Trudeau, four Canada ex-PMs head to London

·2-min read

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will travel to London with four former Canadian prime ministers as well as indigenous leaders for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, his office says, hours after Trudeau and Canada's opposition leaders paid tribute to her during a special session of parliament.

Trudeau said Canadians will continue to benefit from the stability the monarchy provides in his speech in the House of Commons in Ottawa.

The late Queen was head of state for 45 per cent of Canada's existence and visited the country 22 times as monarch.

Trudeau said the Queen embraced her role as Queen of Canada and said "her sudden absence has struck us all palpably and profoundly".

"Her Majesty was everywhere. Her face on our coins. Her portrait hanging in parliament and post offices. Her televised Christmas address a cozy ritual in homes from coast to coast to coast," Trudeau said.

"Canadians feel like they've lost a family member - a family member who grew up alongside us."

He recalled first meeting her as a little boy when his late father, Pierre Trudeau, was prime minister.

And he noted she was with Canadians for important moments, like in 1967 when she cut Canada's centennial cake on Parliament Hill and when she proclaimed and signed Canada's Constitution Act of 1982.

Trudeau said in Canada's constitutional monarchy, the crown's function is to be a bedrock for the constitution, and to transcend daily political debates.

"We all know our new sovereign, his majesty King Charles III, will uphold these very values that we speak today and continue her legacy. Long live the king," Trudeau said.

King Charles III was officially proclaimed Canada's monarch on Saturday in a ceremony in Ottawa attended by Trudeau and Governor General Mary Simon.

Former prime ministers Stephen Harper, Paul Martin and Jean Chretien will be a part of Canada's delegation for the funeral on Monday.

They will be joined by Simon, two ex governor generals as well as Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Natan Obed, and president of the Metis National Council Cassidy Caron.