Celebrating monarchy in Minden
For the May long weekend, Sinclair Russell is organizing a celebration of the British monarchy, which he points out, is also the Canadian monarchy.
“Elizabeth the Second is the Queen of Canada,” Russell says. “Not many people know that or maybe don’t want to admit it, but she is the Queen of Canada.”
Under the constitutional monarchy, Elizabeth is the head of state of Canada, as well as the other British commonwealth countries.
In an event many are likely aware of, her grandson, Prince Harry, is set to be married later this month to now-retired movie star Meghan Markle, and it’s around that wedding that Russell decided to organize an event he is calling Monarchy in Minden.
“I was looking at the calendar and I saw the royal wedding was the same weekend as Victoria’s birthday,” Russell says.
An avid monarchist, Russell has a keen interest not just in the world’s most famous monarchy, but monarchy in general.
“I like the continuity of it,” Russell says. “I think that’s what royalty is all about, you have continuity. Even though the government changes, you have a continuity that happens.”
Russell and a friend travelled to London back in 1981 when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, the couple who would become parents to princes William and Harry.
“We walked the route of the parade the day before and saw all the flowers and the flags and everything, and even right down to St. Paul’s Cathedral, all the flowers were done already,” Russell recalls. The following day they watched the wedding from a television at a friend’s flat.
“You couldn’t get anywhere near it,” Russell says, adding they saw much more on TV than they would have trying to wade their way through the throngs of people.
Victoria Day weekend falls May 18 through 21 this year and Russell is encouraging Minden shopkeepers to fly the British flag in honour of the royal weekend. There will be royal trivia at the Dominion Hotel on Thursday, May 17, and a wedding brunch, also at the Dominion, on Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The royal wedding will be shown on the screens.
At the Minden Hills Cultural Centre, there will be exhibits and activities throughout the day on Saturday, May 19.
From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Sterling Bank building, there will be a fashion exhibit. An exhibit featuring monarchs, both the ruling kind and the former Minden hockey team, will be set up in the common room. Tea will be served in the Bowron House, the first tea commencing at 11 a.m.
The royal wedding will be screened in the common room at noon, and there will also be croquet on the lawn. Attendees are also encouraged to don their best fascinator and pack a picnic lunch.