Better know a Canadian functionary: the Canadian Secretary to the Queen

The Canadian Secretary to the Queen is the government official charged with taking care of royal visits, and the conduit through which the Royal Household communicates with the Canadian government. In 2012, Prime Minister Harper formed the Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments, which henceforth will advise the Government on the appointments of Governors General, Lieutenant Governors and Commissioners of the Territories. When he did, Harper declared that the Canadian Secretary to the Queen would be, ex officio, chairman of that Committee.

The office of the Canadian Secretary to the Queen was created for the royal visit of 1959 and given to Lt.-Gen. Howard Douglas Graham CVO CBE DSO, who had retired the previous year from a long and distinguished Army career capped off with three years as Chief of the General Staff. Lt.-Gen. Graham held the post and oversaw all royal visits until he died in 1986.

The office was then vacant until the royal visit of 1990, when John Crosbie Perlin CVO, who had been a long-time civil servant in various cultural departments of the provincial government of Newfoundland, was appointed Canadian Secretary to the Queen. He retired from the job the following year, and it was vacant until the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons, Maj.-Gen. Maurice Gaston “Gus” Cloutier CVO, was appointed as Secretary in 1993, which he held until his death in 2005. It was vacant again until the visit of  HRH the Prince of Wales in 2009, when Kevin Stewart Macleod CVO, former Chief of Protocol to the Department of Canadian Heritage and Usher of the Black Rod in the Senate from 2008 to 2013, was appointed Secretary.

To recap:

1959-1986: Howard Graham

1986-1990: vacant

1990-1991: John Perlin

1991-1993: vacant

1993-2005: Gus Cloutier

2005-2009: vacant

2009-present: Kevin Macleod


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