown wards), either as Queen in Right of Canada or of a relevant province, in his or her position as sovereign, and not as an individual. Government staff are also employed by the monarch; the Supreme Court found in the 1980 case Attorney General of Quebec v. Labrecque that civil servants in Canada are not contracted by an abstraction called "the state," but rather they are employed by the monarch, who "enjoys a general capacity to contract in accordance with the rule of ordinary law. This situation is similar for the governors, judges, members of the Canadian Forces, police officers, and parliamentarians, who all technically work for the monarch. In this role, the monarch is the locus of oaths of allegiance; it states in the Rules & Forms of the House of Commons of Canada that "allegiance to the King means allegiance to the Country. Hence, many employees of the Crown are required by law to recite the Oath of Allegiance before taking their posts, though the 2003 Public Services Modernization Act ended the requirement of civil servants to swear allegiance to the Queen. Also, by the Citizenship Act, new citizens also must swear allegiance to the monarch in the Oath of Citizenship, in reciprocation to the sovereign's Coronation Oath, wherein he or she promises "to govern the Peoples of ... Canada ... according to their respective laws and customs".
Past Ontario chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada Gary Toffoli stated: "The Queen is the legal embodiment of the state at both the national and the provincial levels. There is no other legal embodiment. That is why the oath is taken to the Queen. It is not taken because she is an admirable person in her own right or because it is a nice tradition to maintain. It is taken to the Queen because she is our sovereign and it is the role of the Queen, recognized by the constitutional law of Canada, to embody the state.
All institutions of government are said to act under the sovereign's authority; the vast powers that belong to the Crown are collectively known as the Royal Prerogative. Parliamentary approval is not required for the exercise of the Royal Prerogative; moreover, the consent of the Crown must be obtained before either of the houses of parliament may even debate a bill affecting the sovereign's prerogatives or interests. While the Royal Prerogative is extensive, it is not unlimited; for example, the monarch does not have the prerogative to impose and collect new taxes such an action requires the authorization of an Act of Parliament. Further, the constitution instructs that any change to the position of the monarch, or the monarch's representatives in Canada, requires the consent of the Senate, the House of Commons, and the legislative assemblies of all the provinces. The government of Canada is also thus formally referred to as Her Majesty's Government.
In accordance with convention, the monarch or Governor General, to maintain the stability of government, must appoint as prime minister the individual most likely to maintain the support of the House of Commons: usually the leader of the political party with a majority in that house, but also when no party or coalition holds a majority (referred to as a minority government situation), or other scenarios in which the Governor General's judgement about the most suitable candidate for prime minister has to be brought into play. The Governor General also appointes to Cabinet the other ministers of the Crown, who are, in turn, accountable to the democratically elected House of Commons, and through it, to the people. The Queen is informed by her viceroy of the acceptance of the resignation of a prime minister and the swearing-in of a new prime minister and other members of the ministry, and she remains fully briefed through regular communications from her Canadian ministers, and holds audience with them where possible.
Members of various executive agencies, and other officials are appointed by the Crown. The commissioning of lieutenant governors, privy councillors, senators, the Speaker of the Senate, Supreme Court justices, and Superior and County Court judges in each province also falls under the Royal Prerogative, though these duties are specifically assigned to the Governor General by the Constitution Act, 1867, save for the appointment of judges to the Courts of Probate in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Public inquiries are also commissioned by the Crown through a Royal Warrant, and are called Royal Commissions.
The sovereign, along with the Senate and the House of Commons, is one of the three components of parliament, called the Queen-in-Parliament. The authority of the Crown therein is embodied in the mace for each house, which both bear a crown at their apex. The monarch and viceroy do not, however, participate in the legislative process save for the granting of Royal Assent. Further, the Constitution Act, 1867, outlines that the Governor General alone is responsible for summoning the House of Commons, though it remains the monarch's prerogative to prorogue, and dissolve parliament, after which the writs for a general election are usually dropped by the Governor General at Rideau Hall. The new parliamentary session is marked by the State Opening of Parliament, during which either the monarch or the Governor General reads the Speech from the Throne. As the monarch and viceroy cannot enter the House of Commons, this, as well as the bestowing of Royal Assent, takes place in the Senate chamber; Members of Parliament are summoned to these ceremonies from the Commons by the Crown's messenger, the Usher of the Black Rod, after he knocks on the doors of the lower house that have been slammed closed on him, to symbolise the barring of the monarch from the Commons.
All laws in Canada are enacted only with the viceroy's, or sovereign's, granting of Royal Assent; usually done by the Governor General or relevant Lieutenant Governor, with the Great Seal of Canada or the appropriate provincial seal. Thus, all federal bills begin with the phrase "Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows, There is some debate over whether the monarch is constitutionally allowed to personally grant Royal Assent to provincial bills, however, he or she can do so for the federal parliament (as George VI did in 1939), and the Governor General may defer Royal Assent to the sovereign. A Lieutenant Governor of a province may similarly defer to the Governor General, who may in turn defer to the monarch, who has the power to disallow any bill, within a time limit specified by the constitution. Recently, activists opposed to Bill C-38 lobbied Queen Elizabeth II to disallow the legislation after it was passed by parliament. However, it received Royal Assent from Beverley McLachlin, then Deputy of the Governor General, on July 20, 2005. Territorial legislatures, unlike their provincial counterparts, are subject to the oversight of the Government of Canada.
In addition, the monarch also serves as a symbol of the legitimacy of courts of justice, and of their judicial authority. An image of the Queen or the Arms of Her Majesty in Right of Canada is always displayed in Canadian courtrooms; exceptions are the courts of British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, and some of the courts of Ontario, where the Arms of Her Majesty in Right of the United Kingdom are displayed as a symbol of the judiciary. Itinerant judges will display an image of the Queen and the Canadian flag when holding a session away from established courtrooms; such situations occur in parts of Canada where the stakeholders in a given court case are too isolated geographically to be able to travel for regular proceedings.
The Canadian monarchy is a federal one in which the Crown is unitary across the country, with the headship of state being a part of neither the federal nor provincial jurisdictions, meaning the sovereignty of the provinces is passed on not by the Governor General or the Canadian parliament, but through the Crown itself. This means that, though unitary, the Crown is "divided" into eleven legal jurisdictions; into eleven "crowns" one federal and ten provincial. The Fathers of Confederation viewed this system of constitutional monarchy as a bulkwark against any potential fracturing of the Canadian federation.
A Lieutenant Governor serves as the Queen's representative in each province, carrying out all the monarch's constitutional and ceremonial duties of state on her behalf. The Commissioners of Canada's territories of Nunavut, Yukon, and Northwest Territories are appointed by the Governor-in-Council, at the recommendation of the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, but, as the territories are not sovereign entities, the commissioners are not representatives of the sovereign.
Official duties involve the sovereign representing the state at home or abroad, or other Royal Family members participating in a government organised ceremony either in Canada or elsewhere. At present, the Department of Canadian Heritage, specifically the Chief of Protocol, is responsible for organizing official events in Canada that involve the Royal Family, as part of the State Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Program. A household to assist and tend to the monarch also forms part of the royal party. The sovereign and/or his or her family have participated in events such as various centennials and bicentennials; Canada Day; the openings of Pan American, Olympic, and other games; anniversaries of First Nations treaty signings; award ceremonies; D-Day commemorations; anniversaries of the monarch's accession; and the like. Also, though the sovereign and his or her family more frequently represent the UK abroad, as directed by the British Cabinet, and typically the Governor General, as representative of the monarch, will undertake state visits and other foreign duties on behalf of Canada, the Royal Family will take part in Canadian events overseas; for instance, King Edward VIII dedicated the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France; George VI and his wife visited the United States as King and Queen of Canada; and Queen Elizabeth II has undertaken duties on behalf of Canada in the US, the United Kingdom, and France. Other royals have participated in Canadian ceremonies or undertaken duties abroad, such as Prince Charles at the anniversary of D-Day in France, and Prince Edward at the anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium, and Prince Andrew meeting with Canadian troops in Afghanistan.
Unofficial duties are performed by Royal Family members on behalf of Canadian organizations of which they may be patrons, through their attendance at charity events, visiting with members of the Canadian Forces as Colonel-in-Chief, or marking certain key anniversaries. The invitation and expenses associated with these undertakings are usually borne by the associated organization. In 2002 members of the Royal Family were present at a total of 117 Canadian engagements, 57 events in 2003, 19 in 2004, and 76 in 2005.
Apart from Canada, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family regularly perform public duties in the other fifteen nations of the Commonwealth in which the Queen is head of state. As the Crown within these countries is a legally separate entity from the Canadian Crown, it is funded in these countries individually, through the ordinary legislative budgeting process. This situation, however, can mean the monarch and/or members of the Royal Family will be promoting one nation and not another; a situation that has been met with criticism.
The main symbol of the monarchy is the sovereign herself, described as "the personal expression of the Crown in Canada. Thus, her image appears on currency, and in portraits in public buildings, and she is mentioned in, and the subject of, songs, toasts, and salutes. A crown is also used to illustrate the monarchy as the locus of authority, appearing on decorations and honours, provincial and national coats of arms, and police force and Canadian Forces regimental and maritime badges and rank insignia.
Victoria Day marks the reigning sovereign's official birthday in Canada. and there are hundreds of places named for Canadian monarchs and members of the Royal Family all across Canada; no individual has been more honoured in this way than Queen Victoria. There also exist hundreds of statues of, and monuments to, Canada's monarchs, usually on the grounds of government buildings or in large public parks. As well, the Royal Swans live in Ottawa; of two varieties (the Mute Swan, and Black Swan), the original six pairs of birds were a gift to the city from Queen Elizabeth II in 1967, to commemorate the Canadian Centennial. Since then, the number of Royal Swans has increased, such that they now occupy the waters of the Rideau River between Carlton University and Cummings Bridge.
Besides government and military institutions, a number of Canadian civilian organizations have association with the monarchy, either through their being founded via a Royal Charter (such as the Hudson's Bay Company, the city of Saint John, New Brunswick, Scouts Canada, and McGill University.), having been granted the right to use the prefix royal before their name (such as the Royal Ottawa Golf Club and the Royal Canadian Regiment), or because at least one member of the Royal Family serves as a patron.
Some charities and volunteer organizations have also been founded as gifts to, or in honour of, some of Canada's monarchs or members of the Royal Family, such as the Victorian Order of Nurses (a gift to Queen Victoria for her Diamond Jubilee in 1897), the Canadian Cancer Fund (set up in honour of King George V's Silver Jubilee in 1935), and the Queen Elizabeth II Fund to Aid in Research on the Diseases of Children.
A number of awards in Canada are issued in the name of previous or present members of the Royal Family.
The current Canadian monarchy can trace its ancestral lineage back to the Anglo-Saxon period, and ultimately back to the kings of the Angles and the early Scottish kings. The Crown in Canada specifically has grown over the centuries since parts of the territories that today comprise Canada were claimed under King Francis I in 1534, while others were claimed by Queen Elizabeth I in 1583; both of whom are blood relatives of the current monarch. Though the first French and British colonizers of Canada interpreted the hereditary nature of some indigenous North American chieftainships as a form of monarchy, it is generally accepted that Canada has been the territory of a monarch, or a monarchy in its own right, only since the establishment of New France.
Throughout the 18th century, via war and treaties, the Canadian colonies of France were ceded to King George III. The colonies were confederated by Queen Victoria in 1867 to form Canada as a kingdom in its own right, the Crown became uniquely Canadian after the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, and the country was proclaimed fully independent, via constitutional patriation, by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982. That act is said to have entrenched the monarchy in Canada, due to the stringent requirements, as laid out in the amending formula, that must be met in order to alter the monarchy in any way.
The emergence of a distinct monarchy for Canada was demonstrated in the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936 when Canada had to pass its own Succession to the Throne Act, which effected changes to the rules of succession in Canada so that they matched those within the other realms of the British Commonwealth as well as when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth travelled from Canada into the United States as King and Queen of Canada. As ease of travel increased, visits by the sovereign and other Royal Family members became more and more frequent, seeing the Queen Elizabeth II officiate at such important moments as the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959; the Canadian Centennial in 1967; the opening of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal; the patriation of the Constitution in 1982, the 500th anniversary, in 1997, of Cabot's landing at Bonavista; and more.
Through the 1960s and 1970s, the rise of Quebec nationalism and changes in Canadian identity created an atmosphere where the purpose and role of the monarchy came into question. Some references to the monarch and the monarchy were removed from the public eye, and moves were made by the federal government to constitutionally alter the Crown's place and role in Canada; but, provincial and federal ministers, along with loyal national citizen's organisations, ensured that the system remained essentially the same. Still, by 2002, the year of The Queen's Golden Jubilee: a Canadian Celebration, it was revealed in a poll that only 5% of Canadians were aware that the monarch was their head of state, though the royal tour and associated fêtes for the jubilee proved popular with Canadians.
The Canadian Royal Family is a group of people closely related to the monarch of Canada; it is a non-resident royal family, as those who comprise the group live predominantly in the United Kingdom; some members have lived in Canada for extended periods as viceroy, such as Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone. Members often perform ceremonial and social duties but, aside from the monarch, have no role in the affairs of government. Those who compose the Royal Family carry the style His or Her Majesty (HM), His or Her Royal Highness (HRH), or sometimes The Right Honourable (in French: Sa Majesté (SM), Son Altesse Royale (SAR), and Le très honorable), which usually results in the application of the term to the monarch, the consort of the monarch, the widowed consorts of previous monarchs, the children of the monarch, the male-line grandchildren of the monarch, and the spouses and the widowed spouses of a monarch's son and male-line grandsons.
It has been stated by the Canadian Royal Heritage Trust that Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, due to his having lived in Canada between 1791 and 1800, and his being father of Queen Victoria, is "the ancestor of the modern Canadian Royal Family". However, the concept of the Canadian Royal Family did not emerge until after the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931. Though the act came into effect during the reign of King George V, Canadian officials only began to overtly consider putting the principles of Canada's new status as an independent kingdom into effect during the late 1930s. At first, the monarch was the only member of the Royal Family to carry out public ceremonial duties solely on the advice of Canadian ministers; King Edward VIII became the first to do so when he dedicated the Vimy Memorial in July, 1936 one of his few obligations performed during his short reign. Over the decades, however, the monarch's children, grandchildren, cousins, and their respective spouses began to perform functions at the direction of the Canadian government, representing the monarch within Canada or abroad.
Despite the length of service, it was not until October 2002, when the term Canadian Royal Family was first used publicly and officially by a member of it: in a speech given to the Nunavut legislature at its opening, Queen Elizabeth II stated: "I am proud to be the first member of the Canadian Royal Family to be greeted in Canada's newest territory". Still, the Canadian media often still refer to the Royal Family as the British Royal Family.
Although there is no strict legal or formal definition of who is or is not a member of the Royal Family a royal family is loosely defined as the extended family of a monarch according to former Minister of Canadian Heritage Sheila Copps, the Canadian federal government does maintain an official list of Royal Family members for matters of honours and protocol. Because of the shared nature of the Crown, most members of the Canadian Royal Family are also members of the British Royal Family, and are thus also members of the House of Windsor. There are some exceptions, however; for instance Angus Ogilvy was included in the Department of Canadian Heritage's Royal Family list, whereas he was not considered a member of the British Royal Family.
There have been two marriages of Canadian citizens into the extended royal family. In 1988, Sylvana Jones (née Tomaselli) married George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews, a great-grandson of George V. On May 18, 2008, Autumn Kelly, originally from Montreal, married Peter Phillips. Phillips is the son of Princess Anne, and the eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II. Divorced spouses of the monarch's descendants are removed from the official government list of Royal Family members, as was the case with Diana, Princess of Wales.
Canadian poet George Elliott Clarke has publicly opined on a fully First Nations royal family, asking "why can't a truly Canadian royal family be Aboriginal or Métis? I think the project ... would do wonders for national identity and national unity". However, this would contravene the convention laid out in the preamble to the Statute of Westminster (a part of the Canadian Constitution).
The existence of a Canadian royal family has been contested by some, mostly in the small Canadian republican movement. However, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Iona Campagnolo has also stated she feels Canada does not "really have a royal family".
However, in Canada these styles are also translated to French. The most senior members of the Royal Family are styled as follows:
The sovereign's primary official residence is Rideau Hall, in Ottawa; however, this is also, and predominantly, the official home of the Governor General. Rideau Hall is the site of most state banquets, investitures, swearing-in of ministers, and other ceremonies; moreover, visiting heads of state usually reside at the palace. Another principal residence of the Governor General is La Citadelle, in Quebec City. Each of these residences holds pieces from the Crown Collection, made up of antique and contemporary furniture and works of art from each province and territory of Canada, as well as Europe, Asia, and other regions, the majority of which came from donations to the Canada Fund. The provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island also maintain residences, used primarily by the respective lieutenant governor, though the monarch or other members of the Royal Family will reside there when in the province.
Though never used, Hatley Castle, in British Columbia was purchased by King George VI in Right of Canada in 1940 to use as his home during the course of World War II; it was used instead for Royal Roads Military College. Another war-time residence was the Emergency Government Headquarters, built at CFS Carp, completed in 1959 and decommissioned in 1994; the facility included a residential apartment for the sovereign or Governor General in the case of a nuclear attack on Ottawa.
The aforementioned buildings and artworks belong, or belonged, to the Crown; they are held in trust for future rulers, and cannot be sold by the monarch. However, monarchs have owned homes and land in Canada in a private capacity: King Edward VIII owned Bedingfield Ranch, near Pekisko, Alberta. Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, sister of Queen Elizabeth II, also owned Portland Island; the land was presented to her during a visit to the province in 1958. She held it until her death in 2002; however, she offered it on permanent loan to the Crown in Right of British Columbia in 1966, after lengthy correspondence between the Lieutenant Governor and Kensington Palace. The island and surrounding waters eventually became Princess Margaret Marine Park As it is convention to conceal royal wills from the public, it is unknown as to whom the island was bequeathed by the Princess after her passing.
To assist the Queen in carrying out her official duties on behalf of Canada, she appoints various people to her Canadian household. Along with the Acting Canadian Secretary to the Queen, the monarch's entourage includes two Ladies-in-Waiting, the Canadian Equerry-in-Waiting to the Queen, the Queen's Police Officer, the Duke of Edinburgh's Police Officer, the Queen's Honorary Physician, the Queen's Honorary Dental Surgeon, and the Queen's Honorary Nursing Sister, the latter three being drawn from the Canadian Forces. There are also three Household Regiments specifically attached to the Royal Household: the Governor General's Foot Guards, the Governor General's Horse Guards, and the Canadian Grenadier Guards.
Although not specifically attached to any residences, there are two Chapels Royal in Canada, that are part of the Royal Household. Both in Ontario, the The Queen's Chapel of the Mohawks, built in 1785, is in Brantford, and Christ Church, Her Majesty's Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, founded in 1784 and rebuilt in 1843, is situated near Deseronto. Both were granted the status of Royal Chapel by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004.
Over the centuries there have been literal and symbolic gestures to demonstrate the nation-to-nation relationship, from the commemoration by Queen Anne of the Four Mohawk Kings in 1710, to Queen Elizabeth II donating a piece of Balmoral granite engraved with the ciphers of Queen Victoria and herself to the First Nations University of Canada in 2005. The First Nations, in return, honour members of the Royal Family with ceremonies and traditional titles.
As the repository of all authority in Canada, the Crown sits at the pinnacle of the Canadian Forces. The monarch is the Commander-in-Chief of the entire forces, though the Governor General holds this title and usually exercises the duties on behalf of the sovereign. The monarch is also the Honorary Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The sovereign's position and role in the military is reflected by naval vessels bearing the prefix Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) His Majesty's Canadian Ship during the reign of a king and all members of the forces must swear allegiance to the Queen and her heirs and successors. Members of the Royal Family are also Colonel-in-Chief of many Canadian regiments. As such, they have presided over military ceremonies both abroad and at home, including Troopings of the Colour, inspections of the troops, and anniversaries of key battles; whenever the sovereign or a member of her family is in Ottawa, they lay a wreath at the National War Memorial.
Where debate does exist, it tends to be a largely academic one, and several books have been written that explore the subject from a political science perspective. Unlike some other Commonwealth realms, Canada has never had a head of government who has been openly republican. Neither of Canada's two most prominent political parties, the Liberal Party or the Conservative Party, is officially in favour of abolishing the monarchy; though the latter makes support for constitutional monarchy a founding principle in its policy declaration. The New Democratic Party (NDP) has no official position on the role of the monarchy, while the leaders of the Bloc Québécois are vocally opposed to the Crown. Some politicians, having pledged allegiance to the Queen, have occasionally publicly voiced their opinion on the matter, following former-Deputy Prime Minister John Manley's 2002 statement that he was in favour of abolishing the monarchy.
Though it was not the case prior to the 1960s, shifting attitudes in Quebec nationalism have made it the one province that has recently shown significant republican sentiment; the Parti Québécois has, like its federal counterpart, at times expressed hostility to the institution of the monarchy. However, as the party views Quebec sovereignty as a more pressing concern, and sees the Crown as a purely federal institution (despite the existence of the Crown in Right of Quebec), it has recently tended to decline comment on the issue.
Canada has two special-interest groups representing the debate, who frequently argue the issue in the media: the Monarchist League of Canada and Citizens for a Canadian Republic. There are also other loyal organizations, such as the The United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada, the Canadian Royal Heritage Trust, the Democratic Canadian Union, and the Orange Order in Canada.