The entire British Royal Family gathered in Montreal to attend, open, and participate in the 1976 Summer Olympics, which ended on this day in 1976 (45 years ago). The first Olympic games hosted on Canadian soil, the Queen, as Queen and Head of State of Canada, officially opened the Olympic Games, while her daughter, Princess Anne was a member of the British Equestrian Team.
The highlight of the spectacular Opening Ceremony was when the Queen proclaimed open the Games of the XXI Olympiad, first in French, then in English. While Princess Anne and and her husband, Mark Phillips, participated in the Opening Ceremony, the Queen was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Andrew in the Royal Box. This was one of only two times the Queen has opened the Olympic Games, the second being in London in 2012, with the Duke of Edinburgh or Governor Generals presiding over the Opening Ceremonies in other Commonwealth Countries. Also present at the Opening Ceremony were Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte of Luxembourg and the Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein.
In addition to Princess Anne and Mark Phillips, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were joined by Prince Andrew, while the Prince of Wales and Prince Edward joined them a few days later, when the Royal Family posed for the Press. During the Games, the Royal Family stayed on the Royal Yacht Britannia, where they also hosted a few Receptions.
The Princess Royal was the first member of the Royal Family to have competed in the Olympic Games when she rode The Queen’s horse, Goodwill, in the equestrian three-day event at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. The Duke of Edinburgh was the then President of the International Equestrian Federation. Princess Anne is now the President of the British Olympic Association.
The 10-day visit to Canada followed an extensive State Visit to the United States, marking the Bicentenary of their Independence, and one of the first events of the visit was a Gala Dinner for dignitaries, including then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (father of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau), hosted by the Queen (wearing Queen Alexandra’s Kokoshnik Tiara and the George VI Sapphire Parure) on the Royal Yacht Britannia.
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At another Gala Dinner hosted by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau close to the closing Ceremony, the Queen (wearing the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara and the Cambridge Emerald Parure) was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.