It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that Queen Elizabeth II had a special affection for Canada. She visited this nation more frequently than any other throughout her reign and was accustomed to calling it home because she was an avid global traveler.
Queen Elizabeth II Visited Canada More Than Any Other Country
According to the Canadian Heritage Department, the Queen has visited Canada no fewer than 31 times since her coronation in June 1952, if you count overnight stays and airplane refueling pauses.
Australia came in second with 18 visits, including layovers, according to the official website of The Royal Family.
According to Barry MacKenzie, a representative for the Monarchist League of Canada, “I think she really developed a strong liking for us.” She’s done a fantastic job of seizing all of the chances to interact with Canadians and get a sense of life here.
Some Highlights From The Queen’s Visits In Canada
Fall 1951 – Some Highlights From The Queen’s Visits In Canada
The Queen’s tight bond with Canada, according to royal observers, began even before she ascended to the throne.
Princess Elizabeth was welcomed by 15,000 people on the tarmac when she landed at Montréal-Dorval International Airport on October 8, 1951.
The princess and her husband, Prince Philip, traveled across the nation and returned in the following 33 days, stopping in about 60 different cities and every province.
In addition to attending hockey games in Montreal and Toronto, she also visited Harry Truman in Washington, D.C., square danced at Rideau Hall, and went to hockey games in Montreal and Toronto.
Everywhere they traveled, the 25-year-old princess and the vivacious prince were greeted by big crowds; some accounts claim that one million people came to see them in Toronto, and even more did so in Montreal.
According to MacKenzie, a history professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Newfoundland, “It was a remarkable act of stamina.”
“Everyone knew that this young lady was the next in line. She also had the added benefit of a war hero for a husband. They were children. They were lovely.”
Princess Elizabeth referred to Canada as her “second home” in a farewell radio address that was broadcast from St. John’s, Newfoundland, at the conclusion of the tour.
We have received a warm welcome everywhere we have gone in all 10 provinces, which has helped us feel as though we genuinely belong to Canada.
During a high-profile, four-day tour, the Queen made her first-ever televised speech, which was carried live from Rideau Hall on October 13, 1957. This was the Queen’s first official visit to Canada.
The following day, she and Prince Philip formally inaugurated a new session of Parliament by reading the address from the throne in the Senate chamber.
A reigning king opened the Canadian Parliament for the first time. Additionally, the speech was broadcast live on television.
Beginning on June 18, 1959, in eastern Newfoundland, the arduous 45-day marathon that became the longest royal trip in Canadian history began.
The St. Lawrence Seaway’s ceremonial opening, which took place on June 26 with the Queen and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia at the lift-lock near St. Lambert, Ontario, was the highlight of the trip.
Queen Elizabeth II spoke on television from a sunny Rideau Hall veranda five days later, on Canada Day.
She remarked, “I believe with all my heart that this country can look to a magnificent future. If I have made you feel proud to be Canadian, I shall feel well satisfied.”
The Queen and Philip covered 24,000 miles while visiting every province and both territories.
Since becoming Queen, everyone in Canada has only recently had the chance to visit her, according to MacKenzie. And it’s the last time we’ll see one of these large projects.
Philip wore a cowboy hat when attending the Calgary Stampede, and the official schedule included calling for other visits along the Great Lakes, including a visit to the Chicago World’s Fair.
On the penultimate stage of their journey, the young couple made an impromptu detour in eastern New Brunswick to visit with the relatives of the fishermen who had perished when a hurricane raged across the Northumberland Strait on the night of June 20–21. 35 men and boys, most of whom were from the community of Escuminac, were killed when the violent storm overturned more than twenty-four fishing boats.
On July 29, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited with 16 bereaved widows and their families in Pointe-du-Chêne, New Brunswick.
A “tiny grey-haired woman in black, accompanied by 12 of her 18 surviving children” was one of them, according to a story from The Canadian Press at the time.
She “sat on a Northumberland Strait dock… and fought back the tears as Queen Elizabeth gave her a compassionate smile and a good word.”
To commemorate Canada’s 100th birthday, the Queen and Prince Philip spent six days in Ottawa and Montreal.
50,000 spectators watched as the Queen cut into a massive birthday cake adorned with the coats of arms of every province and territory on Parliament Hill in the bright weather.
The Queen also traveled on the automated monorail that was a part of Expo 67 in Montreal.
The Queen’s 1964 visit to Quebec City was disrupted by waves of police using truncheons to round up separatist demonstrators who were shouting slogans and singing obscene songs, which is why that brief visit was marked by heavy security.
After a four-day trip to Ottawa, the Queen and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau signed the Constitution Act at a ceremony on a sleet-covered Parliament Hill. The law grants the Canadian Parliament the authority to change the constitution without the British Parliament’s consent.
The enactment of the Act, which was signified by the Queen’s royal assent on April 17, 1982, represented the final phase of Canada’s political transition from a colony to a fully independent state. However, it did not herald Canada’s monarchy’s demise. Not at all. The Queen continued to serve as the country of Canada’s head of state and to hold the title Queen of Canada.
According to MacKenzie, “She wasn’t signing a contract and handing us our freedom.” It was not a declaration of independence when the Queen of Canada signed an act that the Canadian Parliament had approved in her honor.
The Queen expressed her feelings about this sizable portion of her kingdom to a throng in Halifax during her final visit to the country.
On June 28, when she embarked on a nine-day tour that would also take her to Ottawa, Winnipeg, Waterloo, Ont., and Toronto, she remarked, “It is really lovely to be home.”
I’m happy to inform that it still does. “My mother once commented that this country seemed like a home away from home for the Queen of Canada.”
She spoke in a more melancholy manner on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, where 70,000 people gathered to celebrate Canada Day.
I have seen more than half of our country’s history since Confederation during my lifetime, she remarked. “I have watched with great admiration how Canada has developed while preserving its history, unique character, and core principles.”
The Queen “succeeded in gently taking Canadians out of their ordinary lives for a few moments,” according to author Allison Lawlor, on each of her numerous visits to Canada.
Generations of Canadians have followed the trajectory in her life as she went from being their beautiful princess on her first visit in 1951 to a young mother raising four children to a dignified Queen and… as an aged, worldly stateswoman. She has not only seen the development of Canada.