British Columbia·Photos

A look at Prince Philip's trips to B.C. over his lifetime

The Queen and Prince Philip visited Canada more than 20 times over the decades, including 12 visits to British Columbia. Their last visit to Canada's westernmost province was in 2002.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made 12 official visits to Canada's westernmost province

Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, relax as they sail to Victoria on May 3, 1971. It was the royal visit that marked B.C.'s centennial celebration of joining Confederation. Prince Philip died early Friday. (Bill Croke/Canadian Press)

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died on Friday at Windsor Castle in England at the age of 99.

He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history, having been married to the Queen for 73 years.

The royal couple visited Canada several times over the decades. Prince Philip visited British Columbia 12 times over seven decades — both by the Queen's side for seven official tours and on his own.

Here are some highlights from some of those visits. 


Princess Elizabeth, 25, and her new husband, Prince Philip, 30, made a month-long coast-to-coast tour of Canada in 1951. It was Princess Elizabeth's inaugural visit to Canada, then heir to the throne and standing in for her ailing father, King George VI.

The couple, who wed four years earlier in 1947, arrived in Vancouver by train. 

Prince Philip leans out of the window on the Royal Train as it travels through B.C. during the royal tour in 1951. Prince Philip accompanied Princess Elizabeth on her first tour of the country. (CBC Archives)
Prince Philip is seen greeting a young girl in B.C. while accompanying Princess Elizabeth, soon to be Queen Elizabeth II, on a tour of Canada in 1951. (CBC Archives)

They visited Victoria and Nanaimo, and had a private retreat in coastal Qualicum Beach.

There was a small security incident at a university football game in Vancouver: Prince Philip was asked to autograph a football but, before he could, security officers seized it. Only after rushing off with the ball, deflating, carefully inspecting and then re-inflating it, did they allow the autographing ceremony to go ahead.

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip pictured in 1951 with a young Prince Charles and his baby sister, Princess Anne. (OFF/AFP/Getty Images)


One year after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip made a solo visit to several Canadian cities over 20 days in 1954. He opened the British Empire and Commonweath Games in Vancouver, visited Victoria and toured a smelter in Kitimat.

Prince Philip made solo swing through Canada in 1954

2 years ago
Duration 1:08
Prince Philip made a 20-day visit to Canada on his own in 1954, attending the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver and visiting the Far North.


The Queen and Prince Philip made a six-week tour of all provinces and territories in 1959. They journeyed through B.C. on the royal train, with stops including Golden, Revelstoke, Kamloops and the highway community of Spences Bridge, near Lytton. 

Horses from the local ranch were ridden down to the train station to form a guard of honour for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's arrival in Kamloops, B.C., in July 1959. Prince Philip spoke with one of the riders. (Library and Archives Canada)


Prince Philip attended the Commonwealth Study Conference sessions in Vancouver. While there, he presented colours to the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada at the University of British Columbia.


The Queen and Prince Philip returned to B.C. in 1971 to mark the province's centenary anniversary of joining Confederation. They brought their daughter, Princess Anne, then 20, along for the trip. 

Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip sailing to Victoria on May 3, 1971, during the royal visit that marked B.C.'s Confederation centennial celebration. (Bill Croke/The Canadian Press)

The royal visitors, along with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his new wife, Margaret, sailed under blue skies across the Strait of Georgia to Victoria on the Royal Yacht Britannia after their arrival on May 3.

The family would visit a number of cities in B.C., from the east coast of Vancouver Island to the Okanagan and North Coast.

A royal crossing to Vancouver Island

52 years ago
Duration 2:29
The royal visitors, along with the prime minister, the governor general and their wives, take the yacht Britannia across the Strait of Georgia.


The Queen and Prince Philip toured Vancouver, Nanaimo, Vernon and New Westminster over three days in 1983. Prince Philip visited Kamloops solo.

The visit marked two milestones in B.C., according to the province: the beginning of the construction of Canada Place for the upcoming Expo 86 in Vancouver, as well as the completion of the restoration work​ throughout the Parliament Buildings in Victoria.

Senator Jack Austin explains a model of Expo 86 to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in Vancouver on March 9, 1983. The Queen had earlier officially started construction of the site. (Nick Didlick/The Canadian Press)


The Queen and Prince Philip attended the Commonwealth Games in Victoria. The Duke of Edinburgh also flew north to tour the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, north of Prince Rupert, on Aug. 17.

Prince Philip, left, is pictured during a tour of the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary in B.C. on Aug. 17, 1994. (Peter Jones/Reuters)


The Queen and Prince Philip made an 11-day visit to Canada on the last leg of their Commonwealth Golden Jubilee tour, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Queen's coronation. In B.C., they visited Victoria, where the Queen unveiled a stained-glass window in the B.C. Parliament Buildings and dropped the puck at an NHL exhibition game in Vancouver.

It would be Prince Philip's final visit to British Columbia. He retired from royal duties in 2017.

Queen Elizabeth II is presented with a doll from two girls from the Musqueam First Nations Band while the Duke of Edinburgh looks on during a visit to the University of British Columbia on Oct. 7, 2002. (Chuck Stoody/The Canadian Press)

With files from The Canadian Press and CBC Archives


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