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Canada's Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Ministers of Canada

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, is the sixth sovereign since Confederation in 1867. Although her father, King George VI, was specifically asked to govern Canada and respect its laws at his coronation in 1937, Queen Elizabeth was the first to be proclaimed independently Sovereign of Canada in 1953, following her accession to the Throne in 1952, and the first to bear the title Queen of Canada. Thirty years later, the patriation of the Constitution from the United Kingdom reaffirmed the central position of the Canadian Crown in the structure of our government.
A Crown of Maples: Constitutional Monarchy in Canada

Since her accession to the throne, Her Majesty has met with nearly every Canadian prime minister. The Toronto Star's 2012 feature, “When the Queen is your boss,” has information – without photos – on a few of the prime ministers and their relationships with the queen. Photographs, where available, are gathered below.

Louis St. Laurent (15 November 1948 - 21 June 1957)

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip with Canadian Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent in 1951. (Library and Archives Canada / PA-123994)


3rd February 1955: Queen Elizabeth II as head of the Commonwealth with the Commonwealth Prime Ministers at Buckingham Palace, London, at the time of the Commonwealth Conference in London. From left to right, Sir G Huggins (South Africa), Mr Mohammed Alim (Pakistan), Mr Robert Menzies (Australia), Mr Charles Swart (South Africa Minister of Justice representing the Prime Minister), Sir Winston Churchill, Mr Sydney Holland (New Zealand), Mr Louis St Laurent (Canada), Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (India) and Sir John Kotelawala. (Photo by Fox Photos/Stringer)


John Diefenbaker (21 June 1957 - 21 April 1963)

Queen Elizabeth II, with Prime Minister Diefenbaker standing behind, at Parliament Hill, Ottawa. (Duncan Cameron / Library and Archives Canada / e010835240)


Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip with John and Olive Diefenbaker in Ottawa, September, 1957. (usask.ca)


Her Majesty presides at the 13 October 1957 Privy Council meeting, with Prince Philip, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and Governor General Vincent Massey. At right is Secretary of State for Canada Ellen Fairclough, the first woman ever to serve in the Canadian Cabinet. Fairclough was active in the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada and was a member of Hamilton Branch (usask.ca)


Lester B. Pearson (22 April 1963 - 10 April 1968)

Prime Minister Lester Pearson and Mrs. Maryon Pearson greet Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Uplands Airport, Ottawa; welcoming the Queen alongside the prime minister and his wife is Governor General Roland Michener. The Queen later boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia, bound for Expo 67, where Her Majesty hosted a reception on board her yacht. (Photo: Reg Innell, GettyImages; via arts.lgontario.ca)


Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson enjoy a laugh together, during a visit to Canada in 1967. (Montreal Gazette)


Pierre Elliott Trudeau (20 April 1968 - 3 June 1979; 3 March 1980 - 29 June 1984)

Queen Elizabeth is welcomed to Vancouver Airport on June 9, 1971. She shakes hands with Margaret Trudeau while Pierre Trudeau stands by. Behind, Gov.-Gen. Roland Michener [hidden] greets Prince Philip while Mrs. Michener watches. (George Diack / Vancouver Sun, via the National Post)


In one of the iconic photos from the Star's photo archives donated to the Toronto Public Library, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau appears reluctant to share Queen Elizabeth's umbrella during a 1977 royal visit in Ottawa. (Jeff Goode / Toronto Star)


The Queen signs Canada's constitutional proclamation in Ottawa on April 17, 1982, as Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau looks on. (The Canadian Press / Ron Poling, via ipolitics.ca)


Joe Clark (4 June 1979 - 2 March 1980)

“During his brief time as prime minister, from mid-1979 to early 1980, Joe Clark didn't have much of an opportunity to deal with the Queen directly.” After Clark became prime minister, his wife, Maureen McTeer, met with the Queen Mother during a visit to Halifax. A few years later, after Clark stepped down as Progressive Conservative leader, he attended Rideau Hall for the visit of Prince Charles and Diana. (“When the Queen is your boss,” Toronto Star; May 25, 2012)

The Right Honourable Charles Joseph ("Joe") Clark, PC, CC, AOE (The Canadian Encyclopedia)


John Turner (30 June 1984 - 16 September 1984)

John Turner befriended and “nearly married” Princess Margaret before he became Canada's prime minister (National Post; CTV). The Queen postponed a 1984 summer visit to Canada in deference to the election called by Turner; by the time she visited in the fall, Turner was no longer the prime minister. Turner subsequently visited Princess Margaret, Prince Philip and the Queen Mother at Balmoral Castle more than once. (“When the Queen is your boss,” Toronto Star; May 25, 2012)

John Turner is shown with Princess Margaret in Toronto in this file photograph – there was much speculation about the couple. (Ottawa Citizen file photo, via Canada.com)

A YouTube video shows “Princess Margaret at the Lieutenant-Governor's Ball held in HMCS Discovery, Vancouver, July 25, 1958. The Princess was escorted by the Lieutenant-Governor, Frank Mackenzie Ross, and Robert. Bonner, the Attorney-General. It was at this ball that Princess Margaret and John Turner got to know each other.” (YouTube via British Columbia Archives)


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are driven in an open car after attending ceremonies at Victoria Park in Moncton, N.B., Sept. 24, 1984. (Fred Chartrand, The Canadian Press)



Brian Mulroney (17 September 1984 - 24 June 1993)

Prime Minister Brian Mulroney smiles while his wife Mila curtsies for Queen Elizabeth II as she arrived for a state dinner in Winnipeg on October 6, 1984. (CP Photo, via Fred Chartrand)


Queen Elizabeth II toasts with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in Quebec City on Oct. 23, 1987. The Queen and Prince Philip visited British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec over a 16-day long tour. (The Canadian Press)


Kim Campbell (25 June 1993 - 3 November 1993)

“Canada's first female prime minister, Kim Campbell, didn't stay in office long enough to have any direct dealings with the Queen.” (“When the Queen is your boss,” Toronto Star; May 25, 2012)

Kim Campbell (The Canadian Encyclopedia)


Jean Chrétien (4 November 1993 - 11 December 2003)

Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Jean Chretien smile at the beginning of an official dinner in St. John's Newfoundland in this file photo dated June 1997. (Jacques Boissinot / The Canadian Press, via the Globe & Mail)


Queen Elizabeth waves to supporters as she walks off the stage with Prime Minister Jean Chretien following Canada Day Ceremonies in Ottawa, July 1st, 1997. (The Canadian Press)


Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his wife Aline as she arrives on Parliament Hill for an interfaith service in Ottawa. In 2009 Queen Elizabeth appointed Jean Chretien to the exclusive Order of Merit; the honour is restricted to 24 living members and few foreigners receive it. (CTV News)


Paul Martin (12 December 2003 - 5 February 2006)

The Right Honourable Paul Martin with Queen Elizabeth, taken in Regina on May 18, 2005, during a visit of the Queen to Canada. (Photo: Dave Chan)


Queen Elizabeth II and Paul Martin both took part in the 2005 Gleneagles G8 summit of world leaders was held amid huge protest. The summit ended with an agreement to boost aid for developing countries. The leaders shown are (front L-R) U.S. President Bush, Britain's Prince Philip, French President Chirac, Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Russian President Vladimir Putin; (back L-R) European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. Photo taken on July 6, 2005 in Gleneagles, Scotland. ( BBC)


Queen Elizabeth and Paul Martin (CP File Photo, via The Hamilton Spectator)


Stephen Harper (6 February 2006 - 4 November 2015)

Queen Elizabethh II receives Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at Buckingham Palace in London, April 1, 2009. Mr. and Mrs. Harper, with the Australian Prime Minister and his wife, were later invited to lunch with The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall also attended the lunch. (WPA Pool/Getty Images)


Queen Elizabeth II and Prime minister Stephen Harper attend a garden party given by Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh at Government House on June 30, 2010, in Ottawa. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were on an eight-day tour of Canada, from Halifax to Toronto, to celebrate the centenary of the Canadian Navy and to mark Canada Day. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images North America / © Press Association, via royal.gov.uk)


Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in London on June 6, 2012 – the year of the queen's Diamond Jubilee, marking the 60th anniversary of her accession. (Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press, via cbc.ca)


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, flanked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, greets Major-General (Ret'd) Lewis W. Mackenzie and his wife Dora during a visit in 2010. Mackenzie was referenced in Loyalist Trails in 2007. (Photo: Jason Ransom)


Justin Trudeau (4 November 2015–)

Just three weeks after being sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada, during "his second whirlwind tour on the international summit circuit in as many weeks," Prime Minister Trudeau stopped at Buckingham Palace to visit Queen Elizabeth on Nov. 25, 2015. (CP)

Justin Trudeau meets Queen Elizabeth II in Britain on Nov. 25. (The Canadian Press)