Prince William and Duchess Catherine made headlines recently when they visited Canada with adorable Prince George and Princess Charlotte in tow, but Royals visiting Canada is nothing new. Members of the British Royal Family have visited Canada since 1786 when King George the 3rd’s son, William, came to Canada as part of his naval duties. In fact, Prince William would celebrate his 21st birthday just off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Shortly after, in 1791, King George’s younger son, Edward, also came to Canada during his military duties.
When the Royals visit, Canadians go crazy for a glimpse of the British monarchy. Some of the most notable recent visits from the current generation of Royals include:
2016: Prince William, Duchess Catherine, Prince George and Princess Charlotte: British Columbia & the Yukon
It was only fitting for little Prince George to visit the province that has a city bearing his name! The adorable royals visited Vancouver, Victoria, Bella Bella, Kelowna, Whitehorse and Haida Gwaii (Haida Gwaii was formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands). Haida villages in this region help visitors learn more about and understand Indigenous culture. On this tour, the Highnesses experienced a traditional Haida prayer, song and dance, visited a carving house and went salmon fishing with some of the village’s youth. Want to visit Haida Gwaii? See: www.gohaidagwaii.ca.
1997: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh: Newfoundland
The Queen and Duke are no strangers to Canada, having made several visits since 1951, but one the couple made in 1997 stands out for several reasons. During this time, Newfoundland was celebrating its 500th anniversary, and that was the primary reason for the royal tour. However, 1997 was also when southern Manitoba was affected by the infamous Red River Flood. Prince Phillip went to Winnipeg and spent part of his tour time surveying the flood damage. It was a kind move for the Prince to spend time in the stricken region. Want to experience Newfoundland? See: www.newfoundlandlabrador.com.
1991: (The Late) Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry: Niagara Falls
Princes William and Harry were just tiny tots when their mother took them to see Niagara Falls. The Director of Public Relations at that time fondly remembers the three mingling with the crowds at Table Rock, and how delighted the little princes were with a private ride aboard the Maid of the Mist. Princess Diana and her sons, however, were not the first royals to visit this historic location. King George VI visited in 1939, and Princess Margaret visited in 1958. Want to visit Niagara Falls? See: www.niagarafallstourism.com.
1983: Prince Charles and (the late) Princess Diana: The Shore Club, Nova Scotia
The Prince and Princess stopped at Nova Scotia’s famous Shore Club as part of their Royal Tour to experience a real Atlantic lobster feast. The royals dined that night with 400 invited guests, and a slew of health inspectors from around the province oversaw the dinner preparations. If you eat lobster, you know a full one has to be ripped, cracked and torn apart – hardly a fitting way for British royal to eat! To preserve Lady Diana’s dignity (and clothes), her lobster was carefully taken apart, and the meat removed and then returned to its shell. The result was a lobster that looked like it just came out of the pot, but in truth, it was one that she could neatly pick apart and eat, all while looking like an “expert”. Want to visit the world famous Shore Club? See: www.shoreclub.ca.
The Royal Family has loved visiting Canada for generations, and Canadians love it when they do. We’ve clearly got many destinations that are fit for a king, but you don’t have to wear a crown to visit these and many more great tourist hot spots across the country.