The many times the royals have jetted across the pond for Canada Day

July 1 is a day the Royal Family has often kept free for making a visit to Canada.

Queen and other members of Royal Family have often been visiting country on July 1

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip listen to a welcome from Premier Alex B. Campbell in Prince Edward Island on July 1, 1973. (The Canadian Press)

Somebody at Buckingham Palace — perhaps Queen Elizabeth herself — has tended to keep July 1 free on the schedule for members of the Royal Family to visit Canada.

Over the years, the Queen has been here to celebrate Canada Day seven times (dating back to when it was still called Dominion Day).

Here we take a look back at times when the Queen and other members of her family have been standing on Canadian soil when the country was celebrating its birthday on July 1.

In 1959, the Queen and Prince Philip were in Canada for 45 days, including over the Dominion Day holiday.

In Ottawa on July 1, the monarch gave an address that was broadcast on radio and television. She also delivered part of her speech in French.

The Queen told her audience that technology was helping her engage with far more Canadians than she could hope to see in person, even with all the travelling she and Prince Philip were doing.

'Canada is simply too big'

Queen Elizabeth speaks to Canadians during a televised address that was broadcast on July 1, 1959. (CBC Television Special/CBC Archives)

"We would like to see many more of you and far more of this wonderful country, but it cannot be done this time. Canada is simply too big," she said.

"Luckily, the television network reaches most of the country, so I can at least bring this rather more personal message directly into your homes, even if I cannot drive through your streets and meet some of your fellow citizens."

Canada's centennial birthday party

The Queen cuts the cake at the centennial party on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 1, 1967. (Dominion Wide/Library and Archives Canada/C-024559)

The Queen was back in Canada for July 1, 1967, when she and Prince Philip took part in the country's centennial celebrations on Parliament Hill.

As usual, she had many complimentary things to say about Canada on its birthday.

The Queen also had high hopes for Canada in its next 100 years.

"May it bring peace and prosperity, happiness and harmony and a just reward for the work and endeavour of each one of you," the Queen said.

A glimpse of the monarch

Queen Elizabeth waves to well-wishers as she does a walkabout on Parliament Hill during Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa in 1997. (Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press)

Thirty years later — with three July 1 visits in 1973, 1990 and 1992 coming in between — the Queen's devoted supporters were lining up to see her when she was back in Ottawa for Canada's 130th birthday in 1997.

"To get your own home video of the Queen, it's apparently well worth a four-hour wait under a hot, blazing sun," the CBC's Jason Moscovitz reported on The National.

Waiting to see the Queen

26 years ago
Duration 1:29
Many people lined up to try to catch a glimpse of the Queen on Canada Day in 1997.

As the Queen and Prince Philip rode to Parliament Hill in their royal landau, the crowd cheered as they passed by.

"Yeah, I  saw the Queen — for 10 seconds," said a man, laughing as he told CBC News about the fleeting glimpse he caught. "Oh, well, I saw the Queen."

Queen Elizabeth speaks with Prime Minister Stephen Harper as they take part in Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 1, 2010. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

The Queen has been back for another Canada Day since then, when she was here in 2010 — and she was in Ottawa again when July 1 rolled around.

"This nation has dedicated itself to being a caring home for its own, a sanctuary for others and an example to the world," she said during her visit.

Canada Day also Diana's birthday

Diana, Princess of Wales, waves to spectators as she leaves the hotel en route to Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on July 1, 1983. (Ron Poling/The Canadian Press)

July 1 has also been a popular time to visit for most of the Queen's children as well.

Prince Charles has spent two Canada Days in this country (including in 1983 when a stadium full of Edmontonians sang Happy Birthday to his wife Diana, Princess of Wales), as have two of his siblings — Princess Anne and Prince Andrew.

Prince Edward has been here a number of times in July, just not on Canada Day itself, according to the Canadian government's list of prior royal tours.

More recent visits

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge acknowledge the crowd as they take part in Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 1, 2011. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

In recent years, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in Ottawa on Canada Day in 2011, two months after they were married.

"I'm excited to be able to share this with Catherine," Prince William said when addressing the crowd at Parliament Hill. 

"To be here on Canada Day — a day of unity, a day of coming together as families, and as a nation — is even more special for us."

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Charles ride in a carriage during Canada 150 celebrations in Ottawa on July 1, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Six years later, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were in Ottawa to celebrate Canada Day in 2017, on the country's 150th birthday.

Sightseeing at the SkyDome?

The Queen Mother waves to the crowd from the royal carriage after the completion of the 130th running of the Queen's Plate in Toronto in 1989. (John Felstead/The Canadian Press)

The Queen Mother was in Canada on July 1 twice in the 1970s, but she also made seven visits to the country in June or July on other occasions. (That number doesn't include her month-long tour of Canada in 1939, with her husband, King George VI, which wrapped up in mid-June of that year.)

During her visit to Canada in July 1989, the Queen Mum, 88, had a surprise request for her hosts: She wanted to see the newly opened SkyDome (now called Rogers Centre).

"The royal motorcade wheeled right inside the stadium," the CBC's Sheldon Turcott told viewers on The National. "She stepped out of her limousine, looked around for a few minutes and then described the stadium as a wonderful place."

The Queen Mother's SkyDome side trip

34 years ago
Duration 0:29
The Queen Mother made sure to visit the newly opened SkyDome when visiting Toronto in July of 1989.

According to a Toronto Star report, the Queen Mother said: "Someday I would like to come back and watch a baseball game."

If the Jays had been in town, it would have been a good time to catch a game — the Jays were on an upswing under new manager Cito Gaston and they were headed for the playoffs that fall.

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