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Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip at a 1951 mini-Stampede

For 10 days in July, mild-mannered Calgarians don skin-tight wranglers, big shiny belts and even bigger Stetsons and go into "Stampede mode." Not much work gets done as cowboys, Indian princesses, ferris wheels and pancake breakfasts take hold of the city. From its humble beginnings in 1912 to the ongoing controversy over chuckwagon races, the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede continues to be Canada's annual salute to the good old days of the Wild West.

media clip
Royals visit Calgary and watch a scaled-back version of the Stampede.
• 1959 was an important year for the Royal Family in Canada. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip embarked on a 45-day tour of Canada, stopping in every province and territory.
• In Calgary, instead of the usual red carpet that greets the Queen, Elizabeth was greeted with a carpet of buffalo skins.
• More than 100,000 visitors attended the Stampede in hopes of seeing Queen Elizabeth. As the royal motorcade approached the grandstand, the crowd sang Home on the Range.

• The Calgary Stampede was first held in 1912, and is known as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth."
• CBC hired Joy Davies, a fashion consultant, to brief their commentators and advise them on what Her Majesty would be wearing each day of her 1959 tour. 
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio Special
Broadcast Date: Oct. 18, 1951
Duration: 8:28

Last updated: June 24, 2013

Page consulted on September 18, 2014

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