Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Being Michaelle Jean

When President Obama was in Canada for his first trip abroad as the Head of State, a stately woman smartly donned met him on the tarmac. I noticed her immediately and wondered who she was. But I have not thought of her since. My cousin sent me an email minutes ago with some photos and information about this woman with the note "you might enjoy this!?" She is Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean.

Along with more than a few photos were these words: "The Governor General of Canada is the vice-regal or viceroy representative in Canada of the Queen of Canada , who is the head of state. A viceroy is a royal official who governs a country in the name of and as representative of the monarch.

"Canada is one of sixteen British Commonwealth realms, all of which share the British monarch as their royal leader. The monarch appoints the Governor General on the advice of the Canadian Prime Minister, who is the Canadian Head of Government, after which the Governor General maintains direct contact with the British monarch. There is no specific term.

"President Barack Obama and Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean walk across the tarmac following his arrival in Ottawa , Canada , Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009. Michelle Jean has been Governor General of Canada since September 27, 2005.

"Jean is Canada's first black Governor General."

Being such, she is also the first black female Governor General. Bravo General! Not being a citizen of the British Commonwealth, I do not know the relevance or importance of such a position as far as policy is concerned, the probable pomp and circumstance aside, nor do I know about her past accomplishments which I'm sure there must be some. But General Michaelle Jean certainly does look good! There is no doubt about that! Maybe I'll do a little research. She is at the very least a bit intriguing.


septembermom said...

I always learn something from your blog!! I didn't know about this Canadian office. Her confident stride suggests that she holds her own very well in public life. On a side note, I love her outfit! I'll have to look her up on Google to find out more too.

judith ellis said...

Oh, yeah, septembermom! Her stride and outfit got my attention immediately when I watched it live. She exudes power and grace.

By the way, I'm glad you stop by my blog, septembermom. I love your blog. It reminds me of my mom and my childhood home.

Jo Jordan said...

Austalian and New Zealand also have Governor General's and play the role of the vice-monarch in each country.

Non-executive president might be a good summary.

Invites the leader of the winning political party to form the government. 'Disbands' parliament when an electon is called. Opens Parliament. Receives visiting Heads of State (as opposed to Heads of Government).

judith ellis said...

Thanks, Jo, for that. I have done some research and the good Governor General is definitely worth at least a Google search. :-)

Cynthia said...

Thanks for posting this very interesting information Judith.
The post of Governor General sounds
very admirable indeed. When you do
further research please let us
all know more about this woman
and her duties. Yes, Michelle is
quite sophisticated.

judith ellis said...

It's always my pleasure, Cynthia. She's "quite sophisticated" indeed.