February 6, 1952
Newfoundland the First to put Princess now Queen Elizabeth on a Postage Stamp
Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952, her coronation was held on June 2, 1953. The 16th-month span allowed for a mourning period following the death of her father King George VI, and also for preparations for the coronation ceremony held in Westminster Abbey.
Queen Elizabeth, since her accession to the throne in 1952, has made 22 official Royal visits to Canada, usually accompanied by her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and sometimes by her children Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Queen Elizabeth has visited every province and territory in Canada.
In Newfoundland the first recognition given to the future Queen occurred in 1933 with the young Princess Elizabeth appearing on a Newfoundland postage stamp. This was the first portrait of the Princess on any postage stamp. Robson Lowe, the philatelist, says “this was for some years one of the most popular stamps in the world”
The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, made their first appearance in Newfoundland in 1951, on behalf of her ailing father. During the Royal Visit of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip to St. John’s, lasted just 26 hours, from 10:15 a.m. on November 11, Remembrance Day, to 12:15 noon on November 12, and involved ceremonies at the St. John’s waterfront, the St. John’s War Memorial, the Church of England Cathedral, Feildian Grounds and Government House.
In June 1959 the Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, undertook the longest royal tour in Canadian history, They began in St John’s, with a welcome from Prime Minister Diefenbaker and Premier J. R. Smallwood the Royal couple crossed the island to Stephenville and detoured through to Labrador.
Other visits included the official visit in 1978 that included her majesty attending the St. John’s Regatta and her most recent visit in 1997 marking the 500th anniversary of John Cabot’s arrival in Newfoundland. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited St. John’s, Bonavista, North West River, Shetshatshiu, Happy Valley and Goose Bay.
Other short stop over’s in Newfoundland by the Queen have included.
1974 Gander, Newfoundland
1985 Gander, Newfoundland
1986 Gander, Newfoundland
1991 Gander, Newfoundland
The designation “Royal” has been given to number of institutions in the province including the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, (1979); Royal St. John’s Regatta, (1993); and the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. (1917).
Recommended Archival Collection: The Rooms Provincial Archives: John Crosbie Perlin Collection, MG 370 . This series consists of scrapbooks compiled to document the activities of events including the Royal Visit by Queen Elizabeth II (1978).