This Thursday, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed at the age of 96. The longest-reigning British Monarch in history, she has made a tremendous impact on many across the globe.
Since her coronation in 1953, she has shaped the lives of Canadians, many of which reside in Alberta – a province which she visited several times under the crown.
While she first ventured to Wild Rose Country in 1951, her inaugural trip as Queen wasn’t until 1959.
This iconic tour across Canada began in St. John’s, Newfoundland and took her and husband Prince Phillip to every province over 45 days, during which she attended the Calgary Stampede as well as Banff and Lake Louise.
She later came back to Alberta in 1973 and famously attended the RCMP Centennial, a dinner with then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau at the Fairmont Palliser and for the second time, the Stampede in Calgary.
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In 1978, people were delighted when the royal family announced that they would once again check in on the province – this time with their sons Edward and Andrew.
On this visit, they opened and attended Edmonton’s Commonwealth Games, a banquet held by Premier Peter Lougheed and even made an appearance at the Edmonton Art Gallery, Churchill Square and sporting events at the University of Alberta, Kinsmen Aquatic Centre and the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
In 1990 the queen returned for a five-day expedition in which she attended events in Calgary as well as Red Deer. This included the first Spruce Meadows show-jumping event, The Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the opening of the Museum of Regiments at the Canadian Forces base in Calgary, and the opening of the pediatric ward at the Red Deer Hospital.
Her last and final tour was met with a torrential downpour as Alberta celebrated its centennial in 2005.
During this time, two landmarks (The Queen Elizabeth Highway and The Royal Alberta Museum) were renamed in her honour and she attended a luncheon with Ralph Klein, who was the sitting Premier.
Following this week’s royal announcement Calgary’s Mayor, Jyoti Gondek and Edmonton’s Mayor, Amarjeet Sohi, have offered their condolences on behalf of the city – though if you’d like to share your own sympathies, you can do so on the official Alberta Government memorial page here.
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