after poll bear this out. Its not so much that Québécois dislike
the Queen or, arguably, even the institution of monarchy.
Instead, the monarchy is a convenient symbol of the conquest
of the colony of New France by the British and the subsequent
second class citizenship Québécois feel they have had since
That is a lot of historical resentment to unpack and I'm not
going to be the one to do it. Instead I wanted to offer an
alternative narrative. One that emphasizes the shared roots of
the Royal Family and the Québécois.
Once Upon a Time in Normandy
we will be talking about. It would seem obvious to state that
they are from France and you'd be right. But immigration to
the colony of New France was not even across the whole
nation. Instead, regions in the north and north-west supplied
most of the early immigrants to the colony.
spoke Norman French has
resulted in Québécois
French being very different
to Parisian French. This
difference was partially
caused by the settlement
and assimilation of Viking
settlers (Northmen) into the
local French population of
Normandy. This began in
911. Rollo, leader of these
Viking settlers, would create
a long-lived dynasty. A dynasty that would, in 1066, gain a
foothold across the English Channel.
A People Separated from Their Rulers
descendants of Rollo. They added a large island kingdom to
their ducal possessions on the mainland. However, the tense
situation that resulted would eventually see Normandy lost to
the King of France in 1202. The King of France did not trust
the local Norman population and made the former duchy a
part of his demesne with his own French governors in charge.
This situation was not always accepted by the proud Norman
population and at times they were able to get concessions
from their new overlord. Still, the desire to have their duke
back was to persist as late as the 1400s:
"A tousjours bien semblé aux Normands et faict encores que si grand duchié comme
la leur requiert bien un duc."
"It has always seemed good to the Normans and still does that their great duchy
really should require a duke"
Rollo's Descendants in England
up to the present day. For many years Norman administrators
and Norman French would predominate in the halls of power
before they too slowly assimilated into the local Anglo-Saxon
population. Just as with the Vikings in Normandy this would
greatly effect the local language but to a much greater extant.
Conquest or Reunion?
end of high stakes Anglo-French rivalry on the continent. The
victors likewise treated the colony with a great deal of care
and enshrined certain religious, legal, and political rights in
the Quebec Act of 1774.
Due to the above history it is interesting to consider whether
playing up this connection at the time would have gone a long
way towards smoothing the soon-to-be troubled relationship
between the Québécois and the English. But it is unclear if the
king or his governors were even aware of such a connection.
A Delightfully Canadian Result
Duke of Normandy, and had Québécois decided to stay put
(which if they had their own native dynasty they might have),
and had a small little thing called the French Revolution not
happened Rollo would mean more to people than the name of
a chocolate treat. But, I'm pushing things by pushing for
three separate changes to the timeline. What happened is, I
think, more poetic.
In Canada, up to the present day, the descendants of the Rollo
reigns over the descendants of the men and women he led to
settle in France. So I would argue that the Conquest of New
France marked the reuniting of a ruler and his people. And
that is what the symbolism of the Canadian Monarchy
should be for the Québécois in my view.
A Kisaragi Colour