From all of us at Whole Woman Network, we hope you have a wonderful Victoria Day celebration! If you live in Canada, you may be aware of the recent political furor over the proposed plan by some ‘notable’ Canadians to rename ‘Victoria Day’ as ‘Victoria and All Peoples Day’, this is basically to include and honour the first Nations Peoples in the Victoria Day celebration. Hmmmn, why do we always have to mix things up, why juxtapose two entirely different things? Let’s celebrate the day and leave out all the unnecessary drama!
I am definitely in support of the First Nations People being accorded their place in history but why do we have to combine the two? June 21 is already a National Aboriginal Day in Canada, (however it is important to note that it is not recognized as a Statutory Holiday).
The question is this: why are the ‘notable Canadians’ such as authors Margaret Atwood and Thomas King, actors Graham Greene and Peter Keleghan, and Green MP Elizabeth May, who are at the forefront of a petition to effect the name change, not clamoring to make the existing Aboriginal Day a statutory holiday or better still, fight to make it a more engaging and reflective day to share the rich heritage and contributions of the First Nations Peoples?
Anyways, lets leave the politiking and petitioning aside and share some fun facts and history about Victoria Day in Canada and Queen Victoria herself:
1. Victoria Day (in French: Fête de la Reine) is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria‘s birthday.
2. Queen Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom on June 20, 1837 and reigned until her death on January 22, 1901. Victoria is still the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.
3. The monarch’s birthday has been celebrated in Canada since before the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign. After her death, in 1901, May 25 became known as Empire Day.
4. In 1952, Empire Day was moved to the Monday before May 25 and since 1953, the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II has been celebrated on this date in Canada. So ‘Victoria Day’ is also the day to officially celebrate the birthday of the reigning monarch.
5. In 1958, Empire Day became known as Commonwealth Day, which was moved to the second Monday in March. The Monday before May 25 then became known as Victoria Day, which is now a Canadian statutory holiday and what we celebrate today!
Did you know that Queen Victoria inherited the throne at the tender age of 18? She married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. Their 9 children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname “the grandmother of Europe”. The Victorian era was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.
Another fun tidbit: Queen Victoria has been credited with starting the western tradition of white bridal gowns, although she was not the first royal to be married in white. During her wedding n Feb 10, 1840, she selected a white dress, fabricated from heavy silk satin, which was considered an unusual choice at a time when colours would have been more usual.
The lace used for her wedding dress proved an important boost to the Devon lace-making and to future royal wedding attire. At the time, Victoria’s choice was criticized since she did not wear many jewels, velvet trimmed with ermine, or a crown, and the color was unusual. Wearing white was quickly adopted by wealthy, fashionable brides, even though white had been a distinctly uncommon choice for bridal gowns before Victoria’s wedding!
Blogger’s Note: Interested in learning more about Queen Victoria, then we recommend the period movie: The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt, who delivers a stunning performance as Queen Victoria in the turbulent first years of her reign. Watch the trailer here: http://tiny.cc/c8uexw
Once again, wishing you all a Wonderful and Happy Victoria Day!!
Live beautifully, live passionately, live freely.
Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.
You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!
Whole Woman Network