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

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

Here are some highlights from some of those visits. 

1951

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 in 1947, arrived in Vancouver by train. 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.

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

1954

One year after the inauguration 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

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.

1959

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. 

1962

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.

1971

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. 

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 royal family relax as they sail to Victoria from Vancouver on May 3, 1971. (Bill Croke/The Canadian Press)

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

The royal visitors, along with the prime minister, the governor general and their wives, take the yacht Britannia across the Strait of Georgia. 

1983

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

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)

1994

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)

2002

The Queen and Prince Philip made an 11-day visit to Canada on the last leg of their Commonwealth Golden Jubilee tour. 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 B.C. 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)

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