Ottawa, Canada, 13 October 2002


Wherever the future may take us, my admiration and affection for Canada and Canadians everywhere is - and will always remain - clear, strong and sure.

Prime Minister, Lieutenant Governor, Ladies and Gentlemen

I am grateful to you, Prime Minister, for inviting Prince Philip and me to this dinner tonight in these closing stages of my Golden Jubilee visit to Canada.

It has been a very special few days for us both. The warmth of our reception at every stage has been truly wonderful. There have been so many great moments: the Innuit welcome; the Canucks hockey game; the Toronto Gala; this magnificent dinner; and so much more.

We have been delighted by the enthusiasm of Canadians everywhere to take part in these Jubilee celebrations and have been overwhelmed by the crowds, the flowers and the many words of kindness.

Mais pour moi, cette visite memorable représente quelque chose de plus. Au fil des cinquante dernières années, j'ai suivi avec admiration les transformations que le Canada et son mode de vie ont connus. Il y a une telle difference entre le Canada d'aujourd'hui et celui que j'ai vu pour la première fois en 1951. A chacune de mes visites, je suis fascinée de voir à quel point la vie a changé.

Cette année ne fait pas exception. En traversant le pays, je n'ai pu m'empêcher d'être impressionnée par les développements que j'ai observés et dont j'ai entendu parler. Le Canada est dynamique et innovateur - il s'est bien adapté aux changements et occupe maintenant une place de choix pour profiter des possibilitiés d'avenir.

But, Ladies and Gentlemen, for me there are constants, enduring reference points in these tides of change and progress.

There is the land itself. Each time I come, I have only to look out of the aircraft window - at the cold expanse of the North, the forests of the West, the wide open prairies and the Maritime fishing inlets in the East - to be struck again by the sheer size of Canada, its beauty and huge wealth of natural resources.

Then there are the people of Canada; here is the country's greatest resource. I have seen over the years how bilingualism and multiculturalism have moved from being an aspiration to a reality - not without difficulties, but with a determination to find particular Canadian solutions to the problems along the way.

L'engagement des Canadiens et des Canadiennes à bâtir une société où la compassion et l'acceptation font partie intégrante du sentiment collectif, à promouvoir l'excellence dans le domaine des arts et des sciences, à appuyer les efforts de paix et de développement à l'étranger, s'est mérité l'admiration des autres pays du monde.

And increasingly in recent years I have noticed and admired another constant - the confidence and engagement of Canadians, both in this country and in the service of others around the world. It means something to be a Canadian. As I have travelled across this country over the years I have been struck so often by such a clear sense of pride - in community and town, province, territory and nation - which is natural and strong. And this visit has confirmed once again that this confidence and pride is well-placed.

It is a confidence and a pride I share. And on this Thanksgiving Weekend in my Golden Jubilee year, I want to take the opportunity to express my profound gratitude to all Canadians, those of you here tonight and those of you across the country or serving overseas, for the loyalty, encouragement and support you have given to me over these past fifty years.

Your understanding and compassion, your confidence and engagement, are sources of inspiration to me. I would like to affirm before you tonight that, wherever the future may take us, my admiration and affection for Canada and Canadians everywhere is - and will always remain - clear, strong and sure. That too, Ladies and Gentlemen, is for me a constant, an enduring point of reference in these times of change.

Related content

A message from The Queen to the Governor General and the people of Canada

I mourn with all Canadians at this tragic time.

07 September 2022

The Queen's message to mark Canada's first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

I join with all Canadians on this first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

30 September 2021
Press release 06 July 2021

Announcement of a new Governor General of Canada

Read more

The Queen's Jubilees and other milestones

Find out more about how Her Majesty's reign has been celebrated at key moments.

A history of Jubilees

Royal Jubilees are an occasion to celebrate the life and reign of a Monarch.

The Queen's Commonwealth Day Message 2021

Stirring examples of courage, commitment and selfless dedication to duty have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth nation and territory.

07 March 2021

Commonwealth Day 2020

09 March 2020

The Queen's 2020 Commonwealth Day Message

Such a blend of traditions serves to make us stronger, individually and collectively, by providing the ingredients needed for social, political and economic resilience

09 March 2020

A speech by The Countess of Wessex celebrating the work of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

On behalf of the people The Trust has helped thank you to each and every one of you for all your incredible support, and to Your Majesty thank you for choosing to give the...

29 October 2019

International Youth Day 2019

12 August 2019

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018

Find out more about Royal events at this year's meeting, which is being held in London

Commonwealth Day 2018

12 March 2018
Press release 13 July 2017

Announcement of next Governor General of Canada

Read more

The Queen's speech at the Spanish State Banquet

This State Visit is an expression of the deep respect and friendship that describes relations between Spain and the United Kingdom

12 July 2017

The Spanish State Visit

12 July 2017

A Message from Her Majesty The Queen on the opening of the 2017 Commonwealth Science Conference

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the Commonwealth Science Conference in Singapore following the success of the Bangalore Conference in 2014. I am very grateful...

13 June 2017

A message from The Queen on the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge (French)

Nous avons le devoir de nous souvenir et d’honorer Ia mémoire de ceux qui ont servi vaillamment et qui ont tant donné ici, sur la crete de Vimy, et tout au long de la Premiere...

09 April 2017

A message from The Queen on the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge

It is our duty to remember and honour those who served so valiantly and who gave so much here at Vimy Ridge and throughout the First World War.

09 April 2017

A message from The Queen to the people of Canada

I am delighted to offer all Canadians my best wishes and congratulations on the 150th anniversary of Confederation

01 January 2017

A message from The Queen to the people of Canada (written in French)

C’est un plaisir pour moi de transmettre mes meilleurs voeux et mes félicitations aux Canadiens et Canadiennes à l’occasion du 150e anniversaire de la Confédération

01 January 2017

A message from Her Majesty The Queen to the people of Barbados on the 50th Anniversary of Independence

Since you became an independent country in 1966, you have continued to flourish and grow into a strong and confident nation.

30 November 2016

A speech by Prince Harry on the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy dedication in St Lucia

On behalf of my grandmother, The Queen, I am grateful to the Government and the people of St. Lucia for this most generous contribution.

27 November 2016

Remembrance 2016

The Queen and the Royal Family attend engagements to mark Remembrance 2016

The Queen’s Speech at the State Banquet in honour of the President of the Republic of Colombia

I am sure of a shared, bright future for both of our countries as long-standing allies working together towards global peace and prosperity

01 November 2016

A speech by The Queen in Nova Scotia, 2010

Canadians have, by their own endeavours, built a country and society which is widely-admired across the world.

28 June 2016

The Queen's message to the Governor General of Canada following the wild fires in Fort McMurray

Prince Philip and I were shocked and saddened by the news of the wild fires that are causing such devastation to Fort McMurray

04 May 2016

The Queen's Commonwealth Day message, 14 March 2016

Being inclusive and accepting diversity goes far deeper than accepting differences at face value and being tolerant.

14 March 2016

The Queen's Young Leaders

The Queen’s Young Leader Award celebrates exceptional people from across the Commonwealth

What is a State Visit?

State Visits play an integral role in strengthening the UK's relationship with countries
The King with President Macron

The Queen's Message to the Athletes

The baton relay represents a calling together of people from every part of the Commonwealth.

23 July 2014

A speech by The Queen at the Irish State Banquet, 2011

No-one who looked to the future over the past centuries could have imagined the strength of the bonds that are now in place between the governments and the people of our two...

06 January 2016