Monday, May 2, 2011

1951 Royal Visit to Canada

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh toured Canada in the fall of 1951. The Royal couple arrived by B.O.A.C. at Dorval Airport in Montreal, on October 8, 1951, and travelled across the country by train, airplane and naval vessel, visiting over 60 cities and towns. Thirty-five days later on November 12, 1951, the Royal couple embarked on the Empress of Scotland at St. John's for their journey home.

1951 Royal Tour Photographs

The Royal couple's itinerary must have been grueling but the young couple cemented the positive relationship Canadian's still have for their monarch.


The small forestry products town of Kapuskasing was thrilled to host the Royal couple whose stay at the  Kapuskasing Inn is still fondly remembered by the local populace.


Large crowds greeted the Princess and her husband in Vancouver.

Royal Train

The couple travelled by train for part of their tour.

Commemorative Stamp

On October 26, 2951, the Canada Post Office issued a commemorative stamp, designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz, to commemorate the Royal Visit.

From the Canada Archives

First Day Covers

Royal Train

The postcard below received the Royal Train cancellation on October 26, 1951, the stamp's date of issue. The card appears to have been mailed by a British party on the tour who wrote:

Dear Howard: This is the first issue of the new stamp and it will have the Royal Train postmark. We are just about to cross the Rocky Mountains on the return trip. Love to all.

Royal Train, October 26, 1951 to Stanmore, England


Domestic Letter

North Bay to New Liskeard, November 24, 1951
4 cents forward letter rate

Keswick to Toronto, December 19, 1951
4 cents forward letter rate + 20 cents registration fee

Winnipeg to Nelson, December 21, 1951
7 cents domestic air mail letter rate + 10 cents special delivery fee


Toronto to Stockholm, January 8, 1952
5 cents UPU surface letter rate
Shortpaid 1 cent and taxed 6 gold centimes
Swedish tax 15 ore