Queen praises Canada’s war dead

Queen Elizabeth helped launch a tribute to the 68,000 Canadians who died in World War I in London yesterday (04.11.08).

The monarch unveiled the high-tech, seven day tribute which saw the names of the deceased projected on the side of Canada House, at the same time as people launched the same Vigil 1914-1918 project in the Canadian cities of Fredericton, Halifax, Toronto, Ottawa, Regina and Edmonton.

Speaking in front of a variety of British and Canadian schoolchildren, war veterans and dignitaries, Elizabeth said: “Through the Internet – technology undreamt of by those who served in the First World War – the deep personal resonance of this imaginative transatlantic act of remembering will reach across time and space to be shared by many people in Canada, in Britain and around the world, as we join together in looking to the future by reminding ourselves of how the past can inform the present.”

Wearing a brown wool winter coat lined with fur, complete with a maple-leaf shaped diamond brooch and a poppy, the queen enjoyed poetry readings and speeches inside Canada House before the party moved onto Trafalgar Square to view the start of the vigil.

Joe Little, the editor of Majesty Magazine, explained: “The queen follows in the footsteps of her grandfather George V, who was on the throne during the Great War, by attending remembrance events such as this.

“She was old enough to understand the incredible strain the Second World War put on her parents and their peoples, and that experience has never left her.”