The news story that is top of mind for Canadians these days is the death of Queen Elizabeth II. For all of us reading this post, she has been an ongoing presence in our lives. I remember seeing her when I was only 4, in 1951. She was still a princess, riding on the back of a train and waving to the crowds as she travelled through my home town. And in 2001 I visited Her home – Buckingham Palace, and saw her beloved horses in their stables.
Together all of us watched the Queen at parades, horse events, ceremonies, weddings, funerals. Through those many years we read about the Queen in magazines, books and newspapers. Her story was on the radio, then on television, and later movies. And Netflix – The Crown – was the most popular Netflix series to date. The Queen visited Canada many times and on 7 occasions she came to Toronto. She loved Canada, and us.
Recently, as I have ben following the news stories about TIFF- the film festival that put Toronto on the world stage, I have been wondering – did the Queen ever go to TIFF? She was an admirer of our Canadian devotion to multiculturalism, so she would have been impressed by this year’s line-up: Sarah Polley’s film, Women Talking, about the Mennonite community; Harry Styles in My Policeman, covering the LGBTQ community, Stephen Williams’ Chevalier, describing the black community, or Scarborough, relating to poor and disabled kids. Did Queen Elizabeth ever attend? I can find no evidence of that. But she DID tour Toronto’s largest film studio, Pinewood, with Prince Philip, in 2010.
Pinewood has been involved in hundreds of films, many of them shown at TIFF. This includes Canadian-made Schitt’s Creek – much of which was filmed in Toronto. Would the Queen have laughed at this series, or would she have been offended by the obvious reference to fecal matter? Did the Queen realize just how many movies have actually been filmed in Toronto? Was she jealous of our very own castle, Casa Loma, used as the set for many movies such as Chicago, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, or Cocktail, to name a few? Or what about The Shape Of water, winner of several Academy Awards, filmed almost entirely in Toronto? How would the stately Queen have felt about a woman falling in love with a squishy green aquatic being, not at all like her charming, handsome Prince Philip?
And finally, Toronto has the dubious honour of being the home of Downsview Park Studio where the TV series Suits, starring Meghan Markle, was filmed. Prince Harry actually visited Meghan on set in 2017 when he was in Canada for the Invictus Games. Not soon after that, Meghan’s character was married off – just as she planned to be married off to Harry. Now how did the Queen feel about THAT? Was Canada still her second favourite country after that bit of gossip which led to a family rift? We hope so.
Rest In Peace, Your Majesty.
4 thoughts on “The Queen and The Movies”
Saw her at Golden Mile Plasa around 1960.
I was a Boy Scout dressed in my Garb to salute her.
I am no royalist for sure, but saw Queen Elizabeth as very human, noble of intention and selfless in her service. A fine role model for a calmer more civil world. Notwithstanding the past, if more women ruled, there might be less bombing and bloodshed.
You made an interesting connection to ER and film. PS I had a thing for the aquatic hybrid man…quite sensuous…and did not talk a lot. 🙂
You sure know a lot of facts about the Queen and movies related to her. It’s sad that she has died and I can’t help but wonder if Megan’s trip to UK might have caused enough anxiety to hasten her demise.
I was so sad when The Queen died…she truly was a great leader and so inspirational. I’m amazed Susan where you get all your facts…well done. Ruth