Guests to the Oak Bay summer market snagged a snap or a selfie with the ‘Queen’ last Wednesday.
The party started with a noon-hour ceremony celebrating the longest-serving British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who surpassed Queen Victoria’s record on Sept. 9.
Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon, who serves as the queen’s representative in B.C., addressed the unbelievable changes the Queen has witnessed over her 63 years, seven months and two days (to Sept. 9).
Changes in technology and movement around the world have created unprecedented urbanization, social changes and have transformed what constitutes a family.
“Always her majesty, with equanimity, has absorbed these changes and embraced the new norms with dignity,” Guichon said.
She added that during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign the Commonwealth has grown from eight to 53 members, “a family of nations with a shared past and a common language who shared enhanced trust and work to promote values such as democracy, human rights, peace and security good governance and protecting the environment.”
“It is indeed hard to pinpoint her majesty’s greatest legacy, she has however continued to ennoble the role which she has embraced and dignified for six decades,” Guichon said.
“His Honour Henry Jackman, former lieutenant governor of Ontario, put it so aptly, I believe, when he said: ‘For the monarchy is much more than a person. It embodies the constitutional framework of our freedoms; the set of beliefs of attitudes of tolerance that make up this great country and make it distinctive’.”
Also on hand was George MacMinn, most senior parliamentary officer of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly and the longest-serving table officer in any Commonwealth Parliament, along with Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen.
Jensen read aloud the letter sent to the palace by the district, informing them that Oak Bay would host festivities marking the longevity of her reign.
“We remember with pride, your presence in our community in 1994 when you opened the Commonwealth Games,” the letter said. “On behalf of the council and community,please accept heartfelt wishes that you may continue to enjoy many more years of health and happiness.”
Christopher Sandamas, chief clerk to the Queen responded: “The Queen has asked me to thank you for your kind letter …”
“The Queen was pleased to be reminded of her visit to Victoria to open the Commonwealth Games in 1994 and has asked me to send her best wishes to you and all those participating in the celebrations for a most memorable and enjoyable day.”
The Queen’s reign surpasses the reign of her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, making her the longest-serving monarch in Canadian and British history.
The festivities continued with tea and photos with the “queen,” an English “bobby” and a muster of corgis on municipal hall during the final street market of the season.