King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie in Canada, 1967

King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece were on a visit to Canada to attend Expo 67 on this day in 1967, in the midst of political turmoil on their last Foreign Official Visit just months before they would be exiled from Greece. 

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The visit began in Toronto in late August, where King Constantine competed in sailing, finishing eighth in World Championship Dragon Class sailing competition on Lake Ontario. Queen Anne Marie celebrated her 21st Birthday at a party given by the Greek Community, and the King and Queen (in her Van Cleef & Arpels Suite) also attended a Gala Dinner in Toronto. 

The King and Queen also paid a visit to Ottawa, where they received an Official Welcome on Parliament Hill, meeting Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson as well as Governor General Roland Michener. 

The main portion of the visit was spent in Montreal, where the Royal Couple visited the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, which was followed by a Lunch offered by the Commissioner General, as well as a Gala Dinner and Ball in honour of the King and Queen (wearing her Modern Diamond Necklace) at the Château Champlain Hotel. 

One of the rare national days at the Expo to be chaired by a sovereign and, moreover, the youngest of all crowned heads, King Constantine of Greece. Dynamic and smiling, he delivered a speech full of optimism in English. In a charming gesture, not foreseen on the official program, he asks the Queen to also say a few words in French, which she does with good grace, arousing the enthusiasm of the audience which gives a standing ovation to this gracious royal couple.

To the members of the Greek colony who have flocked to this holiday en masse, the King and Queen are constantly sending friendly signs. At the end of the ceremony at the Place des Nations, the King and Queen hosted the lunch offered by the Commissioner General. The king offered the flag of Greece to the City of Montreal.

In the afternoon, while the royal couple visited various pavilions and toured the Expo by Minirail, the Athenian troupe Likion ton Ellinidon performed various Greek folk dances in the Place des Nations. In the evening, at the Château Champlain, the sovereign offers a dinner followed by a ball”.

Afterwards, the Royal Couple visited New York and Washington on a private visit which included a meeting with President Johnson that certainly did not go as planned since the King’s counter-coup failed the Royal Family were forced to flee into exile that December.


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