Queen Elizabeth II and Governor Mary Simon meet for the Jubilee
Meeting Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday during the Queen’s Platinum Celebration, Governor Mary Simon said it felt like visiting someone she knew and someone she cared about.
“I’ve been following her probably my whole life,” Simon told News Anchor Director and CTV National News Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme.
“I can remember when I was growing up, my grandmother used to have a picture of her, and she was revered at the North Pole.”
Simon arrives in London, England, just before the lighthouse illuminates at Canada House, one of thousands of lights to be lit across the UK and Commonwealth to mark the Queen’s 70th year on the throne.
Along with her husband, Whit Fraser, Simon will stay until the weekend to attend other Jubilee events, including Friday’s Thanksgiving, which the Queen will skip due to “some discomfort”. , according to Buckingham Palace.
Read the full transcript of CTV National News’ conversation with Simon below, grammatically edited and clear.
Lisa LaFlamme: First of all, it’s been a pleasure talking to you, and especially on such a historic day. You just met the Queen, what do you mean by this ceremony?
Governor-General Mary Simon: I’m glad this is happening and Your Majesty can experience it. I think it’s just a great tribute to the 70-year reign she’s had over the UK. Also, being the Queen’s representative to Canada is very important to my work, and it means a lot to so many Canadians as well.
Lisa LaFlamme: Sure, and I think it’s interesting that she’s been called the first feminist in a way, and I wonder if your perspective has met her face-to-face. Does it surprise you? Is she what you expected?
Mary Simon: When I met her she was very very kind and very, you know, we had a nice chat, like sitting together in the afternoon and talking about all the different things that were going on on the internet. around the world. And she was heavily involved in those discussions. So it was two things: One, she was very welcoming, and made us feel very welcome in her home. And she’s also very sharp and still very interested in what’s going on. So both of those things are very important for someone like her to be able to present that to the world, really.
Lisa LaFlamme: And for a long time, yes.
Mary Simon: And so long.
Lisa LaFlamme: Have you discussed with her the question of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, and whether or not an apology from the Queen herself should be warranted?
Mary Simon: No, that issue was not brought up then. So it’s not part of our discussion. We talked about residential schools, and unmarked graves were found. And she feels, you know, really bad about it, and really wants things to work out for everyone. So that’s to the extent that we’ve discussed that, but I talked to her about the work I’m doing on mediation, the work that I’ll be doing next year in my term. Our mission is to bring Canadians and Indigenous Canadians from all over the country and from the North Pole, to have these discussions where we can learn about each other, can live side by side, and give each other space. , and at the same time equal opportunity and education, employment … all the space needed for respect so that the racism we’ve been through begins to disappear. So there is a lot of work to be done, but we must begin. I mean, it’s been happening and we’re going to be more involved.
Lisa LaFlamme: And this is the kind of conversation you had with His Majesty.
Mary Simon: Right.
Lisa LaFlamme: Does it surprise you that she was so much aware and engaged?
Mary Simon: No, it doesn’t really surprise me. I have followed her probably all my life. I can remember when I was growing up, my grandmother used to have a picture of her, and she was revered at the North Pole. And she used to tell us about the Queen, you know, that she was the highest order of the land. I have always been very interested in her work. So it’s really like, I suppose what I feel is, I feel like I’m visiting someone I know. And I’m also visiting someone of interest. So, you know, just talk about those issues together. And she had a few laughs – my husband is a good storyteller.
Lisa LaFlamme: I heard she has a great sense of humour.
Mary Simon: Yes she has.
Lisa LaFlamme: But imagine your grandmother, who took that picture with the Queen during your childhood, and what your mother would think first of all about her role as representative in Canada, and that she made it to the list. Platinum book.
Mary Simon: Exactly exactly. I just wish my parents were still alive and my grandmother was the one who really talked about her a lot, and they would be proud of what was going on.
Lisa LaFlamme: Why is it important for you to see here? You just arrived today. What motivated you?
Mary Simon: I’m really excited about the Platinum Jubilee event because I think it really shows the country cares and we recognize the importance of what she’s done as a world leader. And I think for me as her representative in Canada, I feel it’s really important to me to connect and be here.
Lisa LaFlamme: Now that we know that the Queen won’t be there tomorrow (Friday), how concerned are you about her health? I mean, just saw her mobility.
Mary Simon: She was doing well when I saw her. You know, she’s still recovering from her COVID after the pandemic. But she is getting stronger and stronger. And when I saw her this morning, you know, waving to everyone here, she looked so beautiful. She was absolutely beaming, and that was her moment. She needs to carry that with her and be very proud of what she’s accomplished.
Lisa LaFlamme: How do you think she inspired you?
Mary Simon: She has inspired me for so many years. Perhaps I also went through a difficult time, when I was young and the only woman at many, many organizations and engaged in discussion at board meetings. It took many years before I was able to become part of the crowd, so to speak, and accept that even though I am a woman, I can still do the job as well as anyone else. I think role models like the Queen really help you stay strong, stay focused and figure out what you feel is important. That’s what I did. I am also very touched by the love she has for her family, grandchildren, and children. She talks about them and she is expressing how important they are to her. And it’s a family, you know, it’s a family she’s proud of, that she loves. And she talked about it, which is really beautiful.
Lisa LaFlamme: Is it in your private conversation with her?
Mary Simon: Right.
Lisa LaFlamme: That must be very powerful. I mean, there must have been a time when you thought, ‘I’m talking to the Queen, the Queen is telling me about her children.’ Was there such a strange moment?
Mary Simon: That’s right. And yet, it’s just that she mentions each of her children, not just one or two, but all of her children, and refers to all of them in her own way. And it just made me realize more how human she is.