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April 2006
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Bryan Adams Singer Bryan Adams wearing the insignia of an Officer of the Order of Canada
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Q: Maggie - Toronto
Could you tell me more about the Order of Canada? Is the Queen a member or is she too high up to be one?

The Order of Canada was created by the Canadian government in 1967 to recognize the lifetime contributions made by Canadians to national life. The Order also recognizes efforts made by non-Canadians. The motto of the order is 'Desiderantes meliorem patriam', meaning 'Desiring a better country'.

The Queen, as Queen of Canada, is Sovereign of the Order, and the serving Governor General of Canada is its Chancellor and Principal Companion.

The Sovereign's badge was given to Her Majesty by the Governor-General of Canada in London, and worn for the first time at a banquet in Yellowknife in July 1970.

Many well-known Canadians are Companions, Members or Officers of the Order, including the writer Margaret Atwood, singer Celine Dion and Joe Clark, the former Prime Minister of Canada. Honorary companions include Nelson Mandela and the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

Q: Thomas - Westferry
Could you confirm which titles The Queen holds in relation to the Royal Navy?

The Queen holds the rank of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom as well as having special relationships with HMS Invincible and HMS Lancaster.

As Sovereign, she is also Head of the Armed Services.

Q: Terry - Middlesborough
Can members of the public make nominations for recipients of the Royal Victorian order if they think that someone has given outstanding support to the Monarchy?

Recipients of The Royal Victoria Order, along with The Order of the Thistle, The Order of the Garter and the Order of Merit, are made by The Queen in recognition of personal service to the Sovereign, so nominations are not accepted from the general public.

If you feel that a particular individual has made a difference to their community or field of work, or has brought distinction to British life and enhanced its reputation in addition to serving the Monarchy, you may wish to nominate them for a different honour.

Nominations are put to an honours committee, who submit their decisions to the Government. The Royal Household arranges the awarding of the honours in Investiture ceremonies.

Follow the link at the bottom of the page to the UK honours system web site for information about how to nominate.

Q: Margaret - Surrey
Will members of the public be able to see the Queen on her actual birthday? I would like to wish her well!

Her Majesty will undertake a walkabout in Windsor town centre on the day of her actual birthday, 21 April 2006.

Full details of timings and the route will be available closer to the time on the official web site for The Queen's 80th birthday. There is a link to this site at the bottom of the page.

Q: Robert - Australia
Can a religious man receive a knighthood? I have never heard of a 'Sir Reverend'!

When a clergyman is given a knighthood, he does not receive the accolade, but is simply invested with the insignia of the order concerned. He does not, therefore, call himself 'Sir', nor his wife 'Lady', but he can wear the insignia and put the relevant letters after his name such as KCVO or KBE.

The reasoning behind this protocol is that men of the church do not carry arms. King Edward VII decided that the emblems of knighthood - sword, spurs and belt - were unsuitable for a man in holy orders.

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