Stiff upper lips will be permitted to shed a sentimental tear this weekend on the occasion of the British Royal Wedding.
Hats, gloves and tiaras are the dress code for the Revelstoke Museum & Archives’ Royal Wedding Tea to commemorate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The museum is welcoming all to an April 30 British tea, featuring scones with clotted cream, Murchie’s tea, Batenburg cake imported from England as well as a variety of baking from volunteers.
The highlight of the day will be a rebroadcast of the Royal Wedding on a projection screen. The wedding itself starts in the early morning hours, so the Saturday tea will be a rebroadcast of the event at a more reasonable hour – starting at 1 p.m.
To commemorate the event, the museum has put together a new display featuring artifacts and memorabilia commemorating past Royal visits to Revelstoke. In addition to several large paintings of queens, kings, princes and princesses, there are also photos of royal visits to Revelstoke.
A display case features memorabilia including itineraries from past visits, picture books from the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, and lots of royal wedding collectables.
Royalty have visited Revelstoke on many occasions over the years, especially during the time when the railway was the preferred method of transcontinental travel.
Here’s a summary of some of the past Royal visits, most of it compiled directly from text provided by the Revelstoke Museum & Archives:
1916 Back in July, 1916, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, the Duchess of Connaught and their daughter Princess Patricia visited Revelstoke. They were driven 11 miles to the end of the completed Mount Revelstoke National Park “auto road,” where the Duke planted a post. The Duke was the Governor General of Canada, and the uncle of King George V, who reigned from 1910 to 1936.
At the request of the Duke, the visit was less elaborate than other Royal visits, as the Duke did not want to see huge effort and expense on his visit during wartime. The Royal visitors were presented with an album of Revelstoke photographs, pressed wildflowers, a box of cherries and a basket of fresh trout.
1918 Two years later, in 1918, Prince Arthur of Connaught, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, visited Revelstoke, and also planted a post in Mount Revelstoke National Park.
1919 There was great excitement in Revelstoke over the visit of the Prince of Wales in September of 1919. The Prince was the son of the reigning King George V and was first in line for the throne. He was officially welcomed at the Revelstoke Court House, where he unveiled a plaque to Revelstoke’s fallen soldiers, and then was driven up Mount Revelstoke where he unveiled a plaque.
After the afternoon tea presided over by the Women’s Canadian Club, the Prince expressed a desire to watch a movie, and he and his aide walked down the mountain to attend the Rex Theatre.
1927 The Prince of Wales returned with his brother Prince George, the Duke of York, in 1927, when the Prince officially opened the mountain highway that is now known as Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke National Park. A special dais with the Prince’s insignia was created for the occasion.
1939 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth toured Canada in the Royal Tour of 1939, in what has been termed the most important Royal visit in history. The citizens of the commonwealth were concerned about the rumours of oncoming war with Germany and were greatly comforted and reassured by the visit of the Royal couple. Over 9,000 people gathered in the pouring rain at the Revelstoke CPR station on May 28, 1939, to catch a glimpse of the King and Queen. This was well more than double the population of Revelstoke at the time. The Queen was quite distressed when she heard that children and elderly people had been waiting for hours in the rain.
1951 “Only twice in the last 50 years has snow covered the ground prior to October 25th, the first in 1926. The second time was last Friday, when four inches of snow covered the ground.” This was the first line of the Revelstoke Review’s article after the Oct. 25, 1951, visit of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. Snow was still falling when Mayor Walter Hardman welcomed the Princess at the CPR station.
1959 Elizabeth and Philip again visited Revelstoke in 1959 as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. The Revelstoke Museum & Archives doesn’t have any photos of that visit. If you have any, they’d love a copy for the museum.
The Royal Wedding Tea is from 1–3 p.m. (drop-in) on Saturday, April 30 at the Revelstoke Museum & Archives. Advance tickets are available at the museum. $7.50 for non-members, $6.50 for members.