Bloody hell! With the royal wedding in the rearview and royal baby hype at an all-time high, a growing number of Canadians are succumbing to Windsor fever. We spoke to the Chairman of the Greater Toronto chapter of the Monarchist League of Canada about the pending arrival, the crown’s place in Canadian politics, and why the Queen totally has bitchy resting face.
Word is the royal baby will arrive any day now. From one to ten, where would you rate your excitement level?
I would put it at a seven leaning towards an eight, if only because it seems that the baby is slightly overdue, based on the due date that people were predicting which was around the 13th. Like everybody, I’m just ready for this to happen so we can get some celebrations under way and also to relieve the anxiety. No birth is completely uncomplicated, so as soon as we know we have a healthy baby there will be a little bit of relief.
You’re a young guy. Isn’t the monarchy more of a fuddy duddy’s pursuit?
I think that certainly was the case. At least one if not two generations sort of lost sight of the crown—it was there but nobody thought much of it and the whole thing got kind of stale. But now you have a new generation who are interested and want to know about more than just an old lady in a crown or pretty people on the cover of Hello! magazine.
How did you get interested? Were you born in Canada?
Yes, I was born in New Brunswick. I can remember when Diana died—that was a very important thing for my family, but I didn’t really think that much about it until I moved to Toronto and started at U of T. I was interested in politics and a lot of the people that I was meeting were from places that didn’t have a connection to the royal family, or places that had completely different monarchies like Saudi Arabia. I started to think about what defines me as a Canadian and what makes the Canadian democracy different from the American democracy or the French democracy.
Robert Finch, the CEO of your organization has said that the greatest threat to the monarchy is not republicanism, but indifference. So convince me why I should care.
I think without our connection to the crown, what we would have is a national government where the most important thing is what political party you’re a part of and whether your party is in power or not. In Canada, that isn’t the case. Yes, we vote in elections and people identify with their political parties, but above all of that there has always been the crown, which reminds us that at the end of the day, everyone is Canadian. Canadians might not be completely aware of it, but this sense that we’re all in it together has really led to some of the things we hold dear, like universal health care.
It just seems absurd that the highest office in a democratic country is held by an unelected official.
The Queen holds the highest office in the land, but it’s not an executive office. She can’t create law, and her main job is to make sure the Prime Minister does not violate the constitution, which is actually the most democratic thing possible. She is there to remind us that true democracy remembers everyone and not just the political majority.
Do you think that maybe she might be more popular if she smiled more?
I remember reading once in a book that the Queen once lamented to a friend that she was cursed with one of those faces where, when her face is relaxed, she looks angry.
So the Queen has bitchy resting face?
I haven’t heard of that expression, but I guess so.
I know you were in London for the royal wedding. What was that experience like?
It was chaotic and at the same time very uplifting. I was lucky because the spot where I chose to sit was right along the route that Kate took when she was going to the church. I had gotten there the night before so I was very close to the front of the crowd. She went by me about twelve feet away. She was completely radiant and regal. It was incredible.
So you slept over to get your space?
I was there for the whole night, but I don’t think I slept a single moment. Nobody did—there was too much excitement.
Do you have a girlfriend and if so, is she a fellow monarchist?
I do. She has a similar point of view to the average Canadian, which is that she doesn’t sit around talking about how much she loves the royal family, but she is quick to acknowledge that we could do a lot worse.
Does she ever get tired of hearing about the monarchy?
Not really. Though when we moved into our new apartment and I started putting up images of the Queen, she told me I had a limit of three and that they should all go in a special place and not all over the apartment. So that’s what I did.
Tim Hortons or Red Rose?
Donut or crumpet?
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CNN or BBC?
Favourite Spice Girl?
Favourite Toronto pub?
Pet guinea pig.
Favourite Brit curse word?