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A timeline of every B.C. visit made by the Queen

With over 20 trips, Queen Elizabeth II visited Canada more than any other country during her 70-year reign. We look back at when she made it to B.C.
The Queen strolls through Centennial Square escorted by Mayor Courtney Haddock during her 1971 visit to Victoria.

Over her 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II paid numerous visits to Canada and its westernmost province British Columbia.

But it was a young princess that Elizabeth — then Duchess of Edinburgh — embarked on her first coast-to-coast tour of the country.

On Oct. 8, 1951, Elizabeth’s train pulled into Vancouver with Prince Philip. The couple would later visit Victoria and Nanaimo, before enjoying a private retreat in Qualicum Beach. 

She departed on Nov. 12, only three months before she acceded the throne upon the death of her father George VI.

As news echoed across the world of Queen Elizabeth II’s death Thursday, we look back at her seven visits to this corner of the Commonwealth.

Princess Elizabeth signs the visitors book in the Mayor's office. Vancouver Archives

1959 - June 18 to Aug. 1

Queen Elizabeth's 1959 visit to uBC
Queen Elizabeth II visits the University of British Columbia in her first trip to Canada as monarch. Vancouver Archives

In her first visit to Canada as queen, Elizabeth II toured the entire country with Prince Philip aboard the royal train. In B.C., the royal couple made a number of stops, including Golden, Revelstoke, Kamloops and Spences Bridge. They would also visit New Westminster, Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo.

1971 - May 3 to 12 

The Queen and Prince Phillip wave farewell to the crowd from the deck of HMS Britannia in 1971.

Along with The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Ann, Queen Elizabeth II visited B.C. on the Royal Yacht Britannia. The visit would mark the centenary of B.C.’s entry into Confederation. Stops included Greater Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Prince Rupert and Williams Lake.

1983 - March 8 to March 11

QE2 visit to Parliament Hill 1982
Queen Elizabeth II visits Parliament Hill in Ottawa on a tour that would eventually land her in B.C. Canadian Heritage/Flickr

In another visit aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, first pulled into Victoria. The royal couple also visited Vancouver, Nanaimo, Vernon and New Westminster during their West Coast tour.

1987 - Oct. 9 to 24 

QE2 visit to Science World
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip outside Science World in 1987. Science World

The royal couple returned to Qualicum Beach for a private retreat before spending time in Vancouver and Greater Victoria, where they attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. During this visit, Queen Elizabeth II unveiled B.C.’s new, updated Coat of Arms.

1994 - Aug. 13 to 22

Queen Elizabeth II greeting people while on a visit to Prince George. City of Prince George

On this visit, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip opened the Commonwealth Games in Victoria and had a private retreat at Twin Island. The Queen visited CFB Comox and Prince George.

2002 - Oct. 4 to 15 

The Queen acknowledges the crowd during her visit here in 2002. Times Colonist File Photo

In her final visit to British Columbia, Queen Elizabeth II visited Canada as part of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. They would visit Victoria, where she unveiled a stained-glass window in the B.C. Parliament Buildings. 

In Vancouver, she shook hands with throngs of students at the University of British Columbia and dropped the puck at an NHL exhibition game.

Queen Elizabeth dropped the ceremonial puck at the start of an exhibition hockey game at GM Place, Vancouver. Province of B.C.