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Loyalist community proud to celebrate Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Story and photos by Amanda Jean Stanley
Prince Edward County honoured the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee on the weekend with a grand celebration at the Wellington Community Centre.

Jane Ann Thompson-McGaw with her letter from the Queen

“Our Queen would be so proud to know a Loyalist community is celebrating her 60th Jubilee,” said Jane Ann Thompson-McGaw, guest speaker at the event. As a member of the Monarchist League of Canada, Thompson-McGaw shared humorous and heart-warming stories about Queen Elizabeth.  She also impressed that “What you read isn’t always real,” when it comes to tabloids and the monarchy. She knows this through a friend who worked closely with the royal family who passed on tales of their down-to-earth habits. She noted the Queen-Mum enjoyed flinging peas at family members across the dinner table using her spoon as a catapult.

Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second is the second longest serving monarch. In three years she will surpass Queen Victoria as the longest ruling monarch in the United Kingdom. Only five other kings and queens in British history have reigned for 50 years or more (Victoria 63 years;  George III 59 years; Henry III 56 years; Edward III 50 years; James VI of Scotland (James I of England) 58 years. The Queen is the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror obtained the crown of England.

Souvenirs and memorabilia of the Queen’s reign were on display as guests gathered at Wellington to hear stories, sing the Royal Anthem, and say prayers.
Two Grenadier Guards stood watch at the entrance to the Community Centre while a “boot sale” (“Boot” is the British word for “trunk”) taking place in the centre’s parking lot featured unique items from local handmade clothing and food to antiques such as a delightfully restored Underwood typewriter.

Guests were piped into the official opening ceremonies. An invocation was delivered by Father Brad Smith and a Mohawk Thanksgiving Traditional Prayer, which blended Canadian tradition into the event. Penny and Roanna Kitchen performed songs and guided the guests in singing the national and royal anthems.

Much of the collection of memorabilia on display at the celebration was a part of Thompson-McGaw’s private collection – including a Victorian Cross and a letter from Queen Elizabeth II. The cross was a gift from Queen Victoria to a group of English students in 1900 for perfect attendance. The letter was in response to Jane’s correspondence to the Queen informing of all her speaking engagements for the Diamond Jubilee.
The Queen’s response reads: “I send you my grateful thanks for the words of loyalty and support which you have so kindly sent on the occasion of the Sixtieth Anniversary of my Accession to the Throne. Elizabeth R.”
Some Canadians continue to question how the monarchy is still relevant. Thompson McGaw says the monarchy is a link to our heritage and part of Canada’s tradition and national identity.
She stresses that celebrating this identity should be demonstrated in many ways, like flying our flag proudly and often, not just following the lives of the royal family.
“Americans are flying their flags everywhere – on every woodshed,” she said, adding that she hopes Canadians will connect with their heritage and patriotism by celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year and continuing to express pride in Canada by displaying national emblems like the flag.

Following official ceremonies, an English tea was served while a violinist walked throughout the space. Finger sandwiches, scones and lemonade were appetizing details in the tea room hosted by the Prince Edward Historical Society, Heritage Canada and the Museums of Prince Edward County.

The British Monarchy’s official website: http://www.royal.gov.uk/
The official British Monarchy YouTube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/theroyalchannel

Royal Twitter site: https://twitter.com/#!/BritishMonarchy
Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/britishmonarchy/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy

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