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List of Canadian monarchs

The lines of monarchs who reigned over the French and British colonies of Canada, followed by the British Dominion of Canada, and finally the present-day sovereign state of Canada, begin approximately at the turn of the 16th century.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] The date of the first claim by a monarch over what is now Canada varies, with most sources giving the year as 1497, when John Cabot made landfall somewhere on the North American coast (likely either modern-day Newfoundland or Nova Scotia), and claimed the land for England on behalf of King Henry VII.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17] However, some sources instead put this date at 1534, when New France was founded in the name of King Francis I.[18][19] Monarchical governance subsequently evolved under a continuous succession of French, British, and eventually uniquely Canadian sovereigns.[4][5][16][19][20][21][22] Since the first claim by Henry VII,[23] there have been 33 sovereigns of Canada, including two sets of co-sovereigns.[24][25][26][27][28][29]

While Canada became a Dominion within the British Empire upon Confederation in 1867,[30][31][32][33] the concept of a fully independent Canada sharing the person of the sovereign with the United Kingdom and other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, only emerged gradually over time through constitutional convention,[34] and was officially confirmed with the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931.[35] Since then,[25] the Canadian Crown has been legally distinct from those of the other Commonwealth realms, with its own separate and distinct monarch.[N 1] Though the term king of Canada was used as early as the beginning of the reign of George VI,[37] it was not until 1953 that the monarch's title was made official, with Elizabeth II being the first monarch to be separately proclaimed as Queen of Canada, as per the Royal Style and Titles Act.

Sovereigns of Canada

The French Crown (1534–1763)

No. Portrait Regnal name Reign Full name Consort
35px Sovereigns of the colony of Canada
1 75px Francis I
House of Valois
24 July 1534 31 March 1547 Francis Eleanor of Austria
Territorial changes: Jacques Cartier laid claim to "Kanata" (Canada) in the name of King Francis I.[38]
2 75px Henry II
House of Valois
31 March 1547 10 July 1559 Henry Catherine de' Medici
3 75px Francis II
House of Valois
10 July 1559 5 December 1560 Francis Mary, Queen of Scots
4 75px Charles IX
House of Valois
5 December 1560 30 May 1574 Charles Maximilian Elisabeth of Austria
5 75px Henry III
House of Valois
30 May 1574 2 August 1589 Alexandre Édouard Louise of Lorraine
6 75px Henry IV
House of Bourbon
2 August 1589 14 May 1610 Henri de Bourbon Margaret of Valois,
Marie de' Medici
7 75px Louis XIII
House of Bourbon
14 May 1610 14 May 1643 Louis Anne of Austria
8 75px Louis XIV
House of Bourbon
14 May 1643 1 September 1715 Louis-Dieudonné Maria Theresa of Spain,
Françoise d'Aubigné
Note: Ceded Acadia, Placentia, and Hudson Bay to Anne, 1713.
9 75px Louis XV
House of Bourbon
1 September 1715 10 February 1763 Louis Marie Leszczyńska
Territorial changes: Ceded the Colony of Canada, along with the rest of New France, to George III, 1763.

The English and British Crown (1497–1931)

No. Portrait Regnal name Reign Full name Consort
35px Sovereigns of the colony of Canada
1 75px Henry VII
House of Tudor
24 June 1497 21 April 1509 Henry Elizabeth of York
Territorial changes: John Cabot laid claim to what is now Canada in the name of King Henry VII.[24]
2 75px Henry VIII
House of Tudor
21 April 1509 28 January 1547 Henry Catherine of Aragon (1509), Anne Boleyn (1533), Jane Seymour (1536), Anne of Cleves (1540), Catherine Howard (1540), Catherine Parr (1543)
3 75px Edward VI
House of Tudor
28 January 1547 6 July 1553 Edward None
4 75px Mary I
House of Tudor
19 July 1553 17 November 1558 Mary Philip II of Spain (co-sovereign)
5 75px Elizabeth I
House of Tudor
17 November 1558 24 March 1603 Elizabeth None
6 75px James I
House of Stuart
25 July 1603 27 March 1625 Charles James Anne of Denmark
7 75px Charles I
House of Stuart
27 March 1625 30 January 1649 Charles Henrietta Maria of France
Cromwellian Era 30 January 1649 29 May 1660
8 75px Charles II
House of Stuart
2 May 1670 3 September 1651 Charles Catherine of Braganza
Note: Created Rupert's Land through Royal Warrant for the Hudson's Bay Company.
9 75px James II
House of Stuart
6 February 1685 1 December 1688 James Mary of Modena
Vacant 1 December 1688 13 February 1689
10 75px William III
House of Orange-Nassau
13 February 1689 8 March 1702 William Mary II of England
11 75px Anne
House of Stuart
8 March 1702 1 August 1714 Anne Prince George of Denmark
Note: Acquired Acadia, Placentia, and Hudson Bay from Louis XIV of France, 1713.
12 75px George I
House of Hanover
1 August 1714 11 June 1727 George Louis Sophia Dorothea of Celle
13 75px George II
House of Hanover
11 June 1727
old calendar
25 October 1760
new calendar
George Augustus Caroline of Ansbach
14 75px George III
House of Hanover
25 October 1760 29 January 1820 George William Frederick Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Territorial changes: Acquired New France from Louis XV of France, 1763. Created provinces of Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1790.
15 75px George IV
House of Hanover
29 January 1820 26 June 1830 George Augustus Frederick Caroline of Brunswick
16 75px William IV
House of Hanover
26 June 1830 20 June 1837 William Henry Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen
35px Sovereigns of the Dominion of Canada[N 2]
17 75px Victoria
House of Hanover
20 June 1837 22 January 1901 Alexandrina Victoria Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Canadian Governors general:The Viscount Monck, the Lord Lisgar, the Earl of Dufferin, the Marquess of Lorne, the Marquess of Lansdowne, the Lord Stanley of Preston, the Earl of Aberdeen, the Earl of Minto
Canadian Prime ministers: John A. Macdonald, Alexander Mackenzie, John Abbott, John Thompson, Mackenzie Bowell, Charles Tupper, Wilfrid Laurier
Initial provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick
Territorial changes: United Upper Canada and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada, 1841. United the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into the Dominion Canada under a new Canadian crown, 1867. Later joined Rupert's Land, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island into Canada. Established Manitoba, North-Western Territory (now Northwest Territories), British Columbia, and Yukon Territory (now Yukon)
18 75px Edward VII
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
22 January 1901 6 May 1910 Albert Edward Alexandra of Denmark
Canadian Governors general: The Earl of Minto, the Earl Grey
Canadian Prime minister: Wilfrid Laurier
Territorial changes: Created new provinces Saskatchewan and Alberta
19 75px George V
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (until 1917)
House of Windsor (after 1917)
6 May 1910 11 December 1931 George Frederick Ernest Albert Mary of Teck
Canadian Governors general: The Earl Grey, the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, the Duke of Devonshire, the Lord Byng of Vimy, the Marquess of Willingdon, the Earl of Bessborough
Canadian Prime ministers: Wilfrid Laurier, Robert Borden, Arthur Meighen, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Richard B. Bennett
Territorial changes: Signed the Statute of Westminster, thereby creating the Canadian Crown and leaving Newfoundland as the only part of present-day Canada under the British Crown.

The Canadian Crown (1931–present)

In 1931 the Canadian Crown emerged as an independent entity from that of the British Crown due to the Statute of Westminster 1931.

No. Portrait Regnal name Reign Full name Consort
35px Sovereigns of Canada
1 75px George V
House of Windsor
11 December 1931 20 January 1936 George Frederick Ernest Albert Mary of Teck
Governors general: The Earl of Bessborough, the Lord Tweedsmuir
Prime ministers: Richard B. Bennett, William Lyon Mackenzie King
2 75px Edward VIII
House of Windsor
20 January 1936 11 December 1936 Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David none
Governor general: The Lord Tweedsmuir
Prime minister: William Lyon Mackenzie King
3 75px George VI
House of Windsor
11 December 1936 6 February 1952 Albert Frederick Arthur George Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Governors general: The Lord Tweedsmuir, the Earl of Athlone, the Viscount Alexander of Tunis
Prime ministers: William Lyon Mackenzie King, Louis St. Laurent
Territorial change: Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador) ceases as a British colony and becomes part of Canada in 1949, thereby putting all of modern Canada under the Canadian Crown.
4 75px Elizabeth II
(born 1926)
House of Windsor
6 February 1952 Present Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Governors general: The Viscount Alexander of Tunis, Vincent Massey, Georges Vanier, Roland Michener, Jules Léger, Edward Schreyer, Jeanne Sauvé, Ray Hnatyshyn, Roméo LeBlanc, Adrienne Clarkson, Michaëlle Jean, David Johnston
Prime ministers: Louis St. Laurent, John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Joe Clark, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin, Stephen Harper
Territorial change: Created the new territory of Nunavut


The Canadian monarchs' consort—his or her spouse—has no constitutional status or power, but is a member of the Canadian Royal Family. In the United Kingdom, all female consorts have had the right to and have held the title of Queen Consort; as Canada does not have laws or letters patent under the Great Seal of Canada laying out the styles of any Royal Family members besides the monarch, royal consorts are addressed in Canada using the style and title as they hold in the UK. After informal discussions amongst the various Commonwealth prime ministers between 1954 and 1957, it was decided that Prince Philip, husband of Elizabeth II, would not be granted the title of Prince Consort.[39][40]

Since Confederation, two sovereigns have reigned over Canada without a consort: Victoria, whose husband, Albert, died before Confederation and Edward VIII, who married Wallis Simpson after his abdication. Though Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (the current wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the throne of Canada), will technically become queen consort in the United Kingdom, Clarence House has stated that, due to public opinion regarding her relationship with the Prince of Wales, she will be styled there as Princess Consort.[41][42][43]

See also


  1. ^ The English Court of Appeal ruled in 1982, while "there is only one person who is the Sovereign within the British Commonwealth... in matters of law and government the Queen of the United Kingdom, for example, is entirely independent and distinct from the Queen of Canada."[36]
  2. ^ In 1867, the separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick joined to form the Dominion of Canada. Subsequently, each of the other colonies in British North America eventually joined the union as provinces. Other provinces were created by the Dominion from its territories. Over time, Canada gradually gained increasing independence from the United Kingdom due to continued evolution in constitutional practice. However, it remained under the British Crown until 1931, when the Canadian Crown is generally accepted as having been created due to the enactment of the Statute of Westminster. The Dominion of Newfoundland continued as a separate British colony under the British Crown until it joined Canada in 1949.


  1. ^ MacLeod, Kevin S. (2012). A Crown of Maples (PDF) (2 ed.). Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-662-46012-1. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Crown in Canada – The Monarch". Queen's Printer for Canada. 1 June 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Department of Canadian Heritage. "Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion > The Canadian Monarchy". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 14 May 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Kenney, Jason (23 April 2007). "Speech to the Lieutenant Governors Meeting". Written at Regina. In Department of Canadian Heritage. Speeches > The Honourable Jason Kenney. Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Valpy, Michael (13 November 2009). "The monarchy: Offshore, but built-in". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 14 November 2009. 
  6. ^ MacLeod 2012, p. 6
  7. ^ Monet, Jacques. "The Canadian Encyclopedia". In Marsh, James Harley. Government > Parliamentary Institutions > Governor General. Toronto: Historica Foundation of Canada. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  8. ^ The Royal Household. "The Queen and the Commonwealth > Queen and Canada > History and present government". Queen's Printer. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Coyne, Andrew (13 November 2009). "Defending the royals". Maclean's (Toronto: Roger's Communications). ISSN 0024-9262. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Editorial (26 May 2012), "Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada", Toronto Star, retrieved 27 May 2012 
  11. ^ Government of Canada (1 July 2012). "Discover Canada – Canada's History". Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  12. ^ The Canadian Encyclopedia (1 July 2008). "John Cabot". Historica Canada. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "The First Voyages of the Europeans". University of Ottawa. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Croxton, Derek (1990). "The Cabot Dilemma: John Cabot's 1497 Voyage & the Limits of Historiography". Canada History. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Memorial University of Newfoundland (1997). "John Cabot's Voyage of 1497". Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Harper, Stephen (2008). "Letter" (PDF). In MacLeod, Kevin S. A Crown of Maples. Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada (published 2012). p. vii. ISBN 978-0-662-46012-1. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  17. ^ Bousfield, Arthur; Toffoli, Garry. "The Sovereigns of Canada". Canadian Royal Heritage Trust. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  18. ^ Robertson, Colin (February 2008). "The true white north: reflections on being Canadian". Institute for Research on Public Policy. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  19. ^ a b Parliament of Canada. "Canada: A Constitutional Monarchy". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  20. ^ MacLeod 2012, pp. 2–3, 39
  21. ^ Monet, Jacques (2007). "Crown and Country" (PDF). Canadian Monarchist News (Toronto: Monarchist League of Canada). Summer 2007 (26): 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  22. ^ MacLeod 2012, p. 9
  23. ^ Bousfield, Arthur and Toffoli, Garry (2004). "The Monarchy and Canadian Independence". Canadian Royal Heritage Trust. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Bousfield, Arthur; Toffoli, Garry. "The Sovereigns of Canada". Canadian Royal Heritage Trust. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  25. ^ a b MacLeod 2012, p. 78
  26. ^ "Sovereigns Who have Reigned Over Canada". The Canadian Encyclodpdia. Historica Canada. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  27. ^ Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (22 August 2013). "Kings and Queens of Canada". Queen's Printer for Ontario. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  28. ^ Heritage Canada (2013). "The Kings and Queens of Canada" (PDF). Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  29. ^ Tidridge, Nathan (2011). Canada's Constitutional Monarchy. Toronto: Dundurn. pp. 233–236. 
  30. ^ The Canadian Encyclopedia (22 September 2013). "Confederation". Historica Canada. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  31. ^ Department of Canadian Heritage. "Ceremonial and Canadian Symbols Promotion > The crown in Canada". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  32. ^ "Constitutional History, 1867 – 1931: Becoming a Nation". Canadiana. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  33. ^ Royal Household. "The Queen and the Commonwealth > Queen and Canada > History and present government". Queen's Printer. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  34. ^ Heard, Andrew (1990). "Canadian Independence". Simon Fraser University. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  35. ^ "Constitutional History, 1931 – 1982: Toward Renewal and Patriation". Canadiana. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  36. ^ R v Foreign Secretary, Ex parte Indian Association (as referenced in High Court of Australia: Sue v Hill [1999] HCA 30; 23 June 1999; S179/1998 and B49/1998), QB 892 at 928 (English Court of Appeal June 1999).
  37. ^ Galbraith, William (1989). "Fiftieth Anniversary of the 1939 Royal Visit". Canadian Parliamentary Review (Ottawa: Library of Parliament) 12 (3). Retrieved 3 January 2009. 
  38. ^ "A Part of Our Heritage...Jacques Cartier". Historica Canada. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  39. ^ "Burke's Peerage and Gentry > The Royal Family > HRH The Duke of Edinburgh". Burke's Peerage & Gentry and The Origins Network. Retrieved 27 October 2008. 
  40. ^ LCO 6/3677 Title of Prince: HRH Philip Duke of Edinburgh
  41. ^ "Prince Charles to marry Camilla". BBC. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2009. 
  42. ^ "Charles-Camilla civil marriage seen as compromise". CTV. 10 February 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2009. 
  43. ^ "Camilla's 'flexible role'". News24. 11 February 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2009. 

External links