Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper invested in the Order of Canada in London | Death of Queen Elizabeth II
Former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper was invested into the Order of Canada on Sunday, September 18 in London, while he was there for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. (archive)
Stephen Harper, one of four former prime ministers present in the British capital for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, has finally been invested in the ;Order of Canada, three years after receiving the title of Companion.
If Shakespeare thought misery acquainted people with strange companions, he might well agree that mourning a beloved monarch can also bridge some political divides. At least temporarily, because the inauguration ceremony – postponed due to COVID-19 – took place under the eyes of three of his former political enemies.
Governor General Mary Simon invested Mr. Harper in a private ceremony in London on Sunday afternoon attended by Justin Trudeau and former Prime Ministers Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Kim Campbell.
As we come together to celebrate [The Queen], I was honored to be invested into the Order of Canada by [Governor General of Canada] Mary Simon, a wrote Stephen Harper in a messenger on Twitter.
“Thank you to [Prime Minister] Trudeau, former fellow Prime Ministers Martin, Chrétien, Campbell and former Governors General Johnston and Jean for attending the ceremony.
—Stephan Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada.
Former Governors General David Johnston – whom Mr. Harper appointed – and Michaëlle Jean, were also present.< /p>
The political animosity between Mr. Harper and Mr. Trudeau in particular is well documented, but the two posed side by side for photos after the ceremony.
Having multiple former Prime Ministers and Governors General attend global funerals together is not an unprecedented practice.
While Mr. Harper was Prime Minister in 2013, Jean Chrétien, Kim Campbell, former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney flew with him to South Africa for the funeral of Nelson Mandela.
In a post on Twitter last week, Mr Harper's wife, Laureen Teskey Harper, responded to a reporter who suggested the flight to London would be interesting with all the political players on the same plane.
Interesting?, asked the journalist. Very interesting if we take past trips as a reference. Lots of laughs, stories, and I'm sure, this time, memories of the Queen. These kinds of trips are always wonderful.
Former Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chrétien spoke briefly to the media on Sunday, so in London for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
Mr. Chrétien spoke briefly to the media on Sunday and was asked about the presence of all the other Canadian leaders.
We know each other, we went through the same fights, he said. We fought against each other. Just like when we play hockey, we can be tough on the ice and then go for a beer after the game.
Order of Canada ceremonies don't just happen. normally not take place in secret, but Rideau Hall and the Prime Minister's Office chose not to inform media traveling with the delegation of Mr. Harper's event on Sunday or a similar event on Saturday which saw actress Sandra Oh and Olympic swimmer Mark Tewksbury invested in order. No explanation has yet been given for the secret.
Mark Tewksbury later said the ceremony enabled him and Sandra Oh to wear the badge of the Order of Canada to the Queen's funeral, which is due to take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday.