It was 35 years ago yesterday that Princess Diana and Prince Charles 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.
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.
As depicted in the photo, mark I car No. 14 was the one Diana and Charles rode in.
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 res,t she left for the hotel.
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The California pavilion was the last of five visited by the couple. 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.
With files from Kenneth Chan.