• Queen Elizabeth is head of the British monarchy
  • She also rules over the Commonwealth Realms
  • She is the "Queen of Canada" and here's why

If you visit Canada today, you'll find many links to the British monarchy. For example, Queen Elizabeth is on the back of every coin and on the Canadian $20 bill.

A former British colony, Canada and its history are closely tied to the United Kingdom. The Queen is also known to be fond of the nation. But is it correct to call her the "Queen of Canada" today?

History: Why Queen Elizabeth is still "Queen of Canada" today

As a country, Canada emerged out of wars between British colonists, French colonists, and the Indigenous groups of the territories now known as Canada. The British won the conflict and Canada became a Dominion of the British Empire in 1867.

Canada didn't gain complete independence from Britain until the 1980s, but the country is still a "Commonwealth Realm" today. And that's where the Queen comes in.

Currently, PM Justin Trudeau is the head of the government, but Canada remains a constitutional monarchy. For that reason, Queen Elizabeth is head of state in Canada, and her title there is "Queen of Canada."

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Canada is 1 of 14 Commonwealth Realms. These sovereign nations are former colonies that kept the British monarch as head of state when they gained independence.

This form of government, however, is often a target of criticism. Detractors believe it is outdated and can even be a harmful reminder of colonial history, which in some cases includes the horrors of slavery and mass death.

The country of Barbados was the most recent to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state, doing so in 2021. She is no longer the Queen of Barbados, but she is Queen of Canada and 13 other Commonwealth Realms.