The royal tour of Canada in 1939 by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was the first time a reigning monarch visited this country. They travelled westward on the Canadian Pacific Railway and returned on the south side of the Fraser River on the Canadian National line  — with a brief whistle stop at Fort Langley (more likely a slowing of the train). The month-long visit to Canada was highly successful, with large crowds greeting them at every stop. It was also the eve of WW II and  the visit was part of an effort to cement relations between Great Britain and Canada, with hopes for a united “Empire”. The above photograph hangs inside the passenger car at Langley Heritage Society’s Fort Langley CN Station.

The late Langley historian Norm Sherritt recalled the visit in a 2002 interview with the Langley Times  HERE.  Among those waiting that day, the Fort Langley community band. The photo below was shared by Lois (née Dinwoodie) Daisley. Her half-brother Norman Hemphill is second from the left (partially obscured). Amateur film of the royal visit can be seen at City of Vancouver Archives HERE and includes scenes from the 1951 visit by 25 year old Princess Elizabeth and her husband, Philip. They also gave the royal wave at Fort Langley. The photo below hangs in the CN Station passenger car as well.

Princess Elizabeth and her husband spent five weeks touring Canada; her father died just a few months later in February 1952. More on the 1951 tour can be read in a CBC story HERE.   Langley Heritage Society has in its collection a letter sent to one of the Canadian tour organizers by Princess Elizabeth.   She was especially pleased with the press coverage.

If you have something to share or add, please send us an email: