Governor General of Canada
Overview
 
The Governor General of Canada (French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 [masculine]: Gouverneur général du Canada, or [feminine]: Gouverneure générale du Canada) is the federal viceregal
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. As the sovereign is shared equally with 15 other independent countries
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

 in a form of personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

, as well as with the ten other jurisdictions of Canada
Canadian federalism
Canada is a federation with two distinct jurisdictions of political authority: the country-wide federal government and the ten regionally-based provincial governments. It also has three territorial governments in the far north, though these are subject to the federal government...

, and resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, she, on the advice
Advice (constitutional)
Advice, in constitutional law, is formal, usually binding, instruction given by one constitutional officer of state to another. Especially in parliamentary systems of government, Heads of state often act on the basis of advice issued by prime ministers or other government ministers...

 of her Canadian prime minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 only, appoints the governor general
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

 to carry out most of her constitutional and ceremonial duties for an unfixed period of time—known as serving at Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure is a legal term of art derived from all legitimate authority for government stemming from the Crown. Originating from the United Kingdom, it is now used throughout the Commonwealth realms...

—though five years is the normal convention.
Encyclopedia
The Governor General of Canada (French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 [masculine]: Gouverneur général du Canada, or [feminine]: Gouverneure générale du Canada) is the federal viceregal
Viceroy
A viceroy is a royal official who runs a country, colony, or province in the name of and as representative of the monarch. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roi, meaning king. A viceroy's province or larger territory is called a viceroyalty...

 representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. As the sovereign is shared equally with 15 other independent countries
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

 in a form of personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

, as well as with the ten other jurisdictions of Canada
Canadian federalism
Canada is a federation with two distinct jurisdictions of political authority: the country-wide federal government and the ten regionally-based provincial governments. It also has three territorial governments in the far north, though these are subject to the federal government...

, and resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, she, on the advice
Advice (constitutional)
Advice, in constitutional law, is formal, usually binding, instruction given by one constitutional officer of state to another. Especially in parliamentary systems of government, Heads of state often act on the basis of advice issued by prime ministers or other government ministers...

 of her Canadian prime minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 only, appoints the governor general
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

 to carry out most of her constitutional and ceremonial duties for an unfixed period of time—known as serving at Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure is a legal term of art derived from all legitimate authority for government stemming from the Crown. Originating from the United Kingdom, it is now used throughout the Commonwealth realms...

—though five years is the normal convention. Also traditional is a rotation between anglophone
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and francophone
Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

 incumbent
Incumbent
The incumbent, in politics, is the existing holder of a political office. This term is usually used in reference to elections, in which races can often be defined as being between an incumbent and non-incumbent. For example, in the 2004 United States presidential election, George W...

s. Once in office, the governor general maintains direct contact with the Queen, wherever she may be at the time.

The office has its roots in the 16th and 17th century colonial governors of New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 and British North America
British North America
British North America is a historical term. It consisted of the colonies and territories of the British Empire in continental North America after the end of the American Revolutionary War and the recognition of American independence in 1783.At the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 the British...

, and thus is the oldest continuous institution in Canada. The present incarnation of the position emerged with Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal Dominion of Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces...

 and the British North America Act
Constitution Act, 1867
The Constitution Act, 1867 , is a major part of Canada's Constitution. The Act created a federal dominion and defines much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system...

 in 1867, which defined the viceregal office as the "Governor General acting by and with the Advice of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Queen's Privy Council for Canada
The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs, though responsible government requires the sovereign or her viceroy,...

." However, the post still ultimately represented the government of the United Kingdom (that is, the monarch in his British council
Queen-in-Council
The Queen-in-Council is, in each of the Commonwealth realms, the technical term of constitutional law that refers to the exercise of executive authority, denoting the monarch acting by and with the advice and consent of his or her privy council or executive council The Queen-in-Council (during...

) until, after continually decreasing involvement by the British government and the passage in 1931 of the Statute of Westminster
Statute of Westminster 1931
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

, the governor general became the direct, personal representative of the uniquely Canadian sovereign (the monarch in his Canadian council). During that process of gradual independence, the governor general took on an ever expanding role: in 1904, the Militia Act granted permission for the governor general to use the title of Commander-in-Chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of the Canadian militia
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

, in the name of the sovereign and actual Commander-in-Chief, and in 1927 the first official international visit by a governor general was made. In 1947, King George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

 issued letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 allowing the viceroy to carry out almost all of the monarch's powers in his or her stead. Per the Constitution Act, 1982
Constitution Act, 1982
The Constitution Act, 1982 is a part of the Constitution of Canada. The Act was introduced as part of Canada's process of "patriating" the constitution, introducing several amendments to the British North America Act, 1867, and changing the latter's name in Canada to the Constitution Act, 1867...

, any constitutional amendment that affects the Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

, including the Office of the Governor General, requires the unanimous consent of each provincial legislature as well as the federal parliament
Parliament of Canada
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in the national capital, Ottawa. Formally, the body consists of the Canadian monarch—represented by her governor general—the Senate, and the House of Commons, each element having its own officers and...

.

The current governor general is David Lloyd Johnston
David Lloyd Johnston
David Lloyd Johnston is a Canadian academic, author and statesman who is the current Governor General of Canada, the 28th since Canadian Confederation....

, who has served since 1 October 2010; Conservative
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada , is a political party in Canada which was formed by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. It is positioned on the right of the Canadian political spectrum...

 prime minister Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 recommended him to succeed Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 27th since Canadian Confederation, from 2005 to 2010....

. Johnston's wife—who is thus the viceregal consort
Viceregal consort of Canada
The viceregal consort of Canada is the spouse of the serving governor general of Canada, assisting the viceroy with ceremonial and charitable work, accompanying him or her to official state occasions, and occasionally undertaking philanthropic work of their own...

—is Sharon Johnston
Sharon Johnston
Sharon Johnston CC, PhD is the spouse of David Lloyd Johnston, the 28th Governor General of Canada. A native of Sault Ste Marie, she has degrees in physiotherapy and rehabilitation medicine from the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario and McGill University.The Johnstons...

.

Spelling of title

According to the Canadian government
Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, formally Her Majesty's Government, is the system whereby the federation of Canada is administered by a common authority; in Canadian English, the term can mean either the collective set of institutions or specifically the Queen-in-Council...

, the title Governor General is not hyphen
Hyphen
The hyphen is a punctuation mark used to join words and to separate syllables of a single word. The use of hyphens is called hyphenation. The hyphen should not be confused with dashes , which are longer and have different uses, or with the minus sign which is also longer...

ated, even though a hyphen is used for the same title in other Commonwealth realms. Many other media organizations in Canada ignore this rule, however, and use the governor-general spelling. As governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

is the main noun
Noun
In linguistics, a noun is a member of a large, open lexical category whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition .Lexical categories are defined in terms of how their members combine with other kinds of...

 in the title, it is the term that is plural
Plural
In linguistics, plurality or [a] plural is a concept of quantity representing a value of more-than-one. Typically applied to nouns, a plural word or marker is used to distinguish a value other than the default quantity of a noun, which is typically one...

ized; thus, it is governors general, rather than governor generals. Moreover, both terms are often capitalized, particularly when preceding an incumbent's name, but sometimes they are not (e.g. Canadian governors general).

Appointment

The governor general is required by both the Constitution Act
Constitution Act, 1867
The Constitution Act, 1867 , is a major part of Canada's Constitution. The Act created a federal dominion and defines much of the operation of the Government of Canada, including its federal structure, the House of Commons, the Senate, the justice system, and the taxation system...

 (previously the British North America Act), 1867, and the letters patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 issued in 1947 by King George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

. As such, the Canadian monarch approves with commission issued under the royal sign-manual
Royal sign-manual
The royal sign manual is the formal name given in the Commonwealth realms to the autograph signature of the sovereign, by the affixing of which the monarch expresses his or her pleasure either by order, commission, or warrant. A sign-manual warrant may be either an executive actfor example, an...

 and Great Seal of Canada
Great Seal of Canada
The Great Seal of Canada is a seal used for official purposes of state in Canada such as the certification of Acts of Parliament that have been granted Royal Assent....

 her Canadian prime minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

's recommendation for viceroy, who is from then until being sworn-in referred to as the governor general-designate.
Besides the administration of the oaths of office, there is no set formula for the swearing-in of a governor general-designate. Though there may therefore be variations to the following, the appointee will generally travel to Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

, there receiving an official welcome and taking up residence at 7 Rideau Gate
7 Rideau Gate
7 Rideau Gate is the Canadian government's official guest house for distinguished visitors, such as heads of state and high-level government officials...

, and will begin preparations for their upcoming role, meeting with various high level officials to ensure a smooth transition between governors general. The sovereign will also hold an audience with the appointee and will at that time induct both the governor general-designate and his or her spouse into the Order of Canada
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

 as Companions, as well as appointing the former as a Commander of both the Order of Military Merit
Order of Military Merit (Canada)
The Order of Military Merit is a military honour for merit that is, within the Canadian system of honours, the second highest order administered by the Governor General-in-Council, on behalf of the Queen of Canada...

 and the Order of Merit of the Police Forces
Order of Merit of the Police Forces
The Order of Merit of the Police Forces is an honour for merit that is, within the Canadian system of honours, the only such fellowship reserved only for members of Canada's various police forces...

 (should either person not have already received either of those honours).

The swearing-in ceremony begins with the arrival at 7 Rideau Gate of one of the ministers of the Crown
Minister of the Crown
Minister of the Crown is the formal constitutional term used in the Commonwealth realms to describe a minister to the reigning sovereign. The term indicates that the minister serves at His/Her Majesty's pleasure, and advises the monarch, or viceroy, on how to exercise the Crown prerogatives...

, who then accompanies the governor general-designate to Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill , colloquially known as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Its Gothic revival suite of buildingsthe parliament buildings serves as the home of the Parliament of Canada and contains a number of architectural...

, where a Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

 Guard of Honour
Guard of honour
A guard of honour is a ceremonial event practice in military and sports as a mark of respect.-Military:In the military a guard of honour is a ceremonial practice to honour visiting foreign dignitaries, or the fallen in war, or a ceremony for public figures who have died.The commander is three paces...

 (consisting of the Army Guard, Air Force Guard, and Flag Party of the Navy) awaits to give a general salute. From there, the party is led by the Queen's parliamentary messenger—the Usher of the Black Rod
Usher of the Black Rod of the Senate of Canada
The Usher of the Black Rod of the Senate of Canada is the most senior protocol position in the Parliament of Canada....

—to the Senate chamber, wherein all justices of the Supreme Court, senators, members of parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

, and other guests are assembled. The Queen's commission for the governor general-designate is then read aloud by the Secretary to the Governor General
Secretary to the Governor General of Canada
The Secretary to the Governor General is the head of the Office of the Governor General of Canada and is based at Rideau Hall, Ottawa. The current secretary is Stephen Wallace, appointed in 2011.-Secretaries to the governor general:...

 and the required oaths are administered to the appointee by either the chief justice
Chief Justice of Canada
The Chief Justice of Canada, like the eight puisne Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada, is appointed by the Governor-in-Council . All nine are chosen from either sitting judges or barristers who have at least ten years' standing at the bar of a province or territory...

 or one of the puisne justices of the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial, territorial and federal appellate courts, and its decisions...

; the three oaths are: the Oath of Allegiance
Oath of Allegiance (Canada)
The Canadian Oath of Allegiance is a promise or declaration of fealty to the Canadian monarch, taken, along with other specific oaths of office, by new occupants of various government positions, including federal and provincial viceroys, appointees to the Queen's Privy Council, Supreme Court...

, the Oath of Office as Governor General and Commander-in-Chief, and the Oath as Keeper of the Great Seal of Canada. With the affixing of their signature to these three solemn promises, the individual is officially the governor general, and at that moment the Flag of the Governor General of Canada
Flag of the Governor General of Canada
The Flag of the Governor General of Canada was adopted in 1981. It features Canada's royal crest; a crowned lion holding a red maple leaf in its paw, standing on a wreath of the official colours of Canada , on a blue background...

 is raised on the Peace Tower
Peace Tower
The Peace Tower is a focal bell and clock tower, sitting on the central axis of the Centre Block of the Canadian parliament buildings in Ottawa, Ontario. The present incarnation replaced the Victoria Tower after the latter burned down in 1916, along with most of the Centre Block...

, the Viceregal Salute
Honors music
The honours music for a person, office or rank is music played on formal or ceremonial occasions in the presence of the person, office-holder, or rank-holder, especially by a military band...

 is played by the Central Band of the Canadian Forces
Canadian Forces
The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

, and a 21-gun salute
21-gun salute
Gun salutes are the firing of cannons or firearms as a military or naval honor.The custom stems from naval tradition, where a warship would fire its cannons harmlessly out to sea, until all ammunition was spent, to show that it was disarmed, signifying the lack of hostile intent...

 is conducted by the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery is the artillery personnel branch of the Canadian Forces .-History:...

. The governor general is seated on the throne while a prayer is read, and then receives the Great Seal of Canada (which is passed to the registrar general
Registrar General of Canada
The Registrar General of Canada is responsible for registering all letters patent, commissions, instruments, proclamations, and any other documents that may, from time to time, be issued under the Great Seal of Canada or the Privy Seal of Canada...

 for protection), as well as the chains of both the Chancellor of the Order of Canada and of the Order of Military Merit. The governor general will then give a speech, outlining whichever cause or causes he or she will champion during his or her time as viceroy.

The incumbent will generally serve for at least five years, though this is only a developed convention, and the governor general still technically acts at Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure
At Her Majesty's pleasure is a legal term of art derived from all legitimate authority for government stemming from the Crown. Originating from the United Kingdom, it is now used throughout the Commonwealth realms...

 (or the Royal Pleasure). The prime minister may therefore recommend to the Queen that the viceroy remain in her service for a longer period of time, sometimes upwards of more than seven years. A governor general may also resign, and two have died in office. In such a circumstance, or if the governor general leaves the country for longer than one month, the Chief Justice of Canada (or, if that position is vacant or unavailable, the senior puisne justice of the Supreme Court) serves as Administrator of the Government
Administrator of the Government
An Administrator in the constitutional practice of some countries in the Commonwealth is a person who fulfils a role similar to that of a Governor or a Governor-General...

 and exercises all powers of the governor general.

Selection

In a speech on the subject of confederation
Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal Dominion of Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces...

, made in 1866 to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada
Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada
The Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada was the lower house of the legislature for the Province of Canada, which consisted of the former provinces of Lower Canada, then known as Canada East and later the province of Quebec, and Upper Canada, then known as Canada West and later the...

, John A. Macdonald
John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC , QC was the first Prime Minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, his political career spanned almost half a century...

 said of the planned governor: "We place no restriction on Her Majesty's prerogative in the selection of her representative... The sovereign has unrestricted freedom of choice... We leave that to Her Majesty in all confidence." However, between 1867 and 1935, governors general were appointed by the monarch on the advice of the British Cabinet
Cabinet of the United Kingdom
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and some 22 Cabinet Ministers, the most senior of the government ministers....

; thereafter, the appointment was made by the sovereign with the direction of his or her Canadian ministers only. Until 1952, all were also either members of the Peerage
Peerage
The Peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom, which constitute the ranks of British nobility and is part of the British honours system...

 or sons of peers and were born beyond Canada's borders. These viceroys spent a relatively limited time in Canada, but their travel schedules were so extensive that they could "learn more about Canada in five years than many Canadians in a lifetime." Still, though all Canadian nationals were as equally British subject
British subject
In British nationality law, the term British subject has at different times had different meanings. The current definition of the term British subject is contained in the British Nationality Act 1981.- Prior to 1949 :...

s as their British counterparts prior to the implementation of the Canadian Citizenship Act
Canadian Citizenship Act 1946
The Canadian Citizenship Act is an Act of the Parliament of Canada, which was enacted June 27, 1946, and came into effect on January 1, 1947, recognizing the definition of a Canadian, including reference to them being British subjects....

 in 1947, the idea of Canadian-born persons being appointed governor general was raised as early as 1919, when, at the Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

, Canadian prime minister Robert Borden
Robert Borden
Sir Robert Laird Borden, PC, GCMG, KC was a Canadian lawyer and politician. He served as the eighth Prime Minister of Canada from October 10, 1911 to July 10, 1920, and was the third Nova Scotian to hold this office...

 consulted with Prime Minister of South Africa Louis Botha
Louis Botha
Louis Botha was an Afrikaner and first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa—the forerunner of the modern South African state...

 and the two agreed that the viceregal appointees should be long-term residents of their respective dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

s. Calls for just such an individual to be made viceroy came again in the late 1930s, but it was not until Vincent Massey
Vincent Massey
Charles Vincent Massey was a Canadian lawyer and diplomat who served as Governor General of Canada, the 18th since Canadian Confederation....

's appointment by King George VI in 1952 that the position was filled by a Canadian-born individual; this practice continued until 1999, when Queen Elizabeth II commissioned as her representative Adrienne Clarkson
Adrienne Clarkson
Adrienne Louise Clarkson is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 26th since Canadian Confederation....

, a Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

-born refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

 to Canada. Moreover, the practice of alternating between anglophone
English Canadian
An English Canadian is a Canadian of English ancestry; it is used primarily in contrast with French Canadian. Canada is an officially bilingual state, with English and French official language communities. Immigrant cultural groups ostensibly integrate into one or both of these communities, but...

 and francophone
French Canadian
French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

 Canadians was instituted with the appointment of Georges Vanier
Georges Vanier
Major-General Georges-Philéas Vanier was a Canadian soldier and diplomat who served as Governor General of Canada, the 19th since Canadian Confederation....

, a francophone who succeeded the anglophone Massey. All persons whose names are put forward to the Queen for approval must first undergo background check
Background check
A background check or background investigation is the process of looking up and compiling criminal records, commercial records and financial records of an individual....

s by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

 and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service
Canadian Security Intelligence Service
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service is Canada's national intelligence service. It is responsible for collecting, analyzing, reporting and disseminating intelligence on threats to Canada's national security, and conducting operations, covert and overt, within Canada and abroad.Its...

.
Although required by the tenets of constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 to be nonpartisan
Nonpartisan
In political science, nonpartisan denotes an election, event, organization or person in which there is no formally declared association with a political party affiliation....

 while in office, governors general were frequently former politicians; a number held seats in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 by virtue of their inclusion in the peerage. Appointments of former ministers of the Crown in the 1980s and 1990s were criticised by Peter H. Russell
Peter H. Russell
Peter H. Russell is a writer and Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Toronto, Canada, where he taught from 1958-1997. He was a Member of the Toronto Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi. He was the Principal of Innis College, at the University of Toronto, from 1973 to 1978...

, who stated in 2009: "much of [the] advantage of the monarchical system is lost in Canada when prime ministers recommend partisan colleagues to be appointed governor general and represent [the Queen]." Clarkson was the first governor general in Canadian history without either a political or military background, as well as the first Asian-Canadian and the second woman, following on Jeanne Sauvé
Jeanne Sauvé
Jeanne Mathilde Sauvé was a Canadian journalist, politician, and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 23rd since Canadian Confederation....

. The third woman to hold this position was also the first Caribbean-Canadian governor general, Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 27th since Canadian Confederation, from 2005 to 2010....

.

There has been, from time to time, proposals put forward for modifications to the selection process of the governor general. Most recently, the group Citizens for a Canadian Republic
Citizens for a Canadian Republic
Citizens for a Canadian Republic is a not-for-profit Canadian organization founded in 2002 that advocates the replacement of the Canadian monarchy with a head of state who would either be chosen through a general election or elected by parliament...

 has advocated the election of the nominee to the Queen, either by popular
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 or parliamentary vote; a proposal echoed by Adrienne Clarkson, who called for the prime minister's choice to not only be vetted by a parliamentary committee, but also submit to a televised quiz on Canadiana
Canadiana
Canadiana is a term referring to things related to the country of Canada. It is most often used to refer to a class of books somewhat wider than Canadian Literature because it also includes books about Canada as well as Canadian non-fiction works....

. Constitutional scholars, editorial boards, and the Monarchist League of Canada
Monarchist League of Canada
The Monarchist League of Canada is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is "to promote the full expression and a better understanding of the history and real benefits of a uniquely Canadian constitutional monarchy"....

 have argued against any such constitutional tinkering with the viceregal appointment process, stating that the position being "not elected is an asset, not a handicap," and that an election would undermine the impartiality necessary to the proper functioning of the governor general.

A new approach was used in 2010 for the selection of David Lloyd Johnston
David Lloyd Johnston
David Lloyd Johnston is a Canadian academic, author and statesman who is the current Governor General of Canada, the 28th since Canadian Confederation....

 as governor general-designate. For the task, Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 convened a special search group—the Governor General Consultation Committee—which consisted of Sheila-Marie Cook, secretary to the Governor General
Secretary to the Governor General of Canada
The Secretary to the Governor General is the head of the Office of the Governor General of Canada and is based at Rideau Hall, Ottawa. The current secretary is Stephen Wallace, appointed in 2011.-Secretaries to the governor general:...

 (the chairperson); Canadian Secretary to the Queen
Canadian Secretary to the Queen
The Canadian Secretary to the Queen is the senior operational member of the Royal Household of the sovereign of Canada. The secretary is the principal channel of communication between the Queen and her Canadian government, provincial governments, and the governments of the fifteen other...

 and Usher of the Black Rod
Usher of the Black Rod of the Senate of Canada
The Usher of the Black Rod of the Senate of Canada is the most senior protocol position in the Parliament of Canada....

 Kevin MacLeod
Kevin MacLeod
Not to be confused with Kevin MacLeod, a music composer.Kevin Stewart MacLeod is the Usher of the Black Rod for the Canadian Senate, the Canadian Secretary to the Queen of Canada, and the author of the historical fiction novel, A Stone on Their Cairn/Clach air An Càrn.Born in North Sydney, Nova...

; Christopher Manfredi
Christopher Manfredi
Christopher Manfredi is a professor of political science and current Dean of Arts at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He has studied at the University of Calgary and received his PhD from Claremont Graduate School. His research focuses on judicial politics in Canada. In his publications, he...

, dean of the Faculty of Arts at McGill University; Rainer Knopff
Rainer Knopff
Rainer Knopff is a writer, professor of political science at the University of Calgary, Canada, and member of a group known as the Calgary School. He especially well-known for his views about the influence of judicial decisions on Canadian public policy...

, a political scientist at the University of Calgary; Father Jacques Monet, of the Canadian Institute of Jesuit Studies; and Christopher McCreery
Christopher McCreery
Christopher McCreery, MVO is a Canadian author and historian.Best known for his six books on the Canadian honours system. A native of Kingston Ontario McCreery holds a Doctorate in Canadian history from Queen’s University...

, historian and private secretary to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia
Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia
The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia is the viceregal representative in Nova Scotia of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who operates distinctly within the province but is also shared equally with the ten other jurisdictions of Canada and resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the...

. The group, which was described as a "tight circle of monarchists," was instructed to find a non-partisan candidate who would respect the monarchical aspects of the viceregal office and conducted extensive consultations with more than 200 people across the country, including academics, provincial premiers, current and former political party leaders, former prime ministers, and others, in order to develop a short list of candidates for the position.

Role

As Canada shares its monarch
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 equally with fifteen other countries
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

 in the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 and the sovereign lives predominantly outside Canada's borders, the governor general's primary task is to perform the sovereign's constitutional duties on his or her behalf, acting within the principles of parliamentary democracy and responsible government
Responsible government
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

 as a guarantor of continuous and stable governance and as a nonpartisan
Nonpartisan
In political science, nonpartisan denotes an election, event, organization or person in which there is no formally declared association with a political party affiliation....

 safeguard against the abuse of power. For the most part, however, the powers of the Crown are exercised on a day-to-day basis by elected and appointed individuals, leaving the governor general to perform the various ceremonial duties the sovereign otherwise carries out when in the country; at such a moment, the governor general removes him or herself from public, though the presence of the monarch does not affect the governor general's ability to perform governmental roles.

Past governor general the Marquess of Lorne
John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll
John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll KG, KT, GCMG, GCVO, VD, PC , usually better known by the courtesy title Marquess of Lorne, by which he was known between 1847 and 1900, was a British nobleman and was the fourth Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883...

 said of the job: "It is no easy thing to be a governor general of Canada. You must have the patience of a saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

, the smile of a cherub
Cherub
A cherub is a type of spiritual being mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and cited later on in the Christian biblical canons, usually associated with the presence of God...

, the generosity of an India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n prince, and the back of a camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

," and the Earl of Dufferin
Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava
Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, KP, GCB, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, PC was a British public servant and prominent member of Victorian society...

 stated that the governor general is "A representative of all that is august, stable, and sedate in the government, the history, and the traditions of the country; incapable of partizanship, and lifted far above the atmosphere of faction; without adherents to reward or opponents to oust from office; docile to the suggestions of his Ministers, and yet securing to the people the certainty of being able to get rid of an Administration or Parliament the moment either had forfeited their confidence."

Constitutional role

Though the monarch retains all executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

, legislative
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

, and judicial
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 power in and over Canada, the governor general is permitted to exercise most of this, including the Royal Prerogative
Royal Prerogative
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and...

, in the sovereign's name; some as outlined in the Constitution Act, 1867, and some through various letters patent issued over the decades, particularly those from 1947 that constitute the Office of Governor General of Canada; they state: "And We do hereby authorize and empower Our Governor General, with the advice of Our Privy Council for Canada or of any members thereof or individually, as the case requires, to exercise all powers and authorities lawfully belonging to Us in respect of Canada." Amongst other duties, however, the monarch retains the sole right to appoint the governor general. It is also stipulated that the governor general may appoint deputies—usually Supreme Court justices and the Secretary to the Governor General—who can perform some of the viceroy's constitutional duties in her stead, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (or a puisne justice in the chief justice's absence) will act as the Administrator of the Government upon the death, removal, incapacitation, or absence of the governor general for more than one month.

It is the governor general who is required by the Constitution Act, 1867, to appoint for life persons to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Queen's Privy Council for Canada
The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs, though responsible government requires the sovereign or her viceroy,...

, who are all theoretically tasked with tendering to the monarch and viceroy guidance on the exercise of the Royal Prerogative. Convention dictates, though, that the governor general must draw from the privy council an individual to act as prime minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

—in almost all cases the Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 who commands the confidence
Confidence and supply
In a parliamentary democracy confidence and supply are required for a government to hold power. A confidence and supply agreement is an agreement that a minor party or independent member of parliament will support the government in motions of confidence and appropriation votes by voting in favour...

 of the House of Commons
Canadian House of Commons
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members known as Members of Parliament...

. The prime minister then directs the governor general to appoint other members of parliament to a committee of the privy council known as the Cabinet
Cabinet of Canada
The Cabinet of Canada is a body of ministers of the Crown that, along with the Canadian monarch, and within the tenets of the Westminster system, forms the government of Canada...

, and it is in practice only from this group of ministers of the Crown
Minister of the Crown
Minister of the Crown is the formal constitutional term used in the Commonwealth realms to describe a minister to the reigning sovereign. The term indicates that the minister serves at His/Her Majesty's pleasure, and advises the monarch, or viceroy, on how to exercise the Crown prerogatives...

 that the Queen and governor general will take direction on the use of executive power; an arrangement called the Queen-in-Council
Queen-in-Council
The Queen-in-Council is, in each of the Commonwealth realms, the technical term of constitutional law that refers to the exercise of executive authority, denoting the monarch acting by and with the advice and consent of his or her privy council or executive council The Queen-in-Council (during...

or, more specifically, the Governor-in-Council. In this capacity, the governor general will issue royal proclamation
Proclamation
A proclamation is an official declaration.-England and Wales:In English law, a proclamation is a formal announcement , made under the great seal, of some matter which the King in Council or Queen in Council desires to make known to his or her subjects: e.g., the declaration of war, or state of...

s and sign orders in council. The Governor-in-Council is also specifically tasked by the Constitution Act, 1867, to appoint in the Queen's name the lieutenant governors of the provinces
Lieutenant Governor (Canada)
In Canada, a lieutenant governor is the viceregal representative in a provincial jurisdiction of the Canadian monarch and head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, who resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the United Kingdom...

 (with the premier
Premier
Premier is a title for the head of government in some countries and states.-Examples by country:In many nations, "premier" is used interchangeably with "prime minister"...

s of the provinces concerned playing an advisory role), senators, the Speaker of the Senate
Speaker of the Canadian Senate
The Speaker of the Senate of Canada is the presiding officer of the Senate of Canada. The speaker represents the Senate at official functions, rules on questions of parliamentary procedure and parliamentary privilege, and oversee debates and voting in the red chamber. This position is often...

, supreme court justices, and superior
Superior court
In common law systems, a superior court is a court of general competence which typically has unlimited jurisdiction with regard to civil and criminal legal cases...

 and county court judges in each province, except those of the Courts of Probate in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

 and New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

. The advice
Advice (constitutional)
Advice, in constitutional law, is formal, usually binding, instruction given by one constitutional officer of state to another. Especially in parliamentary systems of government, Heads of state often act on the basis of advice issued by prime ministers or other government ministers...

 given by the Cabinet is, in order to ensure the stability of government, typically binding; both the Queen and her viceroy, however, may in exceptional circumstances invoke the reserve powers, which remain the Crown's final check against a ministry's abuse of power.

The governor general alone is also constitutionally mandated to summon parliament
Parliament of Canada
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in the national capital, Ottawa. Formally, the body consists of the Canadian monarch—represented by her governor general—the Senate, and the House of Commons, each element having its own officers and...

. Beyond that, the viceroy carries out the other conventional parliamentary duties in the sovereign's absence, including reading the Speech From the Throne
Speech from the Throne
A speech from the throne is an event in certain monarchies in which the reigning sovereign reads a prepared speech to a complete session of parliament, outlining the government's agenda for the coming session...

 and proroguing
Prorogation in Canada
Prorogation is the end of a parliamentary session in the Parliament of Canada and the parliaments of its provinces and territories. It differs from a recess or adjournment, which do not end a session, and from a complete dissolution of parliament, which ends both the session and the entire...

 and dissolving
Dissolution of parliament
In parliamentary systems, a dissolution of parliament is the dispersal of a legislature at the call of an election.Usually there is a maximum length of a legislature, and a dissolution must happen before the maximum time...

 parliament. The governor general also grants Royal Assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

 in the Queen's name; legally, he or she has three options: grant Royal Assent (making the bill law), withhold Royal Assent (vetoing the bill), or reserve the bill for the signification of the Queen's pleasure (allowing the sovereign to personally grant or withhold assent). If the governor general withholds the Queen's assent, the sovereign may within two years disallow the bill, thereby annulling the law in question. No modern Canadian viceroy has denied Royal Assent to a bill. Provincial viceroys, however, are able to reserve Royal Assent to provincial bills for the governor general; this clause was last invoked in 1961 by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan
Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan
The Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan is the viceregal representative in Saskatchewan of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who operates distinctly within the province but is also shared equally with the ten other jurisdictions of Canada and resides predominantly in her oldest realm, the...

.

Ceremonial role

Further information: Monarchy of Canada > Cultural role

With most constitutional functions lent to Cabinet, the governor general acts in a primarily ceremonial fashion. He or she will host members of Canada's royal family, as well as foreign royalty and heads of state, and will represent the Queen and country abroad on state visits to other nations, though the monarch's permission is necessary, via the prime minister, for the viceroy to leave Canada. Also as part of international relations, the governor general issues letters of credence and of recall
Letter of Credence
A letter of credence is a formal letter usually sent by one head of state to another that formally grants diplomatic accreditation to a named individual to be their ambassador in the country of the head of state receiving the letter...

 for Canadian ambassador
Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

s and receives the same from foreign ambassadors appointed to Canada.
The governor general is also tasked with fostering national unity and pride. One way in which this is carried out is travelling the country and meeting with Canadians from all regions and ethnic groups in Canada, continuing the tradition begun in 1869 by Governor General the Lord Lisgar
John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar
John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar, Bt, GCB, GCMG, PC was the second Governor General of Canada, in office from 1869 to 1872.-Biography:...

. He or she will also induct individuals into the various national orders and present national medals and decorations. Similarly, the viceroy administers and distributes the Governor General's Awards, and will also give out awards associated with private organizations, some of which are named for past governors general. During a federal election, the governor general will curtail these public duties, so as not to appear as though they are involving themselves in political affairs.

Although the constitution of Canada states that the "Command-in-Chief of the Land and Naval Militia, and of all Naval and Military Forces, of and in Canada, is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen," the governor general acts in her place as Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces and is permitted through the 1947 Letters Patent to use the title Commander-in-Chief in and over Canada. The position technically involves issuing commands for Canadian troops, airmen, and sailors, but is predominantly a ceremonial role in which the viceroy will visit Canadian Forces base
Canadian Forces base
A Canadian Forces Base or CFB is a military installation of the Canadian Forces. For a facility to qualify as a Canadian Forces Base, it must station one or more major units .Minor installations are named Canadian Forces Station or CFS A Canadian Forces Base or CFB (French Base des forces...

s across Canada and abroad to take part in military ceremonies, see troops off to and return from active duty, and encourage excellence and morale amongst the forces. The governor general also serves as honorary Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 of three household regiments
Household Division
Household Division is a term used principally in the Commonwealth of Nations to describe a country’s most elite or historically senior military units, or those military units that provide ceremonial or protective functions associated directly with the head of state.-Historical Development:In...

: the Governor General's Horse Guards, Governor General's Foot Guards
Governor General's Foot Guards
The Governor General's Foot Guards is one of three Household regiments in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Army, along with The Governor General's Horse Guards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards. The GGFG is the most senior militia infantry regiment in Canada."Civitas et Princeps Cura Nostra" is...

 and Canadian Grenadier Guards. This ceremonial position is directly under that of Colonel-in-Chief
Colonel-in-Chief
In the various Commonwealth armies, the Colonel-in-Chief of a regiment is its patron. This position is distinct from that of Colonel of the Regiment. They do not have an operational role. They are however kept informed of all important activities of the regiment, and pay occasional visits to its...

, which is held by the Queen. Since 1910, the governor general was also always made the Chief Scout for Canada, which was renamed Chief Scout of Canada after 1946, a position that some viceroys have taken seriously.

Residences and household

Rideau Hall
Rideau Hall
Rideau Hall is, since 1867, the official residence in Ottawa of both the Canadian monarch and the Governor General of Canada. It stands in Canada's capital on a 0.36 km2 estate at 1 Sussex Drive, with the main building consisting of 170 rooms across 9,500 m2 , and 24 outbuildings around the...

 in Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

 is, as the residence of the monarch, the official residence of the governor general and is thus the location of the viceroyal household and the Chancellery of Honours. A governor general's wife is known as the chatelaine of Rideau Hall, though there is no equivalent term for a governor general's husband. For a part of each year since 1872, governors general have also resided at the Citadel
Citadelle of Quebec
The Citadelle — the French name is used both in English and French — is a military installation and official residence located atop Cap Diamant, adjoining the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada...

 (La Citadelle) in Quebec City, Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

.

The viceregal household aids the governor general in the execution of the royal constitutional and ceremonial duties and is managed by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General
Secretary to the Governor General of Canada
The Secretary to the Governor General is the head of the Office of the Governor General of Canada and is based at Rideau Hall, Ottawa. The current secretary is Stephen Wallace, appointed in 2011.-Secretaries to the governor general:...

. These organized offices and support systems include aides-de-camp, press officers
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

, financial managers, speech writers, trip organizers, event planners, protocol officers, chefs and other kitchen employees, waiters, and various cleaning staff, as well as visitors' centre staff and tour guides at both official residences. The Chancellery of Honours also centres around the Queen and is thus administered by the governor general, whose secretary simultaneously holds the position of Herald Chancellor of Canada
Herald Chancellor of Canada
The Herald Chancellor of Canada is an officer at the Canadian Heraldic Authority. The office is always filled by the Secretary to the Governor General. The Herald Chancellor is responsible for the administration of the entire vice-regal office...

 and, as such, oversees the Canadian Heraldic Authority
Canadian Heraldic Authority
The Canadian Heraldic Authority is part of the Canadian honours system under the Queen of Canada, whose authority is exercised by the Governor General. The Authority is responsible for the creation and granting of new coats of arms , flags and badges for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and...

—the mechanism of the Canadian honours system by which armorial bearings
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 are granted to Canadians by the governor general in the name of the sovereign. In this official and bureaucratic capacity, the entire household is often referred to as Government House. These departments are funded through the normal federal budgetary process
Canadian federal budget
In Canada, federal budgets are presented annually by the Government of Canada to identify planned government spending, expected government revenue, and forecast economic conditions for the upcoming year....

, as is the governor general's salary of CAD$
Canadian dollar
The Canadian dollar is the currency of Canada. As of 2007, the Canadian dollar is the 7th most traded currency in the world. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

110,126. Additional costs are incurred from separate ministries and organizations such as the National Capital Commission
National Capital Commission
The National Capital Commission , is a Canadian Crown corporation that administers the federally owned lands and buildings in Canada's National Capital Region, including Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec.The NCC was created in 1959, replacing the Federal District Commission , which had been...

, the Department of National Defence
Department of National Defence (Canada)
The Department of National Defence , frequently referred to by its acronym DND, is the department within the government of Canada with responsibility for all matters concerning the defence of Canada...

, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

.

The governor general's air transportation is assigned to 412 (Transport) Squadron. The squadron uses Bombardier Challenger 600
Bombardier Challenger 600
The Bombardier Challenger 600 series is a family of business jets designed by Bill Lear and produced first by Canadair until that company was bought by Bombardier Aerospace in 1986.-Development:...

 VIP jet to transport the governor general to locations within and outside of Canada.

Symbols and protocol

As the personal representative of the monarch, the governor general follows only the sovereign in the Canadian order of precedence
Canadian order of precedence
The Canadian order of precedence is a nominal and symbolic hierarchy of important positions within the Government of Canada. It has no legal standing but is used to dictate ceremonial protocol....

, preceding even other members of the Royal Family. Though the federal viceroy is considered primus inter pares
Primus inter pares
Primus inter pares is Latin phrase describing the most senior person of a group sharing the same rank or office.When not used in reference to a specific title, it may indicate that the person so described is formally equal, but looked upon as an authority of special importance by their peers...

amongst his or her provincial counterparts, the governor general also outranks the lieutenant governors in the federal sphere; at provincial functions, however, the relevant lieutenant governor, as the Queen's representative in the province, precedes the governor general. The incumbent governor general and his or her spouse are also the only people in Canada, other than serving Canadian ambassadors and high commissioners, entitled to the use the style
Style (manner of address)
A style of office, or honorific, is a legal, official, or recognized title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal...

 His or Her Excellency
Excellency
Excellency is an honorific style given to certain members of an organization or state.Usually, people styled "Excellency" are heads of state, heads of government, governors, ambassadors, certain ecclesiastics, royalty, aristocracy, and military, and others holding equivalent rank .It is...

and the governor general is granted the additional honorific of The Right Honourable
The Right Honourable
The Right Honourable is an honorific prefix that is traditionally applied to certain people in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Anglophone Caribbean and other Commonwealth Realms, and occasionally elsewhere...

for their time in office and for life afterwards.

Prior to 1952, all Governors General of Canada were members of a peerage
Peerage
The Peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom, which constitute the ranks of British nobility and is part of the British honours system...

. Typically, individuals appointed as federal viceroy were already a peer, either by inheriting the title, such as the Duke of Devonshire
Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire
Victor Christian William Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire , known as Victor Cavendish until 1908, was a British politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 11th since Canadian Confederation....

, or by prior elevation by the sovereign in their own right, as was the case with the Viscount Alexander of Tunis
Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis
Field Marshal Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis was a British military commander and field marshal of Anglo-Irish descent who served with distinction in both world wars and, afterwards, as Governor General of Canada, the 17th since Canadian...

. None were life peer
Life peer
In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the Peerage whose titles cannot be inherited. Nowadays life peerages, always of baronial rank, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as...

s. John Buchan
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir was a Scottish novelist, historian and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation....

 was, in perparation for his appointment as governor general, made the Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield in the County of Oxford by King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

, six months before Buchan was sworn in as viceroy. The Leader of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition at the time, William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King, PC, OM, CMG was the dominant Canadian political leader from the 1920s through the 1940s. He served as the tenth Prime Minister of Canada from December 29, 1921 to June 28, 1926; from September 25, 1926 to August 7, 1930; and from October 23, 1935 to November 15, 1948...

, felt Buchan should serve as governor general as a commoner; however, George V insisted he be represented by a peer. With the appointment of Vincent Massey as governor general in 1952, governors general ceased to be members of a peerage; successive governments since that date have held to the non-binding and defeated (in 1934) principles of the 1919 Nickle Resolution.

Per the orders' constitutions, the governor general serves as the Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order of Canada
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

, the Chancellor of the Order of Military Merit
Order of Military Merit (Canada)
The Order of Military Merit is a military honour for merit that is, within the Canadian system of honours, the second highest order administered by the Governor General-in-Council, on behalf of the Queen of Canada...

, and the Chancellor of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces
Order of Merit of the Police Forces
The Order of Merit of the Police Forces is an honour for merit that is, within the Canadian system of honours, the only such fellowship reserved only for members of Canada's various police forces...

. He or she also upon installation automatically becomes a Knight or Dame of Justice and the Prior and Chief Officer in Canada of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem
Venerable Order of Saint John
The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem , is a royal order of chivalry established in 1831 and found today throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, Hong Kong, Ireland and the United States of America, with the world-wide mission "to prevent and relieve sickness and...

. As acting commander-in-chief, the governor general is further routinely granted the Canadian Forces Decoration
Canadian Forces Decoration
The Canadian Forces Decoration is a Canadian award bestowed upon members of the Canadian Forces who have completed twelve years of military service, with certain conditions. By convention, it is also given to the Governor General of Canada upon his or her appointment as viceroy, which includes the...

 by the Chief of the Defence Staff
Chief of the Defence Staff (Canada)
The Chief of the Defence Staff is the second most senior member of the Canadian Forces, and heads the Armed Forces Council, having primary responsibility for command, control, and administration of the forces, as well as military strategy, plans, and requirements...

 on behalf of the monarch. All of these honours are retained following an incumbent's departure from office, with the individual remaining in the highest categories of the orders, and they may also be further distinguished with induction into other orders or the receipt of other awards.

The Viceregal Salute
Honors music
The honours music for a person, office or rank is music played on formal or ceremonial occasions in the presence of the person, office-holder, or rank-holder, especially by a military band...

—composed of the first six bars
Bar (music)
In musical notation, a bar is a segment of time defined by a given number of beats of a given duration. Typically, a piece consists of several bars of the same length, and in modern musical notation the number of beats in each bar is specified at the beginning of the score by the top number of a...

 of the Royal Anthem ("God Save the Queen
God Save the Queen
"God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

") followed by the first and last four bars of the national anthem
National anthem
A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people.- History :Anthems rose to prominence...

 ("O Canada
O Canada
It has been noted that the opening theme of "O Canada" bears a strong resemblance to the "Marsch der Priester" , from the opera Die Zauberflöte , composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and that Lavallée's melody was inspired by Mozart's tune...

")—is the salute
Salute
A salute is a gesture or other action used to display respect. Salutes are primarily associated with armed forces, but other organizations and civil people also use salutes.-Military salutes:...

 used to greet the governor general upon arrival at, and mark his or her departure from most official events. To mark the viceroy's presence at any building, ship, airplane, or car in Canada, the governor general's flag
Flag of the Governor General of Canada
The Flag of the Governor General of Canada was adopted in 1981. It features Canada's royal crest; a crowned lion holding a red maple leaf in its paw, standing on a wreath of the official colours of Canada , on a blue background...

 is employed. The present form was adopted on 23 February 1981, and in the federal jurisdiction takes precedence over all other flags save the Queen's personal Canadian standard
Queen's Personal Canadian Flag
The royal standards of Canada are personal standards, or official flags, employed to mark the presence of the bearer at any building or area or aboard any car, ship, or airplane, both in Canada and abroad. There are three royal standards, one each for the monarch, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke...

. When the governor general undertakes a state visit, however, the national flag
Flag of Canada
The national flag of Canada, also known as the Maple Leaf, and , is a red flag with a white square in its centre, featuring a stylized 11-pointed red maple leaf. Its adoption in 1965 marked the first time a national flag had been officially adopted in Canada to replace the Union Flag...

 is generally employed to mark his or her presence. This flag is also, along with all flags on Canadian Forces property, flown at half-mast upon the death of an incumbent or former governor general.

The crest of the Royal Arms of Canada is employed as the badge of the governor general, appearing on the viceroy's flag and on other objects associated with the person or the office. This is the fourth such incarnation of the governor general's mark since confederation.

1901 1921 1931 1981


History

French and British colonies

French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 colonization of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 began in the 1580s, and the explorer Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain , "The Father of New France", was a French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608....

 became the first unofficial Governor of New France
Governor of New France
The Governor of New France was the viceroy of the King of France in North America. A French noble, he was appointed to govern the colonies of New France, which included Canada, Acadia and Louisiana. The residence of the Governor was at the Château St-Louis in the capital of Quebec City...

 in the early 17th century, serving until Charles Huault de Montmagny was in 1636 formally appointed to the post by King Louis XIII
Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.Louis was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority...

. The French Company of One Hundred Associates
Company of One Hundred Associates
In 1627 the French government granted the company of 100 associates a monopoly on the fur trade in New france. In return the company was supposed to bring over 4000 French catholics to settle down in new france over the next 15 years. The company allowed the settlers to trade for furs directly with...

 then administered New France until King Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 took control of the colony and appointed Augustin de Saffray de Mésy
Augustin de Saffray de Mésy
Augustin de Saffray de Mésy was the first Governor General of New France in 1663 after Louis XIV took over the administration of New France from the Compagnie des Cent-Associés.- References :**...

 as the first governor general
Governor General of New France
Governor General of New France was the vice-regal post in New France from 1663 until 1760 and was the last French vice-regal post. It was replaced by the British post of Governor of the Province of Quebec following the fall of New France...

 in 1663, after whom 12 more people served in the post.

With the signing of the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 in 1763, France relinquished most of its North American territories, including Canada, to Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

. King George III then issued in that same year a royal proclamation
Royal Proclamation of 1763
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued October 7, 1763, by King George III following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 establishing, amongst other regulations, the Office of the Governor of Quebec to preside over the new Province of Quebec
Province of Quebec (1763-1791)
The Province of Quebec was a colony in North America created by Great Britain after the Seven Years' War. Great Britain acquired Canada by the Treaty of Paris when King Louis XV of France and his advisors chose to keep the territory of Guadeloupe for its valuable sugar crops instead of New France...

. Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

 and New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

 remained completely separate colonies, each with their own governor, until the cabinet of William Pitt
William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger was a British politician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24 . He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806...

 adopted in the 1780s the idea that they, along with Quebec and Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

, should have as their respective governors a single individual styled as Governor-in-Chief. The post was created in 1786, with the Lord Dorchester
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, KB , known between 1776 and 1786 as Sir Guy Carleton, was an Irish-British soldier and administrator...

 as its first occupant. However, the governor-in-chief directly governed only Quebec. It was not until the splitting in 1791 of the Province of Quebec, to accommodate the influx of United Empire Loyalists fleeing the American revolutionary war
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, that the king's representative, with a change in title to Governor General, directly governed Lower Canada
Lower Canada
The Province of Lower Canada was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

, while the other three colonies were each administered by a lieutenant governor in his stead.

Responsible government

The Rebellions of 1837
Rebellions of 1837
The Rebellions of 1837 were a pair of Canadian armed uprisings that occurred in 1837 and 1838 in response to frustrations in political reform. A key shared goal was the allowance of responsible government, which was eventually achieved in the incident's aftermath.-Rebellions:The rebellions started...

 brought about great changes to the role of the governor general, prompting, as they did, the British government to grant responsible government
Responsible government
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

 to the Canadian provinces. As a result, the viceroys became largely nominal heads, while the democratically elected legislatures
Legislative buildings of Canada
There are currently fourteen legislative buildings in Canada: Parliament in Ottawa, and one for each of the provinces and territories of Canada, though not all contain the words legislative building in their names.- Current :- Former :...

 and the premiers
Premier (Canada)
In Canada, a premier is the head of government of a province or territory. There are currently ten provincial premiers and three territorial premiers in Canada....

 they supported exercised the authority belonging to the Crown; a concept first put to the test when in 1849 Governor-General of the Province of Canada and Lieutenant-Governor of Canada East
Canada East
Canada East was the eastern portion of the United Province of Canada. It consisted of the southern portion of the modern-day Canadian Province of Quebec, and was primarily a French-speaking region....

 the Earl of Elgin
James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin
Sir James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine, KT, GCB, PC , was a British colonial administrator and diplomat...

 granted Royal Assent to the Rebellion Losses Bill
Rebellion Losses Bill
The Rebellion Losses Bill was a controversial law enacted by the legislature of the Province of Canada in 1849...

, despite his personal misgivings towards the legislation.

This arrangement continued after the reunification in 1840 of Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada
Province of Canada
The Province of Canada, United Province of Canada, or the United Canadas was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of...

, and the establishment of the Dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

 of Canada in 1867. The governor general carried out in Canada all the parliamentary and ceremonial functions of a constitutional monarch—amongst other things, granting Royal Assent, issuing Orders-in-Council, and taking advice from the Canadian privy council
Queen's Privy Council for Canada
The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs, though responsible government requires the sovereign or her viceroy,...

. However, the governor still remained not a viceroy, in the true sense of the word, being still a representative of and liaison to the British government—the Queen in her British council of ministers—who answered to the Secretary of State for the Colonies
Secretary of State for the Colonies
The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and who, as a British observer of Canadian politics, held well into the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 a suite of offices in the East Block
East Block
The East Block is one of the three buildings on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario, containing offices for parliamentarians, as well as some preserved pre-Confederation spaces.Built in the Victorian High Gothic style, the East Block is, along with the Library of Parliament, one of only...

 of Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill , colloquially known as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Its Gothic revival suite of buildingsthe parliament buildings serves as the home of the Parliament of Canada and contains a number of architectural...

. But, the new position of Canadian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, created in 1880, began to take over the governor general's role as a link between the Canadian and British governments, leaving the viceroy increasingly as a personal representative of the monarch. As such, the governor general had to retain a sense of political neutrality; a skill that was put to the test when the Marquess of Lorne
John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll
John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll KG, KT, GCMG, GCVO, VD, PC , usually better known by the courtesy title Marquess of Lorne, by which he was known between 1847 and 1900, was a British nobleman and was the fourth Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883...

 disagreed with his Canadian prime minister, John A. Macdonald
John A. Macdonald
Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB, KCMG, PC, PC , QC was the first Prime Minister of Canada. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, his political career spanned almost half a century...

, over the dismissal of Lieutenant Governor of Quebec
Lieutenant Governor of Quebec
The Lieutenant Governor of Quebec : Lieutenant-gouverneur du Québec, or : Lieutenant-gouverneure du Québec) is the viceregal representative in Quebec of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who operates distinctly within the province but is also shared equally with the ten other jurisdictions...

 Luc Letellier de St-Just
Luc Letellier de St-Just
Luc Letellier de Saint-Just, PC was a Canadian politician. He also served as the third Lieutenant Governor of Quebec ....

. On the advice of the Colonial Secretary, and to avoid conflict with the cabinet of Canada, the Marquess did eventually concede, and released St-Just from duty. The Governor General of Canada was then in May 1891 called upon to resolve the Dominion's first cabinet crisis, wherein Prime Minister Macdonald died, leaving the Lord Stanley of Preston
Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby
Frederick Arthur Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby KG, GCB, GCVO, PC , known as Frederick Stanley until 1886 and as Lord Stanley of Preston between 1886 and 1893, was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who served as Colonial Secretary from 1885 to 1886 and the sixth Governor General...

 to select a new prime minister.

As early as 1880, the viceregal family and court attracted minor ridicule from the Queen's subjects: in July of that year, someone under the pseudonym
Pseudonym
A pseudonym is a name that a person assumes for a particular purpose and that differs from his or her original orthonym...

 Captain Mac included in a pamphlet called Canada: from the Lakes to the Gulf, a coarse satire of an investiture ceremony at Rideau Hall, in which a retired inn-keeper and his wife undergo the rigorous protocol of the royal household and sprawl on the floor before the Duke of Argyll
John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll
John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll KG, KT, GCMG, GCVO, VD, PC , usually better known by the courtesy title Marquess of Lorne, by which he was known between 1847 and 1900, was a British nobleman and was the fourth Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883...

 so as to be granted the knighthood for which they had "paid in cold, hard cash." Later, prior to the arrival of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn was a member of the shared British and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha royal family who served as the Governor General of Canada, the 10th since Canadian Confederation.Born the seventh child and third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and...

 (the uncle of King George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

), to take up the post of governor general, there was a "feeble undercurrent of criticism" centring on worries about a rigid court at Rideau Hall; worries that turned out to be unfounded as the royal couple was actually more relaxed than their predecessors.

Emerging nationality to an independent kingdom

During the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, into which Canada was drawn due to its association with the United Kingdom, the governor general's role turned from one of cultural patron and state ceremony to one of military inspector and morale booster. Starting in 1914, Governor General Prince Arthur donned his Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

's uniform and put his efforts into raising contingents, inspecting army camps, and seeing troops off before their voyage to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. These actions, however, led to conflict with the Prince's prime minister at the time, Robert Borden
Robert Borden
Sir Robert Laird Borden, PC, GCMG, KC was a Canadian lawyer and politician. He served as the eighth Prime Minister of Canada from October 10, 1911 to July 10, 1920, and was the third Nova Scotian to hold this office...

; though the latter placed blame on the Military Secretary Edward Stanton, he also opined that the Duke "laboured under the handicap of his position as a member of the Royal Family and never realized his limitations as Governor General." Prince Arthur's successor, the Duke of Devonshire
Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire
Victor Christian William Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire , known as Victor Cavendish until 1908, was a British politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 11th since Canadian Confederation....

, faced the Conscription Crisis of 1917
Conscription Crisis of 1917
The Conscription Crisis of 1917 was a political and military crisis in Canada during World War I.-Background:...

 and held discussions with his Canadian prime minister, as well as His Majesty's Loyal Opposition
Official Opposition (Canada)
In Canada, Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition , commonly known as the Official Opposition, is usually the largest parliamentary opposition party in the House of Commons or a provincial legislative assembly that is not in government, either on its own or as part of a governing coalition...

 members, on the matter. Once the government implemented conscription, Devonshire, after consulting on the pulse of the nation with Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Wilfrid Laurier
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, GCMG, PC, KC, baptized Henri-Charles-Wilfrid Laurier was the seventh Prime Minister of Canada from 11 July 1896 to 6 October 1911....

, Vincent Massey
Vincent Massey
Charles Vincent Massey was a Canadian lawyer and diplomat who served as Governor General of Canada, the 18th since Canadian Confederation....

, Henri Bourassa
Henri Bourassa
Joseph-Napoléon-Henri Bourassa was a French Canadian political leader and publisher. He is seen by many as an ideological father of Canadian nationalism....

, Archbishop of Montreal Paul Bruchési
Paul Bruchési
Louis Joseph Napoléon Paul Bruchési, was a Canadian prelate.Ordained as a priest in 1878, he was appointed Archbishop in 1897. Both these appointments were in the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Montréal...

, Duncan Campbell Scott
Duncan Campbell Scott
Duncan Campbell Scott was a Canadian poet and prose writer. With Charles G.D. Roberts, Bliss Carman, and Archibald Lampman, he is classed as one of Canada's Confederation Poets....

, Vilhjalmur Stefansson
Vilhjalmur Stefansson
Vilhjalmur Stefansson was a Canadian Arctic explorer and ethnologist.-Early life:Stefansson, born William Stephenson, was born at Gimli, Manitoba, Canada, in 1879. His parents had emigrated from Iceland to Manitoba two years earlier...

, and Stephen Leacock
Stephen Leacock
Stephen Butler Leacock, FRSC was an English-born Canadian teacher, political scientist, writer, and humorist...

, made efforts to conciliate Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, though he had little real success.

Canada's national sentiment had gained fortitude through the country's sacrifices on the battlefields of the First World War and, by war's end, the interference of the British government in Canadian affairs was causing ever-increasing discontent amongst Canadian officials; in 1918, the Toronto Star
Toronto Star
The Toronto Star is Canada's highest-circulation newspaper, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its print edition is distributed almost entirely within the province of Ontario...

was even advocating the end of the office. The governor general's role was also morphing to focus less on the larger Empire and more on uniquely Canadian affairs, including the undertaking of official international visits on behalf of Canada, the first being that of the Marquess of Willingdon
Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon
Major Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon was a British Liberal politician and administrator who served as Governor General of Canada, the 13th since Canadian Confederation, and as Viceroy and Governor-General of India, the country's 22nd.Freeman-Thomas was born in England and...

 to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, where he was accorded by President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

 the full honours of representative of a head of state. It would be another decade, however, before the King-Byng Affair
King-Byng Affair
The King–Byng Affair was a Canadian constitutional crisis that occurred in 1926, when the Governor General of Canada, the Lord Byng of Vimy, refused a request by his prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, to dissolve parliament and call a general election....

: another catalyst for change in the relationship between Canada—indeed, all the Dominions—and the United Kingdom, and thus the purpose of the governor general.

In 1926, Liberal
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

 prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King, PC, OM, CMG was the dominant Canadian political leader from the 1920s through the 1940s. He served as the tenth Prime Minister of Canada from December 29, 1921 to June 28, 1926; from September 25, 1926 to August 7, 1930; and from October 23, 1935 to November 15, 1948...

, facing a non-confidence vote
Motion of no confidence
A motion of no confidence is a parliamentary motion whose passing would demonstrate to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in the appointed government.-Overview:Typically, when a parliament passes a vote of no...

 in the House of Commons over a scandal in his party, requested that Governor General the Lord Byng of Vimy
Julian Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy
Field Marshal Julian Hedworth George Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy was a British Army officer who served as Governor General of Canada, the 12th since Canadian Confederation....

 dissolve parliament and call an election. Byng, however, refused his Canadian prime minister's advice, citing both the facts that King held the minority of seats
Minority government
A minority government or a minority cabinet is a cabinet of a parliamentary system formed when a political party or coalition of parties does not have a majority of overall seats in the parliament but is sworn into government to break a Hung Parliament election result. It is also known as a...

 in the house and that a general election had been held only months earlier; he thus called on Arthur Meighen
Arthur Meighen
Arthur Meighen, PC, QC was a Canadian lawyer and politician. He served two terms as the ninth Prime Minister of Canada: from July 10, 1920 to December 29, 1921; and from June 29 to September 25, 1926. He was the first Prime Minister born after Confederation, and the only one to represent a riding...

 to form a government. Within a week however, Meighen's Conservative
Conservative Party of Canada (historical)
The Conservative Party of Canada has gone by a variety of names over the years since Canadian Confederation. Initially known as the "Liberal-Conservative Party", it dropped "Liberal" from its name in 1873, although many of its candidates continued to use this name.As a result of World War I and the...

 government lost its own non-confidence vote, forcing the Governor General to dissolve parliament and call elections that saw Mackenzie King returned to power. King then went on to the Imperial Conference
1926 Imperial Conference
The 1926 Imperial Conference was the sixth Imperial Conference held amongst the Prime Ministers of the dominions of the British Empire. It was held in London from 19 October to 22 November 1926...

 that same year and there pushed for reorganizations that resulted in the Balfour Declaration, which declared formally the practical reality that had existed for some years: namely, that the Dominions were fully autonomous and equal in status to the United Kingdom. These new developments were codified in the Statute of Westminster
Statute of Westminster 1931
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

, through the enactment of which on 11 December 1931, Canada, along with the Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

 and the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
The Irish Free State was the state established as a Dominion on 6 December 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed by the British government and Irish representatives exactly twelve months beforehand...

, immediately obtained formal legislative independence from the UK. The governor general thus became solely the representative of the King within Canadian jurisdiction, ceasing completely to be an agent of the British Cabinet, and as such would be appointed by the monarch granting his royal sign-manual
Royal sign-manual
The royal sign manual is the formal name given in the Commonwealth realms to the autograph signature of the sovereign, by the affixing of which the monarch expresses his or her pleasure either by order, commission, or warrant. A sign-manual warrant may be either an executive actfor example, an...

 under the Great Seal of Canada
Great Seal of Canada
The Great Seal of Canada is a seal used for official purposes of state in Canada such as the certification of Acts of Parliament that have been granted Royal Assent....

 only on the advice of his Canadian prime minister.
The Canadian Cabinet's first recommendation under this new system was still, however, a British subject
British subject
In British nationality law, the term British subject has at different times had different meanings. The current definition of the term British subject is contained in the British Nationality Act 1981.- Prior to 1949 :...

 born outside of Canada: the Lord Tweedsmuir
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir was a Scottish novelist, historian and Unionist politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 15th since Canadian Confederation....

. His birth place aside, though, the professional author took further than any of his predecessors the idea of a distinct Canadian identity, travelling the length and breadth of the country, including, for the first time for a governor general, the Arctic regions. Not all Canadians, however, shared Tweedsmuir's views; the Baron raised the ire of imperialists
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 when he said in Montreal in 1937: "a Canadian's first loyalty is not to the British Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, but to Canada and Canada's King," a statement the Montreal Gazette dubbed as "disloyal." During Tweedsmuir's time as viceroy, which started in 1935, calls began to emerge for a Canadian-born individual to be appointed as governor general; but Tweedsmuir died suddenly in office in 1940, while Canada was in the midst of the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, and Prime Minister Mackenzie King did not feel it was the right time to search for a suitable Canadian. The Earl of Athlone
Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone
Major-General Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone , was a close relative of the shared British and Canadian royal family, as well as a British military commander and major-general who served as Governor-General of the Union of South Africa, the...

 was instead appointed by King George VI, Athlone's nephew, to be his viceroy for the duration of the war.

Quebec nationalism and constitutional patriation

It was in 1952, a mere five days before King George VI's death, that Vincent Massey
Vincent Massey
Charles Vincent Massey was a Canadian lawyer and diplomat who served as Governor General of Canada, the 18th since Canadian Confederation....

 became the first Canadian-born person to be appointed as a governor general in Canada since the Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal
Pierre François de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal
Pierre François de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal was a Canadian-born French colonial governor in North America...

 was made Governor General of New France on 1 January 1755, as well as the first not to be elevated to the peerage
Peerage
The Peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles in the United Kingdom, which constitute the ranks of British nobility and is part of the British honours system...

 since Sir Edmund Walker Head
Edmund Walker Head
Sir Edmund Walker Head, 8th Baronet, KCB was British colonial administrator.He was born at Wiarton Place, near Maidstone, Kent, the son of Reverend Sir John Head, 7th Bt. and Jane Head. He was educated at Winchester College and Oriel College, Oxford. He succeeded to his father's title in 1838...

 in 1854. There was some trepidation about this departure from tradition and Massey was intended to be a compromise: he was known to embody loyalty, dignity, and formality, as expected from a viceroy. As his viceregal tenure neared an end, it was thought that Massey, an anglophone
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, should be followed by a francophone
Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

 Canadian; and so, in spite of his Liberal Party attachments, Georges Vanier
Georges Vanier
Major-General Georges-Philéas Vanier was a Canadian soldier and diplomat who served as Governor General of Canada, the 19th since Canadian Confederation....

 was chosen by Conservative prime minister John Diefenbaker
John Diefenbaker
John George Diefenbaker, PC, CH, QC was the 13th Prime Minister of Canada, serving from June 21, 1957, to April 22, 1963...

 as the next governor general. Vanier was subsequently appointed by Queen Elizabeth II in person at a meeting of her Canadian Cabinet, thus initiating the convention of alternating between individuals from Canada's two main linguistic groups. This move did not, however, placate those who were fostering the new Quebec nationalist movement
Quebec nationalism
Quebec nationalism is a nationalist movement in the Canadian province of Quebec .-1534–1774:Canada was first a french colony. Jacques Cartier claimed it for France in 1534, and permanent French settlement began in 1608. It was part of New France, which constituted all French colonies in North America...

, for whom the monarchy and other federal institutions were a target for attack. Though Vanier was a native of Quebec and fostered biculturalism, he was not immune to the barbs of the province's sovereigntists
Quebec sovereignty movement
The Quebec sovereignty movement refers to both the political movement and the ideology of values, concepts and ideas that promote the secession of the province of Quebec from the rest of Canada...

 and, when he attended la Fête St-Jean-Baptiste in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 in 1964, a group of separatists held placards reading "Vanier vendu" ("Vanier sold out") and "Vanier fou de la Reine" ("Vanier Queen's jester").

In light of this regional nationalism and a resultant change in attitudes towards Canadian identity, images and the role of the monarchy were cautiously downplayed, and Vanier's successor, Roland Michener
Roland Michener
Daniel Roland Michener , commonly known as Roland Michener, was a Canadian lawyer, politician, and diplomat who served as Governor General of Canada, the 20th since Canadian Confederation....

, was the last viceroy to practice many of the office's ancient traditions, such as the wearing of the Windsor uniform
Windsor uniform
The Windsor uniform is a type of dress worn by male members of the House of Windsor. The uniform was introduced by George III in 1779.The first Court Uniform was the Windsor Coat or Uniform, dating from c.1778. This is now an evening tail coat of dark blue cloth, lapelled, with scarlet collar and...

, the requirement of court dress
Court uniform and dress
- Court dress :On formal royal occasions in monarchies the dress worn by those present is prescribed by official regulations.Court dress is worn by all men not entitled to court uniform or military uniform on all occasions of state where such are customarily worn...

 for state occasions, and expecting women to curtsey
Curtsey
A curtsey is a traditional gesture of greeting, in which a girl or woman bends her knees while bowing her head. It is the female equivalent of male bowing in Western cultures...

 before the governor general. At the same time, he initiated new practices for the viceroy, including regular conferences with the lieutenant governors and the undertaking of state visits. He presided over Canada's centennial celebrations
Canadian Centennial
The Canadian Centennial was a year long celebration held in 1967 when Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Celebrations occurred throughout the year but culminated on Dominion Day, July 1. 1967 coins were different from previous years' issues, with animals on each...

 and the coincidental Expo 67
Expo 67
The 1967 International and Universal Exposition or Expo 67, as it was commonly known, was the general exhibition, Category One World's Fair held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from April 27 to October 29, 1967. It is considered to be the most successful World's Fair of the 20th century, with the...

, to which French president Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

 was invited. Michener was with de Gaulle when he made his infamous "Vive le Québec libre" speech in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 and was cheered wildly by the gathered crowd while they booed and jeered Michener. With the additional recognition of the monarchy as a Canadian institution, the establishment of a distinct Canadian honours system, an increase of state visits coming with Canada's growing role on the world stage, and the more prevalent use of television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 to visually broadcast ceremonial state affairs, the governor general became more publicly active in national life.

The Cabinet in June 1978 put forward the constitutional amendment
Constitutional amendment
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

 Bill C-60, that, amongst other changes, vested executive authority
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 directly in the governor general and renamed the position as First Canadian, but the proposal was thwarted by the provincial premiers. When the constitution was patriated
Patriation
Patriation is a non-legal term used in Canada to describe a process of constitutional change also known as "homecoming" of the constitution. Up until 1982, Canada was governed by a constitution that was a British law and could be changed only by an Act of the British Parliament...

 four years later, the new amending formula for the documents outlined that any changes to the Crown, including the Office of the Governor General, would require the unanimous consent of all the provincial legislatures plus the federal parliament. By 1984, Canada's first female governor general—Jeanne Sauvé
Jeanne Sauvé
Jeanne Mathilde Sauvé was a Canadian journalist, politician, and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 23rd since Canadian Confederation....

—was appointed. While it was she who created the Canadian Heraldic Authority
Canadian Heraldic Authority
The Canadian Heraldic Authority is part of the Canadian honours system under the Queen of Canada, whose authority is exercised by the Governor General. The Authority is responsible for the creation and granting of new coats of arms , flags and badges for Canadian citizens, permanent residents and...

, as permitted by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth II, and who championed youth and world peace, Sauvé proved to be a controversial vicereine, closing to the public the grounds of the Queen's residence and self-aggrandizingly breaching protocol on a number of occasions.

Withering and renaissance

Sarah, Duchess of York
Sarah, Duchess of York
Sarah, Duchess of York is a British charity patron, spokesperson, writer, film producer, television personality and former member of the British Royal Family. She is the former wife of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, whom she married from 1986 to 1996...

, said in 2009 that sometime during her marriage to Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG GCVO , is the second son, and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

, her husband was offered the position of Governor General of Canada, and she speculated in hindsight that their agreement to refuse the commission may have been a contributing factor in their eventual break-up. Instead, Sauvé's tenure as governor general was book-ended by a series of appointments—Edward Schreyer
Edward Schreyer
Edward Richard Schreyer , commonly known as Ed Schreyer, is a Canadian politician, diplomat, and statesman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 22nd since Canadian Confederation....

, Ray Hnatyshyn
Ray Hnatyshyn
Ramon John Hnatyshyn , commonly known as Ray Hnatyshyn, was a Canadian politician and statesman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 24th since Canadian Confederation....

, and Roméo LeBlanc
Roméo LeBlanc
Roméo-Adrien LeBlanc was a Canadian journalist, politician, and statesman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 25th since Canadian Confederation....

—that have been generally regarded as mere patronage
Patronage
Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings or popes have provided to musicians, painters, and sculptors...

 postings for former politicians and friends of the incumbent prime minister at the time, and despite the duties they carried out, their combined time in the viceregal office is generally viewed as unremarkable, at best, damaging to the office, at worst; as David Smith described it: "Notwithstanding the personal qualities of the appointees, which have often been extraordinary, the Canadian governor general has become a hermetic head of state—ignored by press, politicians and public." It was theorised by Peter Boyce that this was due, in part, to widespread misunderstanding about the governor general's role coupled with a lack of public presence compared to the media coverage dedicated to the increasingly presidentialised prime minister.
It was with the Queen's appointment of Adrienne Clarkson
Adrienne Clarkson
Adrienne Louise Clarkson is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 26th since Canadian Confederation....

, on the advice of then Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
Jean Chrétien
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien , known commonly as Jean Chrétien is a former Canadian politician who was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in the position for over ten years, from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003....

, that a shift in the office took place. Clarkson was the first Canadian viceroy to have not previously held any political or military position—coming as she did from a background of television journalism with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

—was the first since 1952 to have been born outside of Canada, the first from a visible minority
Visible minority
A visible minority is a person who is visibly not one of the majority race in a given population.The term is used as a demographic category by Statistics Canada in connection with that country's Employment Equity policies. The qualifier "visible" is important in the Canadian context where...

, and, by her being accompanied to Rideau Hall by her husband, author and philosopher John Ralston Saul
John Ralston Saul
John Ralston Saul, CC is a Canadian author, essayist, and President of International PEN.As an essayist, Saul is particularly known for his commentaries on the nature of individualism, citizenship and the public good; the failures of manager-, or more precisely technocrat-, led societies; the...

, the official appointment brought an unofficial pair to the viceregal placement, in that the governor general would not be the only person actively exploring Canadian theory and culture. Clarkson managed to bring the viceregal office back into the collective consciousness of Canadians, winning praise for touring the country more than any of her predecessors, her inspiring speeches, and her dedication to the military in her role as the Commander-in-Chief's representative. This did not come without a cost, however, as the attention also drew widespread criticism of the Governor General's increased spending on state affairs, for which the office was symbolically rebuked by parliament when it voted in favour of cutting by 10% the viceregal budget it had earlier supported, as well as for fostering the notion, through various demonstrations, that the governor general was ultimately the Canadian head of state above the Queen herself, an approach that was said by Jack Granatstein
Jack Granatstein
Jack Lawrence Granatstein, OC, FRSC is a Canadian historian who specializes in political and military history.-Education:Born in Toronto, Ontario, Granatstein received a graduation diploma from Le College militaire royal de Saint-Jean in 1959, his BA from the Royal Military College of Canada in...

 to have caused "a fury" with the Queen on one occasion in 2004. This attitude was not unique to Clarkson, though; it had been observed that, for some decades, staff at Rideau Hall and various government departments in Ottawa had been pushing to present the governor general as head of state, part of a wider Liberal policy on the monarchy that had been in effect since the proposed constitutional changes in the 1970s. Indeed, international observers opined that the viceroys had been, over the years, making deliberate attempts to distance themselves from the sovereign, for fear of being too closely associated with any "Britishness" the monarch embodied.
Prime Minister Paul Martin
Paul Martin
Paul Edgar Philippe Martin, PC , also known as Paul Martin, Jr. is a Canadian politician who was the 21st Prime Minister of Canada, as well as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada....

 followed Chrétien's example and, for Clarkson's successor, put forward to the Queen the name of Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 27th since Canadian Confederation, from 2005 to 2010....

, who was, like Clarkson, a woman, a refugee, a member of a visible minority, a CBC career journalist, and married to an intellectual husband who worked in the arts. Her appointment initially sparked accusations that she was a supporter of Quebec sovereignty, and it was observed that she had on a few occasions tread into political matters, as well as continuing to foster the notion that the governor general had replaced the Queen as head of state, thereby "unbalancing[...] the federalist symmetry." But Jean ultimately won plaudits, particularly for her solidarity with the Canadian Forces and Canada's Aboriginal peoples
Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have fallen into disuse in Canada and are commonly considered pejorative....

, as well as her role in the parliamentary dispute that took place between December 2008 and January 2009
2008–2009 Canadian parliamentary dispute
The 2008–2009 Canadian parliamentary dispute was a political dispute during the 40th Canadian Parliament. It was triggered by the expressed intention of the opposition parties to defeat the Conservative minority government on a motion of non-confidence six weeks after the federal election on...

.

With the appointment of David Johnston, a lifelong academic and former University of Waterloo
University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo is a comprehensive public university in the city of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The school was founded in 1957 by Drs. Gerry Hagey and Ira G. Needles, and has since grown to an institution of more than 30,000 students, faculty, and staff...

 president and vice-chancellor, there was a signalled emphasis for the Governor General to vigorously promote learning and innovation. Johnston stated in his inaugural address: "[We want to be] a society that innovates, embraces its talent and uses the knowledge of each of its citizens to improve the human condition for all." There was also a recognition of Johnston's expertise in constitutional law
Constitutional law
Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary....

, following the controversial prorogations of parliament
Prorogation in Canada
Prorogation is the end of a parliamentary session in the Parliament of Canada and the parliaments of its provinces and territories. It differs from a recess or adjournment, which do not end a session, and from a complete dissolution of parliament, which ends both the session and the entire...

 in 2008 and 2009, which initiated some debate about the governor general's role as the representative of Canada's head of state.

Activities post-commission

Retired governors general usually withdraw from public life or accept diplomatic postings. Edward Schreyer, for instance, was appointed Canadian High Commissioner to Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 upon his departure from the viceregal role in 1984, and Michaëlle Jean is currently the UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 special envoy to Haiti. Schreyer did also, however, become the first former governor general to run for elected office in Canada when he vied for a seat in the House of Commons as a member of parliament for the New Democratic Party
New Democratic Party
The New Democratic Party , commonly referred to as the NDP, is a federal social-democratic political party in Canada. The interim leader of the NDP is Nycole Turmel who was appointed to the position due to the illness of Jack Layton, who died on August 22, 2011. The provincial wings of the NDP in...

. He did not win the riding. Prior to 1952, several former viceroys returned to political careers in the United Kingdom, sitting with party affiliations in the House of Lords and, in some cases, taking a position in the British Cabinet
Cabinet of the United Kingdom
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and some 22 Cabinet Ministers, the most senior of the government ministers....

.

Generally an outgoing governor general will leave an eponymous award as a legacy, such as the Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

 and Grey Cup
Grey Cup
The Grey Cup is both the name of the championship of the Canadian Football League and the name of the trophy awarded to the victorious team. It is Canada's largest annual sports and television event, regularly drawing a Canadian viewing audience of about 3 to 4 million individuals...

. Others may also or instead found an institution, as Georges Vanier did with the Vanier Institute of the Family and Adrienne Clarkson's Institute for Canadian Citizenship. Three former governors general have released biographies: the Lord Tweedsmuir (Memory Hold-the-Door), Vincent Massey (On Being Canadian and What's Past is Prologue), and Clarkson (Heart Matters).

Canadian institutions established by governors general

  • Royal Society of Canada
    Royal Society of Canada
    The Royal Society of Canada , may also operate under the more descriptive name RSC: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada , is the oldest association of scientists and scholars in Canada...

    The Marquess of Lorne
    John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll
    John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll KG, KT, GCMG, GCVO, VD, PC , usually better known by the courtesy title Marquess of Lorne, by which he was known between 1847 and 1900, was a British nobleman and was the fourth Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883...

  • Canada's first anti-tuberculosis
    Tuberculosis
    Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

     association The Earl of Minto
    Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto
    Gilbert John Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto was a British nobleman and politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the eighth since Canadian Confederation, and as Viceroy and Governor-General of India, the country's 17th.-Early life and career:Minto was born in London, the...

  • The Battlefields Park
    The Battlefields Park
    The Battlefields Park includes the Plains of Abraham with Des Braves Park, both within Quebec City, and forms one of the few Canadian national urban parks. Its significance lies in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, the British victory over France, which decided the development of Canada...

    The Lord Grey
    Albert Grey, 4th Earl Grey
    Albert Henry George Grey, 4th Earl Grey was a British nobleman and politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the ninth since Canadian Confederation....

  • King's Jubilee Cancer Fund The Earl of Bessborough
    Vere Ponsonby, 9th Earl of Bessborough
    Captain Vere Brabazon Ponsonby, 9th Earl of Bessborough was a British businessman and politician who served as Governor General of Canada, the 14th since Canadian Confederation....

  • Vanier Institute of the Family
    Vanier Institute of the Family
    The Vanier Institute of the Family is an independent national research and educational nonprofit organization committed to the well-being of Canadian families....

    Georges Vanier
    Georges Vanier
    Major-General Georges-Philéas Vanier was a Canadian soldier and diplomat who served as Governor General of Canada, the 19th since Canadian Confederation....

  • Sauvé Foundation
    Sauvé Foundation
    The Jeanne Sauvé Foundation was established by the Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, the first female governor-general of Canada, to implement its mission "to develop the leadership potential of promising youth from around the world"...

    Jeanne Sauvé
    Jeanne Sauvé
    Jeanne Mathilde Sauvé was a Canadian journalist, politician, and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 23rd since Canadian Confederation....

  • The Hnatyshyn Foundation Ray Hnatyshyn
    Ray Hnatyshyn
    Ramon John Hnatyshyn , commonly known as Ray Hnatyshyn, was a Canadian politician and statesman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 24th since Canadian Confederation....

  • Institute for Canadian Citizenship Adrienne Clarkson
    Adrienne Clarkson
    Adrienne Louise Clarkson is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 26th since Canadian Confederation....

  • Michaëlle Jean Foundation‎ - Michaëlle Jean
    Michaëlle Jean
    Michaëlle Jean is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 27th since Canadian Confederation, from 2005 to 2010....


See also

  • Governor General's Awards
  • List of awards presented by the Governor General of Canada
  • Royal Canadian Air Force VIP aircraft
  • Governor-General
    Governor-General
    A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...


Further reading

External links

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