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Sunday, May 17

Happy Victoria Day

Monday is Victoria Day here in Canada. It is a statutory holiday and celebrates the Queen's birthday. Though we are an independent country, we still observe the Queen's birthday.

Queen Victoria's Coronation in 1837

Queen Victoria was born on May 24, 1819 in Kensington Palace, London, England. At age 18, Victoria ascended the throne when William IV died. At that time the popularity of the Royal Family was diminishing, but Victoria, with her straight-forward manner, captured the hearts of the British people.

Victoria ruled Great Britian, Ireland and was the Empress of India. All British colonies also fell under her rule, including Canada.

In 1845, Canada West, which is now Ontario, established a holiday on Victoria's birthday, but it didn't become a national holiday until 1901. As the Queen approached her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, the holiday was named Empire Day. When Victoria died on January 22, 1901, at Osborne Hall on the Isle of Wight, the Parliament of Canada passed an Act declaring May 24th as a legal holiday. It would henceforth be called Victoria Day.

Queen Victoria at her Diamond Jubilee

In 1952, an amendment to the Statutes of Canada established that Victoria Day would fall on the Monday that preceded May 25th. Victoria Day is now Canada's official celebration of the reining Queen. Though the United Kingdom celebrates Queen Elizabeth II's birthday in June, Canada celebrates it on Victoria Day with Her Majesty's blessing.

I hope you enjoyed the history behind this long weekend. On Monday almost everything will be closed here. It is a quiet day and a good one to spend quality time with family. Enjoy your week.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for the lesson! Enjoy your day!

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  2. that's really interesting Mary, I wasn't aware that your country celebrate this day. New Zealand is under the Queen's monarchy rule.

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  3. I did not know all of this histort. Thank - you so much for sharing it with us. Have a great day....hugs....m...

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  4. Enjoyed this lesson my friend.

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  5. You are like us, The Queen is the queen of New Zealand. Some of us love royalty, don't we?

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  6. Super historical piece for your country's holiday. I enjoyed reading it all.

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  7. How is it that Ontario was considered Canada West when Ontario is in the East? :)

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  8. I'm just not sure why we didnt' celebrate Victoria day on the May 24 weekend like we used to do? Give us a better shot at decent weather.

    breeze

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  9. Enjoyed the lesson-I've never even heard of Victoria Day!

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