A family affair: The royal visit that wound up at the 1976 Olympics
Princess Anne was an athlete competing for the British equestrian team
Visiting Canada was nothing new for Queen Elizabeth in 1976: it was the ninth time she was making an official visit as monarch.
And it was the first time she was coming to watch one of her four children compete in the Olympic Games.
Princess Anne, who was 25 at the time, was a member of the British equestrian team. And as any proud family would, hers came to watch and cheer her on, including the Queen, Prince Philip, Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward, and Anne's husband Mark Phillips.
It was also a big year for the United States: 1976 was 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which severed the political connections between the 13 American colonies and Great Britain.
And so before coming to Canada, the Queen and Philip travelled to the U.S. to mark the occasion.
CBC reporter Larry Stout covered the royal visit to both countries for a CBC-TV news special that aired on July 26, 1976.
"Perhaps subconsciously, Americans covet the monarchy," said Stout. "At least that was the impression I got on one of the most triumphant royal tours the Queen and Prince Philip have ever undertaken."
The royal yacht Britannia docked in Philadelphia two days after the Fourth of July, and the pair began a seven-day tour of the United States that also took them to historic sites in Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston.
"It seems to me that Independence Day, the Fourth of July, should be celebrated as much in Britain as in America," said the Queen in a speech in Philadelphia. "Not in rejoicing at the celebration at the separation of the American colonies from the British crown, but in sincere gratitude to the Founding Fathers of this great republic for having taught Britain a very valuable lesson."
At the White House, the Queen met U.S. President Gerald Ford as enthusiastic onlookers waved Union Jacks.
And Wall Street in New York City was packed with thousands of people, who "nearly mobbed the Queen," according to Stout.
Mixed messages from Montrealers
After stops in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Queen and Prince Philip arrived in Montreal.
Stout's report showed the cover of an edition of the Journal de Montréal newspaper, which asked, roughly: "Yes or no: the Queen at the Olympic Games? It's your call."
The Queen's visit to the province in 1964 had been marred by demonstrations in Quebec City and separatists chanting slogans in the street as the royal procession passed, according to the Globe and Mail.
The invitation to officially open the Games had been extended to the Queen in January 1976 by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and she accepted.
The Globe and Mail reported 90 per cent of respondents to a survey it conducted had said "No" to having the Queen come to the city.
But once she arrived, the city was welcoming, said Stout.
Police massed along the motorcade route as the Queen arrived at City Hall to meet Mayor Jean Drapeau and crowds were sparse — though as Stout pointed out, the route had not been announced in advance.
"She, Prince Philip and Prince Andrew paused briefly to acknowledge the cheers of the friendly crowd, most of whom were either English-speaking or tourists," said Stout.
The family reunites
The entire family was reunited with the arrival of Prince Charles and 12-year-old Prince Edward.
Charles was overheard giving some advice to young Edward as the cameras clicked.
"Be careful what you say," he said, after 16-year-old Andrew bounded off the Britannia to greet his brothers, who had arrived at the port by helicopter after an overseas flight
According to the Globe and Mail, Charles and Edward were not originally planning to join the family.
But then Charles, who was in the Royal Navy at the time, "found he'd have some leave," according to the paper, and Edward's boarding-school term was over, so they made the trip.
Anne competed on the second day of the three-day equestrian event, which was held in Bromont, Que.
According to the Globe and Mail, she was docked 3¼ points for taking too long to make 12 jumps over a cross-country course with her horse, Goodwill.
The horse fell on one of the jumps, taking Anne with him. She told reporters she was unhurt.
With two injured horses, the British team had to pull out of the competition partway through. The United States took gold, Germany silver and Australia won bronze.
Princess Anne joined the International Olympic Committee in 1988.
In 2012, her daughter, Zara Phillips, competed for the British equestrian team at the Summer Olympics in London, winning silver. Her medal was presented to her by her mother.