Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
receiving the mural painting "500 Years of Royal Canada" from
historical artist Brian Romagnoli on July 1, 1997 at Her Majesty's official
Canadian residence, Rideau Hall (Government House) in the nation's
capital of Ottawa. Culminating a year's work by the artist, this work of art was the official gift given to The Queen to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Monarchy in Canada.
The mural painting itself is a sumptuous display of pageantry & patriotism. Ornately framed, it measures 4 1/2 ' high x 7 1/2 ' wide. Its oval centrepiece features The Queen & Prince Philip being escorted from
Rideau Hall in the state landau by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Circling the scene is a cluster of crowned cameos with portraits of the British & French Monarchs who have reigned over parts or all of Canada, each arranged according to succession in a clockwise fashion.
Surrounding these are classical columns, a base and trellis decorated with the federal & provincial arms, flags, and
florals. The finely detailed background montage of archival images (including King Henry VII's commission to John Cabot to sail to the New World in 1497) brings together a delightful array of over 500 people, places, artifacts, symbols, and events associated with the Canada and the Crown.
In a time when internet usage was not yet common, Brian spent countless hours meticulously researching in museums, libraries, legislatures, historic sites and archives during the initial planning stages of the mural painting. In order to ensure historical accuracy and correct chronological placement of images, Brian consulted with noted Royal authors and historians Garry Toffoli and Arthur Bousfield, along with the late librarian Claudia Willetts of the Canadian Royal Heritage Trust in Toronto. Thanks also to former R.C.M.P. Riding Master Sgt. B. Culp, who assisted the artist in re-constructing the cavalcade scene with a tour and access to the state landau, harness & saddle apparatus at the R.C.M.P. horse stables in Rockcliffe. In Ottawa, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness were quite pleased with the presentation and commented on the mural painting's beauty and extraordinary fine detail.