Looking back on Queen Elizabeth II's visits to British Columbia (PHOTOS)

Sep 8 2022, 7:59 pm

As people around the world mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, British Columbians are among those reflecting on her historic ties to the province.

“The Queen held a special place in her heart for British Columbia. We were honoured to host the Queen seven times, six as reigning monarch,” BC Premier John Horgan wrote in a statement Thursday.

Her first visit to Vancouver was in 1951 when Queen Elizabeth II (who was then known as Princess Elizabeth) travelled with Prince Philip by train for the Coast to Coast Tour of Canada.

The two also visited Victoria and Nanaimo and enjoyed a private retreat in Qualicum Beach.

Princess Elizabeth signs the visitors book in the Mayor’s office in 1951 (City of Vancouver)

Princess Elizabeth signs the visitors’ book in the Mayor’s office in 1951 (City of Vancouver)

In 1959, Queen Elizabeth II explored more of what BC had to offer during her Tour of Canada with Prince Philip.

The pair visited several cities on their journey through BC on the royal train.

Stops included Golden, Revelstoke, Kamloops, Spences Bridge, New Westminster, Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo.

Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh watch the entertainment at Queens Park. James Skitt Matthews/Vancouver Archives

To mark the centenary of BC’s entry into Confederation, Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh, and Anne, Princess Royal, visited the province in 1971.

The royal family made its way to Greater Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Prince Rupert and Williams Lake.

Queen Elizabeth II photographed along with Prince Philip in 1971 at YVR. /YVR

The royal couple, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, returned to Victoria on the Royal Yacht Britannia. They later visited Vancouver, Nanaimo, Vernon, and New Westminster during their West Coast tour together in 1983.

Queen Elizabeth at Vancouver City Hall. Courtesy of City of Vancouver

Less than five years later, the two returned to enjoy a private retreat in Qualicum Beach before visiting Vancouver and attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Greater Victoria.

Science World

Queen Elizabeth II and then-Vancouver Mayor Gordon Campbell at the dedication of Science World in 1987. (Science World)

In the summer of 1994, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip opened the Commonwealth Games in Victoria.

Victoria 1994 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony

Queen Elizabeth II opened the Commonwealth Games of Victoria, held over 10 days in August 1994. The Opening Ceremony was held at the University of Victoria campus. (University of Victoria)

Her most recent visit to BC was in 2002, when she famously dropped the puck at an exhibition Vancouver Canucks game.

BC’s premier says each visit left many memories for British Columbians, and that “these moments will be cherished for a lifetime.”

queen elizabeth canucks

Government of British Columbia

“In the 1970s, the Queen joined us as we celebrated B.C.’s 100th anniversary. In the 1980s, the Queen officially granted the Province its Coat of Arms, an important symbol of our independence and sovereignty. In the 1990s, the Queen honoured us by opening the Commonwealth Games. And in the 2000s, during her Golden Jubilee Year, the Queen dropped the puck at a Vancouver Canucks game, to the delight of hockey fans,” Horgan said.

To reflect on Queen Elizabeth II’s full list of visits to Canada, here’s a look back.

Want to stay in the loop with more Daily Hive content and News in your area? Check out all of our Newsletters here.
Buzz Connected Media Inc. #400 – 1008 Homer Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 2X1 [email protected] View Rules
Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

+ News
+ Politics
+ Canada