OTTAWA — God Save the Queen… a space on your embassy wall.
That’s the latest directive from the Conservative government, which has been pushing for greater respect for the monarchy in federal institutions.
A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says Canadian missions have been instructed this month to hang a portrait of the Queen.
“Like virtually every other country in the world who display pictures of their head of state in their missions, we expect all Canadian missions abroad to display pictures of Canada’s head of state, the Queen; along with the Governor General, the Prime Minister and relevant Ministers,” Rick Roth said in an email.
The move was just one of a series of gestures Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has taken to entrench the monarchy as one of the country’s most important heritage symbols.
Late last month, the Tories renamed the Maritime Command and Air Command the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force.
In late June, Baird ordered two historic paintings by Quebec master Alfred Pellan replaced with a portrait of the Queen in the reception area of his department. The new “Sovereign’s Wall” was designated in time for the royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The decisions have sparked a debate, particularly Quebec, about whether such enforced tributes to the monarchy are appropriate or smack of colonialism.