That time Princess Diana visited Vancouver and rode SkyTrain (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Nov 26 2020, 3:56 pm

The fourth season ofĀ The CrownĀ has been available on Netflix for nearly two weeks, and while past seasons greatly gravitated around Queen Elizabeth’s early reign, much of this latest season dived into the troubled marriage between Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

Those who have binge-watched the series will also know the season dedicates a full episode to the royal couple’s 1983 tour of Australia.

Their trip to Canada three years later was not highlighted in the season, as it is not publicly known to be a turning point for the couple’s relationship. In 1986, they made a visit to Vancouver for Expo ’86, with Charles — as a representative of the head of state — formally opening the World’s Fair at the Opening Ceremony held at BC Place Stadium on May 2.

princess diana prince charles skytrain 1986

Princess Diana and Prince Charles riding the new SkyTrain in May 1986, during their royal visit to open the Expo ’86 World’s Fair. (TransLink)

Both Charles and Diana rode on the brand new Expo Line — then named as simply “SkyTrain” as there was only one line — between Waterfront Station and Patterson Station, and then back to Stadium Station, where they disembarked, according to TransLink.

Mark I car No. 14, as depicted in the photo, was the one Diana and Charles rode in.

princess diana prince charles skytrain 1986

Princess Diana and Prince Charles riding the new SkyTrain in May 1986, during their royal visit to open the Expo ’86 World’s Fair. (TransLink)

princess diana prince charles skytrain 1986

Princess Diana and Prince Charles riding the new SkyTrain in May 1986, during their royal visit to open the Expo ’86 World’s Fair. (TransLink)

But the trip did not run entirely smoothly.

According to a report by the Associated Press on May 6, 1986, Diana, then 24 years old, fainted while she was with Charles visiting the California pavilion at the main fairgrounds in False Creek. Media were ushered out of the pavilion as soon as it happened, but she was not pregnant.

Apparently she was “feeling warm” in some of the pavilions, and after a brief rest she left for the hotel.

The California pavilion was the last of five visited by the couple, and they returned the next day to tour more pavilions before leaving BC after their seven-day royal tour in the province.

The following year, 1987, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited Vancouver and marked the dedication of the World’s Fair’s Expo Centre as Science World. The building underwent a $19 million renovation and expansion between 1987 and 1989 to turn it into a science museum.

The Queen made another visit to BC in 1994 to complete her role in formally opening the Commonwealth Games held in Victoria.

SkyTrain, specifically the Expo Line, will mark its 35th anniversary next month.

Science World

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the dedication of Science World in 1987. (Science World)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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