Sixty years ago Elizabeth II was crowned

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On Sunday June 2, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of her coronation. The 87-year-old sovereign now reigns over several countries, including Canada. Let's take this opportunity to talk about constitutional monarchy and Quebec society in the 1950s.

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60 years ago, on June 2, 1953, Elizabeth II was crowned in an important ceremony at Westminster Abbey, London. Over 8,000 guests as well as representatives from 129 countries and territories attended the event. It was also a landmark television moment as some 27 million UK viewers watched the ceremony. “On Radio-Canada, the event was almost broadcast live. At that time, there was no satellite… The coils were therefore developed in London, then sent by plane to Newfoundland and Saint-Hubert, south of Montreal. The first broadcast took place the same day, at the end of the afternoon. "
Source: Radio-Canada
This year, the celebrations were smaller. To mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation, a ceremony was held Tuesday at Westminster Abbey where 2,000 people were invited. Other events will take place soon: “A   " coronation festival will be organized from July 11 to 14 in the palace gardens. From July 27, an exhibition will allow the public to discover the coronation costumes. "
Source: France Media Agency
The following activities will give you a better understanding of Queen Elizabeth, the constitutional monarchy and Quebec society in the 1950s.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Know what the constitutional monarchy is and understand the role of the Queen in Canada;
- Understand how the coronation of Elizabeth II was experienced in 1953;
- Carry out research on Quebec in the 1950s;
- Take a stand on the question of the abolition of the monarchy in Canada.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Queen Elizabeth II

First, ask students if they are aware that Queen Elizabeth was celebrating the 60th anniversary of her coronation recently. What do they know about this sovereign? Does the Queen of England also reign in Canada? What is the role of the queen today? What is the constitutional monarchy?
To answer these questions, as a whole class, visit the Government of Canada website dedicated to the Canadian Crown: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Then invite the students to learn more about Queen Elizabeth II by consulting this Radio-Canada file: Elizabeth II: a golden queen
When viewing this website, have students write questions about the Queen.
Finally, create a quiz with the students' questions and, as a whole class or in teams, try to complete it. To create the quiz, you could use an online service like SurveyMonkey, which allows you to do questionnaires of 10 questions for free.

ACTIVITY 2: Quebec in 1953

Before starting the activity, ask the students if they can name one or more characteristics of Quebec society in the 1950s.
How do they think the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was experienced in Quebec at that time?
In teams, the students must do research on Quebec in 1953. Here is a diagram that they can use and / or complete to orient themselves.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Download the source file in Inspiration (.isf) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

Finally, consult the archives of Radio-Canada to understand the importance of the coronation of Elizabeth II in Quebec.
Lévesque, Jasmin and Arthur amazed by the queen

ACTIVITY 3: Monarchy in Canada, is it necessary?

Now that students know that the constitutional monarchy is present in Canada, ask them the following question and ask them to take a stand to participate in a debate.
Should we abolish the monarchy in Canada?
Invite students to browse through a few articles to find arguments to support their point of view. Here are two they can read. (If you want, you can search for more.)
Article 1: Free opinion - Abolish the monarchy in the name of national unity?
Published in Le Devoir, July 05, 2011
Article 2: 65 % of Canadians want the abolition of the monarchy
Published in La Presse, July 01, 2009
To prepare for the debate, invite students to write down counterarguments that they can use to defend their point of view. Use the following diagram to do this:

Click on the image to enlarge.
Download the source file in Inspiration (.isf) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

Finally, invite three or four students representing those for abolition and the monarchy as well as three or four students who are against to lead a class discussion.

For further

Watch the film Her Majesty the Queen (2006) to discover the relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the time of Princess Diana's death in 1997.

More about the magazine

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the 60th anniversary of her coronation
Article from La Presse
60 years ago Elizabeth II was crowned
Radio-Canada article
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Government of Canada site dedicated to the Canadian crown
Elizabeth II: a golden queen
Radio-Canada file
The Monarchist League of Canada
Site promoting the constitutional monarchy in Canada

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Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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