Canadian Secretary to the Queen

The Canadian Secretary to the Queen (French: Secrétaire canadien de la Reine) is the senior operational member of the royal household of Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. It is the principal channel of communication between the monarch and her Canadian government, provincial governments, and the governments of the fifteen other Commonwealth realms, as well as managing the monarch's other correspondence in the Canadian context and drafting speeches the Queen delivers in Canada or on Canadian topics.[1] The secretary is responsible for advising the prime minister "on matters related to the Canadian Crown, including providing advice on the Government of Canada's heritage-related commemorative initiatives, high level coordination of royal tours to Canada, and state ceremonial and protocol advisory functions."[2] Additionally, the secretary chairs, ex-officio, the Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments[3] and holds responsibility for the official programme of tours of Canada by members of the royal family.[1]

Canadian Secretary to the Queen
Secrétaire canadien de la Reine
Donald Booth

since November 2019
First holderHoward Graham

The office of Canadian Secretary to the Queen was established in 1959. The present office holder is Donald Booth, who was appointed to the position in 2019.


The post was created in 1959 as the Canadian adviser to the monarch and coordinator of visits to Canada by members of the royal family.[4]

From 1998 to 2005, the office of Canadian Secretary was held by the Sergeant-at-Arms in the House of Commons, and the Usher of the Black Rod from 2009 to 2011. In 2012, Stephen Harper made the position of Canadian Secretary to the Queen a standalone position with a mandate to "advise the Prime Minister on matters relating to the Canadian Crown."[4]

In November 2015, responsibility for the Canadian Secretary to the Queen was transferred from the Privy Council Office to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, currently Pablo Rodríguez.[5] As a result, the CSQ no longer reported directly to the Prime Minister.[4] The roles and responsibilities formerly exercised by the CSQ were assumed by the Department of Canadian Heritage during this time.[4] The advisory committee on vice-regal appointments was disbanded following the defeat of the Harper ministry in the 2015 federal election, and remains "dormant".[4]

After remaining vacant for nearly three years, the position was filled in 2019 by Donald Booth, a long-time federal civil servant who holds the position in addition to his duties as director of the strategic policy in the Machinery of Government branch of the Privy Council Office.[6]

List of Secretaries to the Queen

Before 2012 the role was part time and served mainly for duration of a royal tour of Canada.[7]

See also


  1. Treble, Patricia (8 July 2010). "The Queen's man on the ground". Maclean's. Toronto: Rogers Communications (July 2010). ISSN 0024-9262. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
  2. Jackson, Michael D. (2013). The Crown and Canadian Federalism. Toronto: Dundurn Press. p. 261. ISBN 9781459709898. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  3. Office of the Prime Minister of Canada (4 November 2012). "Terms of reference: Advisory Committee on Vice-Regal Appointments". Queen's Printer for Canada. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  4. Queen Elizabeth without Canadian secretary as Liberal government mulls future of job
  5. McGregor, Janyce (7 November 2015). "Justin Trudeau's cabinet: 6 changes found in the fine print". CBC. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  6. "After years of mixed messages, Trudeau signals he's treating the Crown more seriously". National Post. December 9, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  8. Buckner, Phillip (2005). "The Last Great Royal Tour: Queen Elizabeth's 1959 Tour to Canada". In Buckner, Phillip (ed.). Canada and the End of Empire. Vancouver: UBC Press. p. 70. ISBN 0-7748-0915-9. Retrieved 24 October 2009.
  9. Patriquin, Martin (5 July 2011). "A royal pain or a PR coup for the PM?". Maclean's. Toronto: Rogers Communications. ISSN 0024-9262. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  10. "Office of the Registrar General: Appointments" (PDF). Canada Gazette. Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada. 132 (16): 851. 18 April 1998. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  12. "PM announces the appointment of Kevin MacLeod as Canadian Secretary to the Queen" (Press release). Office of the Prime Minister. 1 April 2009. Archived from the original on 5 April 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2009.