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Celebrating Royalty: Royal Visits to Kingston

Planning & Preparation

Map of Kingston from Royal Visit Arrangements, 1973

Aros Loudon Maclean fonds.
Map of Kingston from Royal Visit Arrangements, 1973
Location 5149, Box 1, File 10

Preparing for the arrival of royalty is no simple task. Aside from accommodation for security details, establishing safe routes for travel, and planning stops where the public can view their regal visitors, full events involving royalty demanded an incredible amount of attention. Standouts among the latter include the 1973 visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to celebrate the Tercentenary of Kingston, and the 1991 visit of Prince Charles and Princess Diana to celebrate the Sesquicentennial of Queen’s University. What follows here is just a glimpse of what the City had to prepare.

Kingston is resigned to shortened visit of King, Queen Sunday, Page 1Page 2

Kingston Miscellaneous Collection
“Kingston is resigned to shortened visit of King, Queen Sunday”
Location 2285, Box 4, File 1

Visits, 21 May 1939

Kingston Picture Collection, V23-Vis-13
Visits, 21 May 1939

Planning the most minute of details is an essential task for official royal visits. But unforeseen circumstances can often sidetrack the best-laid plans. The CBC Digital Archives retrospective on the 1939 visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth recalls:

Because the royal itinerary had been painstakingly planned down to the minute, organizers had to scramble to make up for lost time. Before they even arrived in Canada, the royal pair's stay in Ottawa was reduced by a day and a half, and a day in Kingston was pared back to a half-hour.

The significant reduction in time spent in Kingston did not seem to dampen the spirits of this enthusiastic crowd on Stuart Street.

Program Page 1Program Page 2Program Page 3

City of Kingston Archives. City Clerk’s fonds.
Program for the Visit, HRH The Princess Royal, 7-9 Oct 1955
Location 4/100.11, Box 28, 19-6 Royal Visit 1955

Program Map

City of Kingston Archives. City Clerk’s fonds.
Final Program for the Visit, HRH The Princess Royal, 7-9 Oct 1955
Location 4/100.11, Box 28, 19-6 Royal Visit 1955

For Kingston's Tercentenary Celebrations, every detail was finely tuned to prepare for the Queen's arrival. This was no less true for the official dinner, organized by the Leonard Hall Dinner Committee. Details ranging from the menu, order of events and speed of service were scrutinized, as seen in the meeting minutes from the week prior to the event.

Royal Visit, Leonard Hall Dinner Committee Minutes,13 June 1973, Page 1Royal Visit, Leonard Hall Dinner Committee Minutes,13 June 1973, Page 2Royal Visit, Leonard Hall Dinner Committee Minutes,13 June 1973, Page 3

Royal Visit, Leonard Hall Dinner Committee Minutes,13 June 1973, Page 4Royal Visit, Leonard Hall Dinner Committee Minutes,13 June 1973, Page 5Royal Visit, Leonard Hall Dinner Committee Minutes,13 June 1973, Page 6

Royal Visit, Leonard Hall Dinner Committee Minutes,13 June 1973, Page 7Royal Visit, Leonard Hall Dinner Committee Minutes,13 June 1973, Page 8

City of Kingston Archives. City Clerk’s fonds.
Royal Visit, Leonard Hall Dinner Committee Minutes,13 June 1973
Location 4/100.11, Box 28, 19-6 Royal Visit 1973


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