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

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

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.

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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. 

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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! 

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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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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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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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 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).

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

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.

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. 

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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.

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

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.

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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.

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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! 

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

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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. 

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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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.

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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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