As stories of –and tributes to– Queen Elizabeth II flood in following her passing, Revelstoke contributes to the history of the monarchy with two separate visits from the late Queen.
Queen Elizabeth II, 96, died on Sept. 8, after her 70-year reign. During her time as Queen of England, she visited Canada more than 20 times. Among her visits to Canada, she stopped in Revelstoke twice. She was well-received both times, with many from the town coming to see her, and the Revelstoke Review covering the events.
The first visit to Revelstoke for the longest-reigning monarch was actually before she became Queen. In October 1951, Princess Elizabeth (at the time) and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Revelstoke during their Royal visit to Canada.
“Only twice in the last 50 years has the snow covered the ground prior to October 25th, and that we are told was in 1926. The second was last Friday when four inches of snow covered the ground, and more was in the process of coming down when the Royal train bearing Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh pulled into the station promptly at 11:40 a.m.,” said an article in the Revelstoke Review at the time.
Donning a mink fur coat that was gifted to her in Ottawa on the same visit, she was tested by the elements that have become synonymous with Revelstoke.
The article said that a crowd of smiling and waving people welcomed the couple, as they gave awards to several locals.
The second visit occurred in July 1959. In the time between the two visits, King George VI died, and Elizabeth returned to Revelstoke as Queen Elizabeth II to a crowd of 5,000 people, according to a Revelstoke Review article written at the time.
With fairer weather on her second visit, Queen Elizabeth II spent more time in the town and taking in the sights. She and Prince Philip rode up to the Revelstoke Lookout along the Meadow in the Sky parkway in Mt. Revelstoke National Park.
An article from the time also mentioned a dutiful young member of the local Brownies.
“Brownie, Diana Durrand, stepped smartly forward and placed a large bouquet of roses in the arms of the Queen. Her duty over, the eight-year-old brownie marched smartly down the pavement, her arms swinging, to rejoin her comrades a full city block away,” said the article.
In a visit that was marked with informality, the article said that the young brownie was the “most composed person there.”
After a brief hour-long visit, the Royal couple ascended the steps back onto the observation deck of the train and made their way to Vernon for their next stop.