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Fun-packed royal tours to the land of the maple leaf

From sea to shining sea, the royals love visiting Canada!

royals in canada© Photo: Getty Images
Zachary Harper
Digital Director for Hello! CanadaToronto
July 1, 2022
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Canada is a favourite destination for the royal family. The Queen has been there 22 times, making it the Commonwealth country that has hosted her most often.

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Her Majesty's first trip to Canada was when she was still a princess, back in 1951. She and Prince Philip charmed Canadians as they travelled across the country, from St. John's, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia.

WATCH: Highlights from Prince William and Kate's 2011 Charlottetown visit

The last time the royals were here was when Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall spent time in Newfoundland, Ottawa and travelled to Dene communities in the Northwest Territories just this past May. 

PHOTOS: Prince Charles and Camilla's emotional first day of Canada visit

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Take a look back at some of their best moments here through the years, from the '50s to more recent trips! 

The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) and Prince Philip in Canada in 1951© Photo: Getty Images

In November 1951, the future Queen and Duke of Edinburgh danced in Ottawa, went to a rodeo in Calgary, watched the Calgary Stampede in freezing temperatures, attended a state banquet in Quebec City, and spent a month seeing much of Canada – and dealing with its highly changeable, varied weather! The heir to the throne came with an appropriate wardrobe, wearing light outerwear for the mild temperatures in the Toronto area and furs when she and the duke were further north. 

Such is the affection felt towards the monarchy in much of the country that subsequent tours have nearly always given rise to similar pictures of gaiety.

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Princess Anne, the Queen and Prince Philip in Tuktoyaktuk in 1970© Photo: Getty Images

In 1970, the Princess Royal's parents brought her with them on a trip that included a visit to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, the only community on the Arctic Circle that is connected to the rest of Canada by roads. 

Both mother and daughter were dressed for the weather and climate, and had a great time! 

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Prince Charles in the Northwest Territories © Photo: Getty Images

Charles is no stranger to the north of Canada, either, having visited the Northwest Territories several times, including in 1975, when he got to ride a Ski-doo! 

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Princess Anne and the Royal Family at the Montreal Olympics in 1976© Photo: Getty Images

Talented equestrian Anne qualified for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, and the whole Royal Family travelled with her to Canada to cheer her on. Anne suffered a concussion halfway through the event and didn't remember competing it, but wowed the crowd! 

Thirty-six years later, Anne's daughter Zara Tindall won a silver medal in equestrian at the 2012 London Summer Olympics!

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The Queen with Wayne Gretzky and Cassie Campbell and NHL players in 2000© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen is no stranger to our greatest (winter) sport, either, having done the honours during an NHL game between the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks while visiting in 2002. She had Wayne Gretzky, women's hockey great Cassie Campbell and former NHLer Ed Jovanovski with her at centre ice or the face-off between Mike Ricci (left) and Markus Naslund (centre).

RELATED: Fun photos of the royals showing off their sports skills

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with the Queen in 2010© Photo: Getty Images

Nearly 10 years later, then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave Her Majesty her very own hockey jersey when she visited Canada in 2010. 

Prince William and Prince Charles playing hockey in Canada© Photo: Getty Images

The royals don't just drop the puck at games, either! William and Charles both tried their hands at hockey while visiting Yellowknife, Northwest Territories and St. John, new Brunswick in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Princess Diana and Prince William and Prince Harry at Niagara Falls in 1991© Photo: Getty Images

Who can forget Princess Diana's famous moment with Princes William and Harry on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls during their 1991 visit to Canada? The boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves visiting the gorgeous natural wonder that spans the Canada-United States border and drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. 

MORE: Prince William and Princess Diana can't contain their giggles in rare personal video

Princess Diana in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1983© Photo: Getty Images

Years before the princes travelled to Canada with their parents, the Princess of Wales charmed Canadians as she and Prince Charles visited in 1983. She's shown above with lady-in-waiting Anne Beckwith-Smith in Saint John, New Brunswick, during that trip.

RELATED: Princess Diana's 'normal' Saturday night tradition shared with Prince William and Harry

Prince Charles and Princess Diana in Edmonton in 1983© Photo: Getty Images

Charles and Diana also stepped out to Fort Edmonton Park in Klondike wear during that visit.  

Prince William, Prince Charles and Prince Harry at Whistler in 1998© Photo: Getty Images

No one in Vancouver can forget Prince Charles's poignant return just months after Diana's death, when he spent time with his sons in the Whistler mountain resort.

MORE: Prince Charles's 'very emotional' time with grandchildren Lili and Archie revealed

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall with Vancouver Winter Olympics mascots in 2009© Photo: Getty Images

The heir to the throne has since been back with the Duchess of Cornwall. They're pictured above with the Vancouver Winter Olympics mascots in 2009.

RELATED: Royals around the world having fun at the Olympics

Prince William and Kate Middleton in Charlottetown in 2011© Photo: Getty Images

Of course, Canada's lakes, rivers and coasts are also great locations for boating, sailing, canoeing and much more. Prince William and Kate experienced that firsthand on their first joint trip here in 2011. It was also their first royal tour as newlyweds, since they'd gotten married just a few months earlier. The enjoyed a dragon boat race in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and sweetly hugged after! 

Kate Middleton and Prince William canoeing in Canada in 2011© Photo: Getty Images

The royal couple also had a romantic canoeing outing at Blatchford Lake near Yellowknife on the same trip. 

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Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Calgary Stampede in 2011© Photo: Getty Images

They also enjoyed the Calgary Stampede, as William's grandparents had done decades earlier on their first trip to Canada as a married couple. 

"Canada has far surpassed all that we were promised," the Duke of Cambridge said, sporting a white cowboy hat, western shirt and blue jeans, promising they would return. 

Princess Charlotte, Kate Middleton, Prince George and Prince William in Canada in 2016© Photo: Getty Images

Five years later, the Cambridges kept their promise and returned to Canada with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, their two eldest children. We saw them out with their parents at several events, including this lovely children's party for military families in Victoria, British Columbia during that visit. Prince Louis wasn't born at this time, so he hasn't traveled to Canada yet, but hopefully he'll get the chance to do so soon! 

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Toronto in 2017© Photo: Getty Images

Who can forget this moment?! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, long rumoured to be a couple at the time, made their romantic debut as they stepped out together to watch a wheelchair tennis match at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. The two were later pictured getting cuddly during the closing ceremony.

The future Duchess of Sussex was living in Canada's most populous city as a cast member of Suits at the time. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also spent several months in Canada with young son Archie in late 2019 and early 2020 just before they stepped down as senior royals and moved to California.

MORE: The sweet thing Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry's daughter Lilibet and Princess Charlotte have in common

The Queen in Ottawa in 2010© Photo: Getty Images

Her Majesty's most recent visit to Canada was in 2010, when she timed her trip with Canada Day, and inspected an honour guard on Parliament Hill. 

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