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Royal Visits to Simcoe County

February 6, 2017 marks the 65th Anniversary of the death of King George VI and the ascension to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II.  Beginning in 1860, many members of the British Royal Family have travelled through Simcoe County.

On September 10, 1860, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales' Train stopped at the Barrie Station.  In Simcoe County Council's Address to His Royal Highness, read by Warden T.D. McConkey, they prayed him "to accept a hearty welcome to the Loyal County of Simcoe, as the worthy scion of [his] royal Mother, long may she be preserved, a pattern to other rulers, and a blessing to the land!"  See:  Barrie Northern Advance, 12 September 1860 p.2   Barrie Public Library Newspaper Index

Forty-one years later, on October 10, 1901, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York – later King George V and Queen Mary – travelled through the County.  They stopped briefly at the Barrie Station, where a large crowd had assembled, before travelling on to Allandale.

Duke and Duchess of Cornwall visit, 1901
Crowds gathered to see the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, October 10, 1901
Image copyright: Public domain

Edward, Prince of Wales, passed through several points on the GTR line through Simcoe County.  The Royal Train was scheduled to stop at Allandale at 10:50 a.m. on October 17, 1919.

GTR employee's schedule for HRH the Prince of Wales' train 1919
GTR Employees Schedule for running of HRH The Prince of Wale's special train, October 17,1919
Image copyright: Public domain

On May 17, 1939 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth embarked on a cross-country tour of Canada.  It was the first time a reigning monarch had set foot on Canadian soil and large crowds greeted them wherever they went.  

CN bargain fares and special train service flyer for service to the royal visit, 1939
Bargain fares and special train service to Toronto on account of the visit of the King and Queen, 1939
Image copyright: Public domain

Midland and Penetanguishene welcomed Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to their communities on July 8, 1959.  

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, 1959
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, July 8, 1959
Image copyright: Public domain

In recent years, there have been two royal visits to Simcoe County.  Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, toured Ste-Marie among the Hurons and St. James on-the-Lines Church in September 2012. 

St. James on the Lines Church
St. James on the Lines, ca. 1990s
Image copyright: Eileen Murdoch, used by permission

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, stopped in Barrie and CFB Borden on October 22, 2013.  During her visit she visited the Grey & Simcoe Foresters Regiment, of which she is Colonel-in-Chief, and dedicated the Military Heritage Park on Kempenfelt Bay.

Princess Anne inspects the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, 2013
Princess Anne inspects the Grey and Simcoe Foresters Regiment, 2013
Image taken by Sgt. Paul MacGregor, Copyright 2013 DND/MND
Used by permission of Grey and Simcoe Foresters

Images:

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