This year marks the 150th anniversary year of Canada’s Confederation — and Queen Elizabeth II is ready to celebrate.
In a pre-recorded video message of congratulations to the people of Canada posted on New Year’s Day and spoken in both English and French, the Queen sent her “warmest good wishes” — adding that she and her family are with the Canadian people “in spirit.” (The video appears to have been taped the same time she pre-taped her Christmas message.)
“I am delighted to offer all Canadians my best wishes and congratulations on the 150th anniversary of Confederation,” the Queen said in her message Sunday. “Countries throughout the Commonwealth and, indeed, around the world, rejoice with you as you embark on this special year.”
“Throughout the years, particularly since your Centennial year, I have watched Canada develop into a remarkable nation,” she continued. “You have earned a reputation as a welcoming, respectful and compassionate country.”
The Queen reflected back on the message she sent Canadians fifty years prior — on the even of the Centennial.
“I encouraged Canadians to continue to embody the values of equality, freedom and inclusion,” she recalled. “Today, these values remain deeply rooted in the Canadian experience. Your country, while still young, has the maturity needed to follow its passions. Throughout the coming year, you will have the opportunity to remind the world of the importance of protecting those values and of passing them on to future generations.”
She ended her speech with a message of prayer.
“We pray that God will bless Canada and that, over the next 150 years, Canadians will continue to build a better country and a better world.”
The Canadian Confederation took place on July 1, 1867 — when the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada. While the new federal state only included the four provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at the time, there have been a number of territorial changes and expansions since. The current configuration includes 10 providences and 3 territories.
An official celebration of Confederation is being planned for July.