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Prince Charles’s 10 Most Memorable Royal Visits to Canada

Reader's Digest Canada Logo By Carolyn Harris, readersdigest.ca of Reader's Digest Canada | Slide 2 of 11: When Prince Charles was growing up, royal children did not usually accompany their parents on overseas tours. Charles remained at home or at school while his parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, toured the Commonwealth. That changed in July 1970 when 21-year-old Charles visited Canada with his parents and younger sister, Princess Anne. First, he spent a couple of days in Ottawa attending a Canadian football league all-star game. The Globe and Mail observed, “He had never been in North America before, but he appeared totally at ease." Charles then joined his family in Manitoba to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the province entering Confederation. Afterward, the family travelled to the Northwest Territories and what is now Nunavut, visiting communities near the Arctic Circle that had never before hosted royal guests, including Iqaluit (then Frobisher Bay) and Tuktoyaktuk. The New York Times reported that 1,200 Inuit people gathered in Iqaluit to watch Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Governor General Roland Michener welcome the royal family upon their arrival. More than a symbolic gesture, there was genuine political significance to this tour: The presence of the Queen and her heir in the Northwest Territories was a reminder of Canada’s sovereignty over the Arctic during the Cold War.

1970: The Cold War and the Canadian North

When Prince Charles was growing up, royal children did not usually accompany their parents on overseas tours. Charles remained at home or at school while his parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, toured the Commonwealth.

That changed in July 1970 when 21-year-old Charles visited Canada with his parents and younger sister, Princess Anne. First, he spent a couple of days in Ottawa attending a Canadian football league all-star game. The Globe and Mail observed, “He had never been in North America before, but he appeared totally at ease." Charles then joined his family in Manitoba to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the province entering Confederation. Afterward, the family travelled to the Northwest Territories and what is now Nunavut, visiting communities near the Arctic Circle that had never before hosted royal guests, including Iqaluit (then Frobisher Bay) and Tuktoyaktuk. The New York Times reported that 1,200 Inuit people gathered in Iqaluit to watch Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Governor General Roland Michener welcome the royal family upon their arrival.

More than a symbolic gesture, there was genuine political significance to this tour: The presence of the Queen and her heir in the Northwest Territories was a reminder of Canada’s sovereignty over the Arctic during the Cold War.

© Photo: Korona Lacasse / Wikimedia Commons

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