Princess Elizabeth in Newfoundland, 1951 

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Newfoundland on this day in 1951, at the end of their extensive Tour of Canada, different phases of which we have been individually covering over the past few weeks. Following a busy Summer, with the Opening of the Festival of Britain, the Danish State Visit, the Norwegian State Visit, the Tour of Canada was the first sign of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke, who had given up his Naval Careerbecoming full-time working Royals in the last few months of King George VI’s life, ahead of her Accession to the Throne. 

Princess Elizabeth in Quebec | Ottawa | Toronto | Winnipeg | British ColombiaWashington, D.CNew Brunswick | HalifaxCharlottetownNewfoundland

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In St. John’s, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh attended Divine Service at the Anglican Church on their last Sunday in Canada, and the following day drove from Government house to Portugal Cove, where they boarded the ferry Maneco, with the sounds of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and the Newfoundland ‘Squid-Jigging’ sea chanty playing as they made the forty-mile journey to the Empress of Scotland, waiting to carry them home again

The previous evening, Princess Elizabeth (wearing her Bahrain Pearl Earrings and Diamond Fringe Necklace) had made a Farewell Radio Broadcast from Government House in St. John’s:

For five weeks, we have travelled through this vast and splendid land of Canada, and now we have come once more to the Atlantic. Tomorrow we set sail for England and the movement has come when I must say good-bye and thank you. It is not easy for me to say either of these things,

It is not easy to say good-bye because, although I am going to a country which is my first home, and although I am happy to be returning to my family and my children, I am also leaving a country which has become a second home in every sense. Wherever we have been throughout the ten provinces, in your great cities, in your towns, in your villages, and indeed in almost every mile that we have travelled through fields, forests, prairies and mountains, we have been welcomed with a warmth of heart that has made us feel how truly we belong to Canada.

Nor is it easy to say thank you, because no words of mine can express what I should like to tell you. We have seen and heard so much that has moved our imaginations and touched our hearts. We shall take with us memories that will always draw us back to this country; the towering buildings of your big cities and the charm of your smaller communities, the blue skies and golden colours of autumn- or, as I am now learning to call it, the fall- and the trees and fields beneath the first snow of winter all the beauty and majesty of Canada. I thank you for having shown me these things. I thank you, too, for the glimpse you have given me of the greatness of this nation and the even greater future which is within its grasp.

I have seen this future in the eyes of hundreds of thousands of your children and have heard it in their voices. For as long as I live I shall remember and cherish fondly the greetings which came to us each day from those young people. I pray that their lot in this land will always continue to be a happy one.

I am well aware that the acclaim you have given us, which has often seemed to me to have the breadth and immensity of the sea, has had a far deeper meaning in it than a personal welcome. And this has often made me think of the words spoken by the Governor- General in Ottawa during the first days of our visit. He said then that the link with the Crown was a thing of real and tangible strength and one of the most important factors in uniting the people of the Commonwealth into one great brotherhood. You have shown me the reality of this, and I thank you for it.

Destiny has given me the privilege of being able to live my life for the service of that brotherhood: in these five weeks you have given me a new strength and inspiration which I know will always help me in the future. For that I thank you and say, not good-bye, but au revoir.


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