In the more than forty years that I have been visiting Canada, I have always been struck by the selflessness and the creativity with which Canadians work together to help to improve the lives of their neighbours.

The message was played at a Diamond Jubilee Gala hosted by the Hon. David C. Onley, the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on 6th February 2013.

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is my great pleasure to be addressing you at Canada's final celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  I am only sorry it has to be in this rather disembodied form!

The past year has seen many unforgettable and moving tributes to The Queen’s six decades of dutiful service.  Her Majesty was deeply touched by the many expressions of goodwill which came from across Canada during this milestone anniversary.  The Jubilee celebrations, held throughout the Commonwealth, were a heartening reminder that the diversity of the Commonwealth’s global community does not in any way diminish its closeness.             

I need hardly say that my wife and I were delighted to have been able to visit Ontario during the Diamond Jubilee year, where we were so touched by the warmth and hospitality with which we were greeted.  We took great pleasure in touring Toronto, both saluting the past with an 1812 military muster at Fort York and looking to the future with a meeting of young digital innovators at Ryerson University.

In keeping with the Jubilee's theme of service, we also joined the people of Ontario in recognizing those who give of themselves in service of their fellow citizens.  This included a visit to Toronto's Yonge Street Mission, where dedicated volunteers have sustained a tradition of charity and outreach for over a century.

I am particularly proud, too, that my Prince's Charities Canada has partnered with the Mission and other Canadian organizations to enhance the reach and impact of their projects.  In this process, Lieutenant Governor Onley has been an invaluable resource and friend.  It is cooperation of this sort which offers the most fitting and enduring way to keep the Jubilee spirit of service alive for years to come.

Of course, The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal honours people who make such ventures possible.  Tonight's recipients represent all fields of endeavour, and demonstrate that there are countless ways in which people can contribute to the greater good.  In the more than forty years that I have been visiting Canada, I have always been struck by the selflessness and the creativity with which Canadians work together to help to improve the lives of their neighbours.  Indeed, this was why I established my Prince’s Charities Canada to see how, in some small way, I could help to support and encourage this great work which has always been such a hallmark of Canadian life.

In concluding, I can only offer, on behalf of my wife and myself, our warmest good wishes and heartfelt congratulations to everyone present at tonight’s celebration.