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Royal visits to B.C. by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh visited British Columbia on 12 occasions, both on his own and alongside Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

He was at the Queen’s side on all seven of her tours to B.C. His solo visits were often to present The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, to support military regiments and charitable organizations, and to participate in Commonwealth events.

1951, Oct. 8 to Nov. 12 – Prince Philip made his first official visit to Canada in 1951, accompanying Princess Elizabeth on a cross-Canada tour. The royal couple visited Victoria and Vancouver, made a brief stop in Nanaimo and had a private retreat in Qualicum Beach.

1954, July 29 to Aug. 17 – Prince Philip made a solo 20-day visit to various Canadian cities. In B.C., he visited Victoria, attended the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver where he witnessed the “Miracle Mile”, and poured the first aluminium ingot at a new smelter in Kitimat.

1959, June 18 to Aug. 1 – Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II spent six ambitious weeks in Canada. They visited many B.C. cities by train, including Golden, Kamloops and Spences Bridge. In the Lower Mainland, Prince Philip joined the Queen at the official opening of the Deas Island Tunnel, and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The royal couple also visited Victoria and Nanaimo and made a brief stop in Terrace en route to Yukon.

1962, May 12 to June 3 – Prince Philip attended the second Commonwealth Study Conference hosted by Canada. Sessions were held in Quebec, Ontario and B.C. While in Vancouver, he presented new colours to the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada at a ceremony held at the University of British Columbia. 

1969, Oct. 16-31 – Prince Philip visited six provinces, including B.C., to study operations of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

1971, May 3-12 – Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II and their daughter Princess Anne visited numerous cities in B.C. to mark the 100th anniversary of the province’s entry into Confederation.

1983, March 8-11 – Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to B.C., touring Victoria, Vancouver, Nanaimo and New Westminster. Prince Philip attended a solo engagement at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and travelled alone to Kamloops to preside over the presentation of colours to the Rocky Mountain Rangers.

1987, Oct. 9-24 – Prince Philip joined Queen Elizabeth II on a private retreat to Qualicum Beach before visiting Greater Victoria and participating in the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Vancouver. (The royal couple also visited Saskatchewan and Quebec on their 16-day tour.)

1989, May 16-17 – Prince Philip made an overnight stop in Victoria and dined with then-Lieut. Gov. David Lam.

1992, March 7-12 – Travelling alone, Prince Philip attended Canadian Forces Base Suffield in Alberta before attending engagements in Victoria and Vancouver for the World Wildlife Fund, one of many organizations and causes close to his heart.

1994, August 13-22 – Prince Philip accompanied Queen Elizabeth II to B.C. to open the Commonwealth Games in Victoria. Prince Philip headed north independently, visiting Prince Rupert at the Khutzeymateen Valley where he officially opened a grizzly bear sanctuary. (The royal couple also spent time in Nova Scotia and the Northwest Territories.)

2002, October 4-15 – On their last Royal Tour of Canada, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II spent 12 days touring Nunavut, B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick in celebration of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. While in Victoria, they attended a Sunday Service at Christ Church Cathedral and visited the Parliament Buildings where a stained-glass window designed in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee was unveiled. In Vancouver, the royal couple watched an exhibition NHL game between the Canucks and the San Jose Sharks, for which the Queen dropped the ceremonial puck to open the game.