Fiftieth Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s 1959 Trip to Canada

  June 24, 2009 at 3:31 am by

View the image at The Georgian

Last week marked the fiftieth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s visit to Canada in 1959. The Georgian newspaper interviewed people who were there during the Queen’s visit.

To read some some interesting anecdotes click here.

The Royal Couple was received by the Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and Governor General Vincent Massey and other dignitaries when they arrived in Gander. A pretty little girl handed HM a bouquet and everyone waited patiently until the little girl remembered to curtsy and pull at her skirt before returning to her parents.

On June 26, Queen Elizabeth and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower formally inaugurated the St. Lawrence Seaway, which links the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. They boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia at the lock at St. Lambert, Ontario. The Britannia pulled away from the dock and entered the lift lock to officially open the Seaway as she passed a gate made from timber from the lock of the old Lachine Canal.

On 1 July the Queen visited Chicago in her capacity as Queen of Canada, the only time she has visited the United States in this role. She visited the International Trade Fair and performed several other official duties before returning to Canada.

Going west, the Royal Couple attended the Calgary Stampede with Prince Philip sporting a white cowboy hat as they watched their first chuckwagon race which was delayed by an accident when horses reared up and fell over.

All the way to the west coast in Nanaimo, British Columbia, the Queen and Prince Philip took part in “Indian Days” a celebration of native culture, during which the Queen became a princess of the Salish nation.

After her visit to British Columbia, the Queen had to take a couple of days to rest during her trip to the Yukon Territory. The heat and humidity during the long visit had taken its toll, and the Queen, who was in the early stages of her pregnancy with Prince Andrew, had finally succumbed. Since the pregnancy had not been announced, it was simply reported that the Queen was suffering from a mild stomach upset. After her short rest, she was able to continue the tour.

On her last day in Canada, in a radio message, Queen Elizabeth addressed her subjects in both French and English to thank all Canadians for their warm welcome. She returned to London from Nova Scotia at the beginning of August, leaving behind many happy memories throughout Canada.

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