Exodus from the North – the Royal Visit of 1939

A casual photograph of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth when Marion traveled to Edmonton for their 1939 tour.

A casual photograph of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth when Marion traveled to Edmonton for their 1939 tour.

The six week tour of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was the first time a reigning monarch had visited Canada.  As World War II loomed, the tour was scheduled to ensure Canada’s support of Britain.  Political motives aside, tremendous excitement was evident in the whole population.  It’s pretty mind-boggling to realize that Edmonton’s population of 90,000 swelled to 200,000 for the six and a half hour visit.  Many of the visitors were from the north, including 250 school children who had been sponsored through fundraising efforts led by the Legion and CFGP.  A special train fare of 1.25 cents per mile ($10.20 round trip) was in effect.  CFGP was going to broadcast the proceedings to those who remained at home, hoping for suitable atmospheric conditions for clear reception.

Researched & written by Kathryn Auger

Grande Prairie Herald Tribune ~ June 1, 1939

Grande Prairie Herald Tribune ~ June 1, 1939

Grande Prairie Herald Tribune ~ June 1, 1939

Grande Prairie Herald Tribune ~ June 1, 1939

Grande Prairie Herald Tribune ~ June 1, 1939

Grande Prairie Herald Tribune ~ June 1, 1939