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New coins unveiled celebrating Queen Elizabeth's long reign

Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon and Premier Greg Selinger unveil the design of the new Royal Canadian Mint's $20 silver collector coin to mark the historic reign of Queen Elizabeth ll at the Manitoba legislature today.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon and Premier Greg Selinger unveil the design of the new Royal Canadian Mint's $20 silver collector coin to mark the historic reign of Queen Elizabeth ll at the Manitoba legislature today.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/9/2015 (1351 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The lyrics of God Save the Queen say “long to reign over us” and it has now been so long she has become the longest serving British monarch ever.

On Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth II passed the length of reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who reigned 63 years, seven months and two days, before she died in 1901.

The Royal Canadian Mint celebrated the occasion in Winnipeg by unveiling a commemorative coin at the Legislature. Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon and Premier Greg Selinger did the honours, showing a coin that contains the individual cyphers used by both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria on the back while on the front is the standard portrait of the current Queen.

And for about four decades of the Queen’s 63-year reign, Jo-ann Giesbrecht has been collecting memorabilia of the monarch, but also her family.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/9/2015 (1351 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The lyrics of God Save the Queen say "long to reign over us" and it has now been so long she has become the longest serving British monarch ever.

On Wednesday, Queen Elizabeth II passed the length of reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who reigned 63 years, seven months and two days, before she died in 1901.

The Royal Canadian Mint's new $20 silver collector coin to mark the historic reign of Queen Elizabeth ll.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Royal Canadian Mint's new $20 silver collector coin to mark the historic reign of Queen Elizabeth ll.

The Royal Canadian Mint celebrated the occasion in Winnipeg by unveiling a commemorative coin at the Legislature. Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon and Premier Greg Selinger did the honours, showing a coin that contains the individual cyphers used by both Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria on the back while on the front is the standard portrait of the current Queen.

And for about four decades of the Queen’s 63-year reign, Jo-ann Giesbrecht has been collecting memorabilia of the monarch, but also her family.

"I keep it in the Royal room — that’s what I call the room," Giesbrecht said on Wednesday as she attended the coin unveiling.

"I have been collecting for about 40 years… it just grows and grows and grows.

"I just love it."

Giesbrecht said her collection — which has mostly been amassed locally either by herself or through gifts of relatives and friends — began when the Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne, came to Manitoba in 1970. It was the third of six visits the Queen has made to this province, the first while she was still a princess in 1951.

"It was a photo in the Free Press. It was a colour photo of the Queen, Philip, Charles and Anne," she said.

"The Queen was wearing a green dress. My mother kept it and that became my first piece. From there it grew and grew."

Giesbrecht said a later family vacation to California, with a visit to the Queen Mary berthed there, cemented her passion.

"I just fell in love," she said.

Giesbrecht has a china cabinet in the room filled with commemorative plates, cups, and bowls. And she doesn’t just collect memorabilia of the current royal family.

"I have Edward’s (Queen’s uncle who abdicated the throne) commemorative plate," she said.

Giesbrecht said not only will she be adding the new commemorative coin to her collection, "I also have my name down for the commemorative stamp."

Meanwhile, the coin was unveiled in the ornate room located on the Legislature’s second floor right above the main entrance. Four portraits are in the room — the current Queen and Prince Philip, and King George V and his wife Queen Mary, the reigning monarchs when the building opened.

Bob Barry, a local member of the Monarchist League of Canada, said for more than six decades "it has been a great honour to have her as our monarch.

"She’s the focal point of our nation. She’s the tie that binds.

"And she’s a lovely lady."

Filmon said "three generations of Canadians have come of age during her majesty’s reign, while Selinger said the Queen’s reign was "an unparalleled length of service" and noting she had seen 11 Canadian Prime Ministers through the years.

"She has only risen in our esteem."

Dwight MacAulay, the province’s chief of protocol, said he has helped steer the Queen’s tours of Winnipeg and Manitoba since 1984.

"I’ve been here for half of her visits for more than 30 years," MacAulay said.

"She is an amazing woman. What I have seen is she really enjoys meeting people and she is genuinely interested in everyone she meets. Young people, old, veterans, you name it, she is truly interested in what they have to say."

MacAulay said not only has he spoken with the Queen during the three times she has been here while he has been in the protocol office, he has also spoken with her a couple of times when he has attended functions at Windsor Castle.

While the Queen is 30 years older than when he first met her, MacAulay said one thing hasn’t changed.

"She still has tremendous energy," he said.

"She still puts in a very full day everywhere she goes."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

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Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 - arriving at the Government House Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
Archival photos of the Queen in Winnipeg
Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 - watching from The Government House Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 - grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 - Manitoba Legislative Building Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 - with Premier Duff Roblin (on her right) and Prince Phillip Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 - Manitoba Legislative Building Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 - grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 - with Manitoba Premier Duff Roblin and Prince Phillip Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 - RCAF Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 - RCAF Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
Queen Elizabeth visit to Winnipeg - July 24, 1959 Jack Ablett / Winnipeg Free Press
History

Updated on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 7:00 PM CDT: Adds write-through, archival slideshow, sidebar

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