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Royal tours of Canada by the Canadian Royal Family

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Royal tours of Canada by the Canadian Royal Family have been taking place since 1786,[1] and continue into the 21st century, either as an official tour, a working tour, a vacation, or a period of military service by a member of the royal family. Originally, official tours were events predominantly for Canadians to see and possibly meet members of their Royal Family, with the associated patriotic pomp and spectacle. However, nearing the end of the 20th century, such occasions took on the added dimension of a theme; for instance, the 2005 tour of Saskatchewan and Alberta by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was deemed to be a vehicle for the Queen and Canadians to honour "The Spirit of Nation Builders."[2] The couple's tour in 2010 was themed "Honouring the Canadian Record of Service— Past, Present and Future."[3] Official royal tours have always been vested with civic importance, providing a regionalised country with a common thread of loyalty.[4]

The first member of the royal family to visit Canada was the future King William IV, who arrived on the country's east coast in 1786 while an officer in the Royal Navy. His niece, Queen Victoria, never came to Canada, but during her reign her son, the future King Edward VII, made the first modern Canadian royal tour: partaking in official engagements, meeting politicians and the public, and reviewing troops.[5] There had been many invitations since 1858 for the reigning monarch to tour Canada,[6] but in 1939 King George VI was the first to do so. During that trip, the King's wife, Queen Elizabeth, initiated the tradition of the "royal walkabout",[7] though her brother-in-law, the former King Edward VIII, had often met ordinary Canadian people in 1919; as he said: "Getting off the train to stretch my legs, I would start up conversations with farmers, section hands, miners, small town editors or newly arrived immigrants from Europe."[8]

Royal tours can take more than a year to organize. The planning is coordinated by the Canadian Secretary to the Queen.[9] The regions to be visited are decided by a rotational formula.[9] Modern tours have run with a theme; for instance the visit of Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2010 was intended to highlight "the Canadian record of service—past, present and future";[10] themes are decided upon by the Queen's secretary together with the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Office of the Prime Minister.[9] In summer 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge toured Canada in their first official overseas trip as a married couple.[11]

18th century

HMS Pegasus in the harbour of St. John's, Newfoundland. Commanding the Pegasus from 1786 to 1787, Prince William was the first member of the Royal Family to visit Canada.
HMS Pegasus in the harbour of St. John's, Newfoundland. Commanding the Pegasus from 1786 to 1787, Prince William was the first member of the Royal Family to visit Canada.

As an officer in the Royal Navy, Prince William (later William IV) was the first member of the Royal Family to visit Newfoundland Colony, the colony of Nova Scotia, and the Province of Quebec (later Lower and Upper Canada). William's first visit to the colonies was during his command of the HMS Pegasus, a command he was given on 10 April 1786.[12] Arriving in Newfoundland, William found himself involved in the civil and naval affairs of Newfoundland, with no permanent civil authorities, and the newly arrived Prince being the senior naval officer in the colony.[13] During his time in Newfoundland, he presided over a court, and commissioned the construction of St. Luke’s Anglican Church in New-Wes-Valley.[13] On 21 August 1786, he celebrated his 21st birthday on his ship in the waters off Newfoundland.[14]

He eventually proceeded to the main base of the Royal Navy's North American Station, based at the Royal Naval Dockyards in Halifax, Nova Scotia.[13] Although he received a royal reception upon his arrival to Halifax, it was later made clear he would receive no further special treatment, not already accorded to an officer of his rank in the Royal Navy.[13] In 1787, William visited the Province of Quebec, travelling as far inland as Cornwall, where he encouraged Loyalists to settle the areas that later made up Upper Canada.[15] Near Cornwall, William received a reception from members of the First Nations communities.[16]

Following his visit to the Canadas, William was stationed in the West Indies. Depressed over the departure of Horatio Nelson, who he befriended during his time in the Caribbean, he took the Pegasus to Halifax, without permission from the Royal Navy.[15] William was ordered to winter in Quebec, although he would take his ship back to Britain, arriving in Portsmouth on December 1787.[17]

William received his second posting to British North America in July 1788, as the commander of the HMS Andromeda. He served in North America for another year, stationed in cities including Halifax.[15]

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn became the second member of the Royal Family to visit the Canadian colonies. Stationed at Gibraltar in 1790, he requested to be transferred to the Canadian colonies, due to the extreme Mediterranean heat.[18] Arriving in Quebec City in 1791, he came as the colonel for the 7th Regiment of Foot, a military unit garrisoned in Quebec.[19] Shortly after his arrival, Edward was called upon by the Lord Dorchester, the Governor-in-Chief of the Canadas, as 40 First Nations chiefs travelled to Quebec City to complain about American border incursions. Taking advantage of Edward's princely status, the Governor-in-Chief presented the Prince to First Nations' chiefs proclaiming "Brothers! Here is Prince Edward, son of our king, who has just arrived with a chosen band of his warriors to protect this country," and subsequently named Edward as second-in-command of British forces in the Canadas.[19]

Edward began to tour the Canadas in August 1791, departing from Quebec City to Montreal, Kingston, the Thousand Islands, and Newark-on-the-Lake.[20] Edward returned to Quebec City in time to act as an observer for the election of the first Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, in Charlesbourg in June 1792.[21] Edward is credited with the first use of the term "Canadian" to mean both French and English settlers in the Canadas. Witnessing a riot breaking out between two groups at the polling station, he entreated the public in French, "I urge you to unanimity and concord. Let me hear no more of the odious distinction of English and French. You are all His Britannick Majesty's beloved Canadian subjects."[21][22]

With the outbreak of the French Revolutionary War, Edward was promoted to Major-General, and ordered to proceed to the Caribbean. As the St. Lawrence River was frozen over, he was to travel to Boston overland, before sailing to Martinique. In doing so, he became the first member of the Royal Family to enter the newly-formed United States.[23]

Following the West Indies campaign, he sailed for Halifax aboard the HMS Blanche. Arriving on 10 May 1793, he left the city in June to tour Nova Scotia, and the newly-established colony of New Brunswick, visiting Annapolis Royal, and Saint John.[23] He was later made the Commander-in-Chief of the Maritimes.[23] During his time in Nova Scotia, he presided over the expansion of Halifax, and improved the city's defences, due in part to his ability to secure funds from London.[24] He also worked to improve communications between the Canadian colonies, creating the first telegraph signal system in North America, and improving mail service between Halifax and Lower Canada.[24][25] Edward departed for Britain in August 1800, although he formally maintained his position as Commander-in-Chief of the region until 1802.[25] In 1811, Edward sought to obtain the appointment as the Governor General of the Canadas, although failed to do so.[26]

19th century

The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) undertook a two-month tour of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the Province of Canada in 1860. He travelled through St. John's, there attending the St. John's Regatta.[14]

He landed at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on 10 August 1860, where he was welcomed by Governor George Dundas and proceeded to Government House. There, he held audience with the Executive Council. Over the course of the visit, the Prince of Wales toured the countryside around Charlottetown, held a levee at Government House, and visited Province House, where he received the addresses of the Executive Council and later attended a ball that lasted until 3:00 am. Upon his departure, he left with the Governor £150 for charitable use.[27]

At Ottawa, the Prince laid the foundation stone of the parliament buildings.[28] In Quebec, he stayed at the Governor General's residence at Spencerwood, dedicated the Victoria Bridge, and took a raft run of the timber slides of the Chaudière River.[14] In Toronto, he opened Queen's Park before heading on to see Niagara Falls, which were illuminated for the first time for his visit.[29] There, he rode on the Maid of the Mist, met at Queenston Heights with veterans of the War of 1812, dedicated a rebuilt Brock's Monument, as the original had been blown up years earlier by Fenian Raiders, and visited with Laura Secord.[30][31]

During his 1869 royal tour, Prince Arthur met with the Chiefs of the Six Nations at the Mohawk Chapel.
During his 1869 royal tour, Prince Arthur met with the Chiefs of the Six Nations at the Mohawk Chapel.

A year later, The Prince Alfred (later Duke of Edinburgh) took five weeks to tour the maritime provinces, Newfoundland, and Lower Canada. He was from time to time between 1878 and 1883 stationed in Halifax as Commander of the Royal Navy's North Atlantic Squadron.[14]

George, Prince of Wales (later George V) was stationed in the Maritimes in 1882 as a midshipman on HMS Cumberland. During his time there, he drove the last spike into Newfoundland's first railway, the Harbour Grace Railway.[32]

The Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne, and her husband, the Governor General the Marquess of Lorne, in 1881 toured Ontario, becoming the first royals to attend the Queen's Plate,[33] which had been founded by the Queen in 1860. They were also the first royals to pass through what is today Saskatchewan in 1882,[34] and during a stop at the not yet named territorial capital, in the dining room of the Royal Train, Princess Louise named the new community Regina, after her mother, the Queen.[35]

Princess Louise was visited by her family members during her time in Canada. Her brother, The Prince Leopold (later Duke of Albany), came to Canada to review soldiers on the Plains of Abraham, Quebec City, and fish on the Cascapédia River. Louise's nephew, George, Prince of Wales, was in Canada as a midshipman of the Royal Navy, visiting Niagara Falls, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, and staying for a lengthy period at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.[36]

Early 20th century (1901–1950)

As modern modes of transportations allowed for easier travel across the oceans, more of the Royal Family came to tour the King's northern Dominion. The first since Queen Victoria's death was the second son of the reigning king, Prince George (later King George V) and his wife (later Queen Mary), the Duchess of Cornwall and York, arrived in Canada in 1901 aboard the RMS Ophir, which was chartered by the Admiralty. The royal party – which consisted of 22 people, including the Duchess' brother Prince Alexander of Teck – landed at Quebec City on 16 September, from where the group then travelled to Montreal – where separate Francophone and Anglophone welcoming committees caused confusion – and then on to Ottawa, where the Duke watched the lacrosse final for the Minto Cup, which he enjoyed so much he kept the ball that was used. They then shot the timber slide at the Chaudière River, watched canoe races, and picnicked in Rockcliffe woods, near Ottawa.

Prince George in Montreal and Quebec City. He visited most of the provinces during his 1901 royal tour.

They passed through Ontario, creating "incredible excitement seldom seen since the visit of his father in 1860."[14] Amongst other duties, the Prince dedicated the Alexandra Bridge in Ottawa, in honour of Queen Alexandra.[32] The Duke and Duchess moved on to Manitoba where the former opened the new science building at the University of Manitoba, and then to Regina in the North-West Territories.[35] In Calgary, they met with First Nations chiefs and viewed exhibitions. Westward, they ended up in Vancouver and Victoria, to turn back again towards Banff, where the Duchess went to Tunnel Mountain and Lake Louise while the Duke went to Poplar Point.

After passing back through Regina,[35] they reunited in Toronto, welcomed by the Mendelssohn Choir, and attended concerts at Massey Hall. It was then around southern Ontario and back Montreal again, where the Duke opened the newly rebuilt Victoria Bridge. The tour ended with a trip through Saint John, Halifax, and then out of Canada to the still separate Newfoundland.[37][38]

Prince Arthur visits Valcartier base as the Governor General in 1914. He served the position from 1911 to 1916.
Prince Arthur visits Valcartier base as the Governor General in 1914. He served the position from 1911 to 1916.

After the turn of the 20th century, Canada's Governor General, then the Duke of Connaught, in 1912 inaugurated the Legislative Building and laid the cornerstone of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist,[34][39] He also toured British Columbia and laid the cornerstone for the new Provincial Library at the provincial parliament building.[40]

In September 1919, the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), was in Ontario on a number of occasions; he first travelled throughout the province in 1919, laying the foundation stone of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, opening the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, meeting with the League of Canadian Indians at Sault Ste. Marie, and taking a three-day canoe trip down the Nipigon River to fish and hunt with two personal Ojibwa guides.[41] The Prince then came to Saskatchewan and while there renamed a branch library in Regina as the Prince of Wales Library. He toured areas of greater Vancouver, attending a civic reception and military ball, as well as opening the New Westminster Exhibition.[40] The Prince also went on to Victoria, where he laid the foundation stone of a statue of Queen Victoria on the grounds of the provincial parliament building.[42]

Edward, Prince of Wales with two Ojibwe guides, canoe on the Nipigon River during his 1919 royal tour.
Edward, Prince of Wales with two Ojibwe guides, canoe on the Nipigon River during his 1919 royal tour.

The Prince of Wales in 1923 and 1924 spent time at his ranch in Alberta, touring as well various towns and cities; in the latter year, he stopped at Rideau Hall for various official functions and again frustrated his staff by disappearing for dancing and golf.[43]

In 1926, the Prince's brother, The Prince George (later Duke of Kent), arrived in Canada and actively took part in squash, badminton, and tennis games played in Rideau Hall's Tent Room;[44] the Governor General, The Marquess of Willingdon, said of the Prince: "Such a nice boy, but shy, & as mad ib exercise as the P. of W."[45]

In August 1927, the Prince of Wales and the Prince George opened Union Station in Toronto, the Princes' Gates at Exhibition Place.[46]

The 1939 royal tour of Canada was a cross-Canada royal tour by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. It was one of the first visits of a reigning monarch to Canada (in 1926, Queen Marie of Romania also visited the country[47]).

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit the King's Plate in Toronto, during the 1939 royal tour.
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visit the King's Plate in Toronto, during the 1939 royal tour.

This tour marked the first time that the sovereign's official Canadian birthday was marked with the monarch himself present in the country; the occasion was marked on Parliament Hill with a celebration and a Trooping of the Colour.

Later, during a tour of Canada, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother stated in a speech: "It is now some 46 years since I first came to this country with the King, in those anxious days shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. I shall always look back upon that visit with feelings of affection and happiness. I think I lost my heart to Canada and Canadians, and my feelings have not changed with the passage of time."[48]

By 1945, Alan Lascelles, the private secretary of George VI, and Shuldham Redfern, Secretary to the Governor General of Canada, were discussing the idea of the King making regular flights to Canada to open parliament and perform other constitutional and ceremonial duties. The notion was eventually forgotten.[49]

Late 20th century (1951–2000)

Elizabeth II


Princess Elizabeth along with Prince Philip during their 1951 royal tour.
Princess Elizabeth along with Prince Philip during their 1951 royal tour.

Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, made their first appearance in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Alberta in 1951, on behalf of her ailing father.[50]

The couple toured New Brunswick; after the Princess and Duke arrived at Fredericton's Union Station on 6 November, they were there greeted by both Lieutenant Governor David Laurence MacLaren and hundreds of well-wishers,[51] and moved on to tour the University of New Brunswick, Christ Church Cathedral, and the Legislative Assembly Building.[52] It was then on to Saint John, where the royal couple travelled in a motorcade watched by some 60,000 people, visited a veterans' hospital, and attended a civic dinner at the Admiral Beatty Hotel, where the silver flatware designed specifically for the 1939 visit of the King was used. After an overnight on the royal train, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh made whistle-stops in Moncton and Sackville before departing the province.[53] In Toronto, she took in a Toronto Maple Leafs game at Maple Leaf Gardens and greeted Ontarians at numerous official functions.

Aside from a brief stop-over for refuelling in Gander, Newfoundland in 1953— during which the Queen decided, after being roused from sleep at 3:20 am by their singing of "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow", to address the crowd gathered outside,[54]

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at the opening of the 23rd Canadian Parliament, 14 October 1957.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at the opening of the 23rd Canadian Parliament, 14 October 1957.

Elizabeth returned to Canada in 1957, there giving her first ever live television address, appointing her husband to her Canadian Privy Council at a meeting which she chaired, and on 14 October, opening the first session of the 23rd parliament.[55] About 50,000 people descended on Parliament Hill to witness the arrival of the monarch.[56] Due to the financial austerity of the times,[57] the pageantry was muted in comparison to what would be seen at a similar event in the United Kingdom. June Callwood said in her coverage of the tour for Maclean's: "The Queen's role in Canada, it appeared to some observers, hinged on calculated pageantry, just enough to warm the pride of Canadians who revere tradition and stateliness above state but not so much as to antagonize those who consider royalty a blindingly off-colour bauble in an age of lean fear."[58] In Saskatchewan, the Queen inaugurated the natural gas-fired Queen Elizabeth Power Station on the South Saskatchewan River.[35]

Two years later, in 1959 the Queen returned and toured every province and territory of the country; Buckingham Palace officials and the Canadian government opted to dub this a "royal tour", as opposed to a "royal visit", to dispel any notion that the Queen was a visiting foreigner.[59] Controversy arose in the run-up to the visit when CBC personality Joyce Davidson, while being interviewed by Dave Garroway on NBC's Today Show, said that as an "average Canadian" she was "pretty indifferent" to the Queen's forthcoming visit. Davidson was lambasted in the Canadian press and by many indignant Canadians for her comment.[60] Regardless, the Queen toured the entire country, specifically directing that events she attended should be public, rather than closed luncheons or receptions;[61] further, popular Canadian athletic stars were invited to royal events for the first time, so that during her tour the Queen met with Jean Béliveau, Sam Etcheverry, Maurice Richard, Punch Imlach, and Bud Grant.[62]

Motorcade of The Queen at the intersection of Yonge and Front Street, Toronto, during her 1959 royal tour.
Motorcade of The Queen at the intersection of Yonge and Front Street, Toronto, during her 1959 royal tour.

One of the most important events of this trip was the official opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, along with President Dwight D. Eisenhower, where, in Prescott, Ontario, the Queen made her first live appearance on Canadian television.[63] During this tour, the Queen paid numerous visits to Canadian industries,[64] and again made a visit to the United States as Canada's head of state, stopping in Chicago and Washington, D.C., with Diefenbaker as her attending minister. The Prime Minister insisted that the Queen be accompanied at all times by a Canadian Cabinet minister, being determined to make it clear to Americans that the Queen was visiting the United States as the Canadian monarch, and that "it is the Canadian embassy and not the British Embassy officials who are in charge" of the Queen's itinerary.[65] Her speeches in Chicago, written by her Canadian ministers, stressed steadily the fact that she had come to call as Queen of Canada.[66] In this vein, the Queen hosted the return dinner for Eisenhower at the Canadian Embassy in Washington.[60]

The Queen returned to New Brunswick, at the end of her pan-Canada tour. The sovereign presided over a Queen's Scout recognition ceremony in Fredericton, visited the veterans' hospital in Lancaster, and undertook a walkabout in Victoria Park, Moncton. At Pointe-du-Chêne, the royal couple visited briefly with the families of fishermen who had died the previous month in a storm off Escuminac, making a donation to the New Brunswick Fisherman's Disaster Fund that was established in honour of the deceased.[67]

The "Queen's Steps" staircase, used by the Queen on the last day of her 1959 royal tour, at CFB Halifax.
The "Queen's Steps" staircase, used by the Queen on the last day of her 1959 royal tour, at CFB Halifax.

Unknown to all involved, the Queen was pregnant with her third child. Prime Minister Diefenbaker urged her to cut the tour short after her disclosure to him at Kingston, Ontario, but the Queen swore him to secrecy and continued the journey, leaving the public announcement of the upcoming birth until she returned to London.[60]

Once the news was released, criticism of the tour that had simmered during its progress unleashed in full: Diefenbaker was blamed for pushing the Queen to carry on a grueling continent-wide trip, and the brevity of stops necessary to complete such a journey, combined with the formality and inaccessibility of events, led to calls for a cease to that format of royal tour. The Albertan stated: "The fact is that royalty has no roots in Canada. And if roots must be put down, they certainly should be of a different kind than those which are historically proper for Britain."[68] Prior to the tour, the President of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society, with the support of the Mayor of Quebec City, requested of the tour officials that, on the evening of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Her Majesty light the main bonfire in celebration. Though the Queen did lay a wreath at the James Wolfe Monument on the Plains of Abraham, the Queen's Canadian Secretary at the time, Howard Graham, left the bonfire off the itinerary, leading to complaints.[69]

Successes were also noted, especially in the Crown's assistance in entrenching the newly emerging Canadian identity; the Queen ensured that the Red Ensign (then Canada's national flag) was flown on the Royal Yacht, and she stood to attention for the duration of each playing of "O Canada", the country's then still unofficial national anthem, sometimes even joining in the singing.[70]

1960 to 2000

The Queen walks with John Clyne, the Chancellor of the University of British Columbia during her 1983 royal tour of Canada.
The Queen walks with John Clyne, the Chancellor of the University of British Columbia during her 1983 royal tour of Canada.

Queen Elizabeth II also celebrated the centennial of the Confederation Conferences in Charlottetown on 6 October 1964.[71] On 10 October, as she was touring the streets of Quebec City, a turbulent riot occurred and opposed anti-monarchist Quebec nationalists with the police. Since then, the event has been known as Samedi de la matraque ("Truncheon Saturday").[72]

In 1971, the Queen was in British Columbia to celebrate the centennial of the province's entry into Confederation.[50] She toured Alberta and Saskatchewan in July 1973, to celebrate the centennial of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, opening the new RCMP museum building in Regina,[35] and in 1978, to open the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.[73] In Saskatchewan, she dedicated Queen Elizabeth Court, in front of Regina's city hall.[35]

28 June – 6 July 1976: Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward joined the Queen and Prince Philip for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. Princess Anne was a member of the British equestrian team competing in the Olympics in Montreal. The royal family also stopped by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick during the visit. The Queen arrived at Fredericton, New Brunswick, on 15 July, after which she travelled to Woolastook Provincial Park to visit the Boy Scout Jamboree campsite, picniced with 3,500 schoolchildren, toured the Kings Landing Historical Settlement,[74] and attended a provincial dinner with fireworks following.[75] The Queen's second day in New Brunswick brought her to the Miramichi area, where she attended a provincial lunch, visited Chatham and Newcastle, and toured the Burchill Laminating Plant in Nelson-Miramichi.[53]

The Queen also journeyed to New Brunswick to celebrate the province's bicentennial in 1984, touching down, along with Prince Philip, at Moncton airport on 24 September, from where the royal party travelled to Shediac, Sackville, Riverview, and Fredericton over the course of three days. While at the Legislative Building, the Queen issued a Royal Warrant augmenting the province's coat of arms with its present crest, supporters, compartment, motto.[76] She also, when in Fredericton, unveiled a plaque in Wilmot Park that honoured Edward Wilmot and recounted the dedication of the park by the Queen's great-grandfather.[76]

The Queen opened the University of Northern British Columbia in 1994.[77]

Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at Scouts Canada's Fourth Pentathlon Jamboree in 1976.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at Scouts Canada's Fourth Pentathlon Jamboree in 1976.

The Duke of Edinburgh, consort to Queen Elizabeth II, has visited the realm on two occasions to open two multi-sport event, the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, and the 1967 Pan American Games. The trip was one of many visits to Canada the Duke has made without the Queen. Other visits without the Queen occurred in 1960, 1962, 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1998, as he was charing the Commonwealth Study Conference, hosted in Canada during those years. He has also made 11 trips to Canada in relation to The Duke of Edinburgh's Award.[78] The Duke has also made several visits relating to his role with the Armed Forces. He was appointed the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment on 8 December 1953, he presented the 3rd Battalion's first colours on Parliament Hill in 1973.

Cumulatively, he has made more than 70 visits to Canada, including 19 royal tours with Queen Elizabeth II.[78]

Charles, Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales, along with his sister, Princess Anne presided over the 1970 celebrations of the centennial of Manitoba's entry into Confederation.[79]

The Prince and his first wife, the Princess of Wales attended the bicentennial in 1983 of the arrival of the first Empire Loyalists in Nova Scotia,[80] and also visited Newfoundland to mark the 400th anniversary of the island becoming a British colony.[81]

The Prince and Princess of Wales toured British Columbia in the spring of 1986, visiting Vancouver to open Expo 86 (on 2 May 1986), as well as Victoria, Prince George, Kamloops and Nanaimo. [82]

In 1991, the Prince and Princess of Wales toured Ontario; in Toronto, the Princess was joined on board the Royal Yacht Britannia by her two sons, Princes William and Harry, and caused some controversy when she broke from established protocol by enthusiastically hugging the two boys after they ran up the gangplank to meet her. After performing official duties in the city, including a formal dinner at the Royal York hotel, the royal family then went on to visit Sudbury, Kingston, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls, where the princes, as their great-great-great-grandfather had done, rode on the Maid of the Mist.[83]

Other royal family members

Four members of the Royal Family—The Queen; Prince Philip; Prince Andrew; and Prince Edward—at the opening of the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Alberta.
Four members of the Royal Family—The Queen; Prince Philip; Prince Andrew; and Prince Edward—at the opening of the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Alberta.

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, queen-consort to King George VI, and mother of Queen Elizabeth II, returned to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to celebrate Canada's centennial in 1967.[80] On a visit in 1985 to Toronto and Saskatchewan she noted, "It is now some 46 years since I first came to this country with the King, in those anxious days shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. I shall always look back upon that visit with feelings of affection and happiness. I think I lost my heart to Canada and Canadians, and my feelings have not changed with the passage of time."[84]

Elizabeth II's sister, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, toured Nova Scotia and British Columbia in 1958.[80] In BC, the Princess opened the new floating bridge in Kelowna, with two plaques marking the ceremony.[42] She also presided over the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Saskatchewan's entry into Confederation.[35]

Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy toured Canada for its centenary in 1967, and also arrived in Halifax in 1973 to mark the bicentennial of the arrival of the Hector, the first ship to land at Nova Scotia with Scottish colonists.[80]

Princess Anne presided over the 1970 celebrations of the centennial of Manitoba's entry into Confederation alongside his brother, the Prince of Wales.[79]

Prince Andrew undertook his first official tour of Nova Scotia in 1985, during which, amongst other activities, he visited Halifax and skippered the Bluenose II.[80]

21st century

Elizabeth II

The Queen in Queen's Park, Toronto, during her 2010 royal tour.
The Queen in Queen's Park, Toronto, during her 2010 royal tour.

In 2002, Elizabeth II toured the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the territory of Nunavut, for her Golden Jubilee.

In 2005, the Queen was in Alberta again to mark the province's 100th anniversary of entry into Confederation, where she attended, along with an audience of 25,000, a kick-off concert at Commonwealth Stadium, re-designated the Provincial Museum of Alberta as the Royal Alberta Museum, and addressed the Legislative Assembly, becoming the first reigning monarch to do so.[85] The Alberta Ministry of Learning encouraged teachers to focus education on the monarchy and to organize field trips for their students to see the Queen and her consort, or to watch the events on television.[86] In Saskatchewan, the Queen presided over the main events for the centennial of Saskatchewan's creation, as well as touring the Canadian Light Source Synchrotron and the University of Saskatchewan,[87] where, in the Diefenbaker Canada Centre, is stored correspondence between former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and the Queen.

In 2010, Elizabeth II visited Ontario and Manitoba as part of the 2010 royal tour of Canada. Arriving in Ottawa 30 June 2010, she toured the Canadian Museum of Nature and met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The following day, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh joined the festivities for Canada Day on Parliament Hill. The Royal Tour of Canada ended as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh departed for New York on 6 July 2010, following visits to Toronto and Waterloo.[88]

Charles, Prince of Wales

Charles, Prince of Wales visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia during his 2014 royal tour of Canada.
Charles, Prince of Wales visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia during his 2014 royal tour of Canada.

The Prince of Wales in 2001 again visited Toronto and Ottawa, where his interactions with the crowds kept Prime Minister Jean Chrétien waiting for twenty minutes. He toured Saskatchewan and turned the sod for the Prince of Wales Cultural and Recreation Centre in Assiniboia and dedicated the Anniversary Arch outside Regina's YMCA.[35]

On 14 December, it was announced that Camilla and Charles would come to Regina in May 2012 as well as New Brunswick and Ontario (Toronto). This trip is in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in February 2012.

In 2017, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were in Canada from 29 June to 1 July for Canada Day celebration and for the country's sesquicentennial celebrations.[89]

William, Duke of Cambridge

William, Duke of Cambridge has visited Canada with his mother and father (the Prince and Princess of Wales) in 1991 and 1998. However, the 2011 royal tour of Canada was the first time Prince William, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visited Canada as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The tour saw the newlywed couple visit all of Canada's regions. It was the first such tour undertaken by the Duke and Duchess since their marriage two months prior.[90]

Anne, Princess Royal

The Princess Royal has made a number of official and private visits to Canada as she is honorary Canadian Forces colonel in chief of 6 units. Her latest visit was a private function in St. John's, NL in April 2010 to celebrate the anniversary of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. She marked Regina's centennial.[35]

The Princess Royal made a visit to Barrie, Ontario on 22 October 2013 to commemorate the opening of park with military significance and to visit the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, for which she their current colonel-in-chief.[91]

The Princess Royal and her husband Vice-Admiral Tim Laurence arrived in Canada on 10 November 2014 in Ottawa for a two-day visit with focus on Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa on 11 November 2014.[92]

Edward, Earl of Wessex

In 2003, Prince Edward opened two parks in Saskatchewan, the Prince Edward Park in Melfort and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Rose Garden in Moose Jaw.[35] He had earlier opened Prince Edward Building, in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1994.

In 2005, the Earl of Wessex and his wife, the Countess, toured Ontario; the Earl visited Peterborough, Prince Edward County, and Toronto, while the Countess went to Welland to be installed as Colonel-in-Chief of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment.[93]

Other royal family members

Prince Philip with members of The Royal Canadian Regiment in 2013.
Prince Philip with members of The Royal Canadian Regiment in 2013.

After 2000,[94] the Sophie, Countess of Wessex accompanied her husband, Prince Edward on a number of tours of Prince Edward Island. Her arrival there in 2002 marked her first official tour outside of the United Kingdom.[95] In 2009, Countess of Wessex opened the Air Force Museum of Alberta in Calgary, spending some hours visiting its displays.[96]

The Duke of York came twice in 2003, at one point going into the field in full combat uniform to observe tactical exercises and address the troops of the Queen's York Rangers, of which he is Colonel-in-Chief.[97]

On the 27 April 2013, Prince Philip, the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Regiment, visited Toronto in order to present the 3rd battalion its second colours.[78]

See also


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Further reading

External links

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