A royal weekend in Canada

by Raymond Parker on May 21, 2012

in Events, History

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Don’t Make Me Use The Mace

(State Portrait by George Hayter)

Everyone loves a parade

Here we are again, celebrating Her Royal Highness’s birthday with camping and beer; it’s a Canadian tradition.

Charles & Camilla are in sunny Fredericton, New Brunswick, unveiling plaques, or whatever, while here in the Empress of India’s namesake town the usual Victoria Day parade is parading in the rain.

I’m watching it on TV, under the weather and housebound by a vicious flu.

Queen Victoria stands for many things, though prudishness may be misplaced. Word has it she enjoyed a bit of royal bouncy-bouncy. At any rate, with nine progeny, she must have got her knickers off occasionally.

Lest I be accused of irreverence, let me remind readers that, as a product of post-Empire, -industrial Britain, I hold a certain regard for pomp and ceremony, and nostalgia for the industrious culture celebrated in the previous post. Yet, the working class from which I hail, is equally apt to “take the Mickey.”

Perhaps when Tweed Riders dress up in imitation of Victorian cyclists, they hope to experience, for an hour, the imagined simplicity and civility of a bygone era—one with a few ideas worth preserving.

As howitzers boom a salute over the harbour, I wish you all a happy Victoria Day!

Here’s an idea for next year’s Tweed Ride: Queen Victoria’s tricycle ride. Better get to work.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add your spin! }

Ryan May 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I loved the pictures of the Tweed riders. I swear I’ll have to hit thrift stores in the city to look for clothing like that :p

It’s too bad Victoria Day has become nothing more then drinking, fireworks and (at least in Ontario) opening up the cottage.

My neighbours drove me bonkers from Sunday night. 3-hours non-stop of fireworks and firecrackers.


Raymond Parker May 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Maybe they think it’s Guy Fawkes’ Day.


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