Saturday, September 5, 2009

Royal Tour of Canada, 1939

This is a picture of my grandparents and other family members waiting on Oak Bay Avenue in Victoria on May 30, 1939.

This royal tour of the parents of our reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II was a historic event because it was the first time a king or queen of the British Commonwealth set foot on North America.

The royal couple disembarked from the Empress of Australia and were greeted with cheering crowds in Quebec City on May 17, 1939. They traveled by train across Canada and charmed the population by being visible and accessible in large cities and small towns throughout the land. They left Vancouver on May 29 aboard the CPR ship, Princess Marguerete and were greeted that evening in Victoria by Premier Pattullo. Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, was the most western point of the tour. The royal couple stayed two nights at Government House, the residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.

May 30 was the only full day spent in Victoria with a visit to the provincial legislature in the morning, followed by a drive though the streets of Victoria and Oak Bay culminating at the Empress Hotel where King George gave an address which was heard throughout Canada and around the world. The next day the king and queen returned to Vancouver and resumed their train trip across Canada on the royal train. Afterward the CPR trains of that class were known as the Royal Hudsons. King George and Queen Elizabeth returned to England aboard the Empress of Britain on June 15.


  1. It is great that you have this photo of the family waiting to see the Royal couple.

  2. Thankfully, I visited my Aunt, who is now ninety, last year and scanned some photos in her album and she was able to explain what the pictures were all about.