Kings and Queens of Canada

The Crown in Canada was first established by the kings of France and England in the 15th and 16th centuries. This webpage highlights those monarchs and their family members who financed excursions, influenced explorations, granted land and titles, and finally visited Canada themselves. These monarchs influenced the founding and development of our country and can be truly said to be the Kings and Queens of Canada.

Mid-15th Century
Mid-16th Century
Mid-17th Century
Mid-18th Century
Mid-19th Century
Mid-20th Century to Present

Mid-15th Century

Henry VII (1457–1509)

Portrait of Henry VII

Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) crossed the Atlantic Ocean and explored the coast of Newfoundland in 1497.

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Charles d'Orléans, Comte d'Angoulême (1459–1496)

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Margaret Tudor (1489–1541)

Married James IV, King of Scots (1503).

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Henry VIII (1491–1547)

Portrait of Henry VIII

Commissioned John Rut to command a Northwest passage expedition in 1527. Rut explored the coast of Labrador in 1527.

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Marguerite de Navarre (1492–1549)

Married Henri II, King of Navarre. Wrote a collection of short stories, including one based on the life of Marguerite de La Rocque de Robertval, who was abandoned on an island off the coast of Quebec.

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François I (1494–1547)

Patron and sponsor of Verrazzano's voyage to Newfoundland in 1524. Sent Cartier to explore the St. Lawrence River in 1534 and sent Roberval to settle Canada in 1541.

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James V (1512–1542)

King of Scots.

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Mary I (1516–1558)

Portrait of Mary I

Married Philip II of Spain, ruler of the Spanish Empire in North and South America. Mary became the first female monarch of Canada to reign in her own right (Queen Regnant).

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Henri II (1519–1559)

Portrait of Henri II

André de Thevet, the first historian to describe America, was appointed royal cosmographer during Henri II reign and served four consecutive French kings.

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Philip II of Spain (1527–1598)

Portrait of Philip II

Ruler of the Spanish Empire in North and South America.

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Jeanne II, reine de Navarre (1528–1572)

Married Antoine de Bourbon.

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Elizabeth I, "The Virgin Queen" (1533–1603)

Portrait of Elizabeth I

Financed the first voyage of Sir Martin Frobisher in 1576. In 1578, Sir Humphrey Gilbert obtained letters-patent from Queen Elizabeth, empowering him to discover and possess any lands in North America then unsettled.

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Edward VI (1537–1553)

François II (1544–1560)

Married Mary, Queen of Scots. (1542–1587).

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Henry Stuart (1545–1567)

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Charles IX (1550–1574)

Portrait of Charles IX

Attempted to establish a settlement in Florida in 1562 and 1565.

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Henri III (1551–1589)

Portrait of Henri III

Encouraged the exploration and development of New World territories. Appointed Troillus des Mesgoüets as Viceroy of Canada in 1578. Granted Jacques Noël, Jacques Cartier's nephew, privileged rights to fishing, fur trading, and mining in New France.

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Henri IV, "The Great" (1553–1610)

Patron of Pierre Du Gua de Mons and Samuel de Champlain's voyages to North America. Authorized the founding of Quebec in 1608.

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Mid-16th Century

James I (1566–1625)

Portrait of James I

King of Scotland, and of England and Ireland in 1603. Began English colonization of North America and founded Cuper's Cove, Newfoundland, in 1610. Laid foundations of the British Empire from which Canada derived common law and constitutional structure.

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Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales (1594–1612)

Patron of Sir Thomas Button's Hudson Bay expedition of 1612–1613.

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Elizabeth Stuart, "The Winter Queen," (1596-1662)

Married Frederick V.

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Charles I, "The Martyr" (1600–1649)

Portrait of Charles I

Patron of George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, 8th Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland who established the first sustained English settlement in Avalon, Newfoundland.

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Louis XIII, "The Just" (1601–1643)

Portrait of Louis XIII

Organised the development and administration of New France, expanding its settlements westward along the Saint Lawrence River from Québec City to Montréal.

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Ana Ana María Mauricia de Austria y Austria (1601–1666)

Queen consort of France and Navarre, regent for her son, Louis XIV of France, 1643–1651. She chose to empower a new company, the Community of Habitants of New France, with a monopoly on the fur trade and the privilege of granting land claims.

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Henrietta Maria of France (1609–1669)

Queen consort of England, Scotland, and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I. Namesake of the British colony of Maryland, established in 1632, and of Cape Henrietta Maria, located in Hudson's Bay, Ontario.

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Rupert, Count of the Rhine, Duke of Cumberland (1619–1682)

Namesake of Rupert's Land, the largest territory in British North America, which encompassed Manitoba, parts of Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, and parts of the United States. Founder and first Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company (1670–1682).

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Sophia of the Palatinate, Electress of Hanover, Heiress Presumptive (1630–1714)

Daughter of Elizabeth "The Winter Queen".

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Charles II, "The Merrie Monarch" (1630–1685)

Portrait of Charles II

Granted a trade monopoly over "Rupert's Land" to the Hudson's Bay Company by royal charter in 1670 and named the territory Rupert's Land, after his cousin Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the company's first Governor.

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Mary, Princess Royal (1631–1660)

Was the first daughter of a British sovereign to hold the title "Princess Royal.

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James II (1633–1701)

Louis XIV, "The Sun King" (1638–1715)

Portrait of Louis XIV

Created New France as a royal province in 1663 and reformed the colonial government. Dispatched the filles du roi to New France; appointed Jean Talon as the colony's first active intendant and Frontenac as Governor of New France.

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Philippe I, Duc d'Orléans (1640–1701)

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Princess Henrietta of England (1644–1670)

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Mid-17th Century

George I (1660–1727)

Portrait of George I

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, was named after his family line.

Louis de France, "Le Grand Dauphin" (1661–1711)

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Mary II (1662–1694)

Anne (1665–1714)

Portrait of Anne

Namesake of various Canadian geographic features, including Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia. Held audience with the Four Mohawk Kings of the Six Nations in 1710. Queen Anne's War (1702–1713) ended with the French cession of Hudson's Bay, Acadia, and Newfoundland to Britain.

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Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond and Duke of Lennox (1672–1723)

Illegitimate son of Charles II.

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Philippe II, Duc d'Orléans (1674–1723)

Acted as Regent for Louis XV, 1715–1723. Commissioned Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix to survey the historic boundaries of Acadia, newly lost to the British. Charlevoix travelled across North America between 1720 and 1722, and kept a record of the entire voyage. In 1744 he published "Historyof New France."

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Louis de France, "Le Petit Dauphin" (1682–1712)

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George II (1683–1760)

Portrait of George II

Ordered the construction of Halifax in 1749 and was the Royal Founder of St. Paul's Church in downtown Halifax.

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James Stuart, "The Old Pretender" (1688-1766)

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William III (1694–1702)

Portrait of William III

Joint ruler with his wife, Mary II, and alone after her death. He appointed commissioners to promote trade in the American plantations and elsewhere.

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Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond and 2nd Duke of Lennox (1701–1750)

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Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales (1707–1751)

Fort Frederick Kingston, Ontario and Fort Frederick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, were named after him.

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Louis XV, "The Well-Beloved" (1710–1774)

Portrait of Louis XV

During his reign, Louisbourg was founded (1720) and Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye helped to expand New France's fur trade by establishing various posts west of Quebec. Under the Treaty of Paris, France ceded sovereignty over Canada to Britain at the end of the Seven Years War.

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Charles Stuart, "The Young Pretender" "Bonnie Prince Charlie" (1720–1788)

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Henry Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York (1725–1807)

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Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond and 3rd Duke of Lennox (1735–1806)

Namesake of Lennox, Ontario.

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General Lord George Lennox (1737–1805)

Fought in the Seven Years' War.

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Mid-18th Century

Louis, Dauphin de France (1729–1765)

Son of Louis XV; Dauphin from 1729 to 1765. Namesake of Dauphin, Manitoba, established in 1741.

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George III (1738–1820)

Portrait of George III

The first sovereign to reign over all of Canada due to the Royal Proclamation of 1763; significantly impacted Crown and Aboriginal peoples' relationship for centuries. Granted a royal charter to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1785; New Brunswick was named after his family line (1784).

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Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744 –1818)

Queen Consort Namesake of the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia (present Haida Gwaii). Namesake of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (1865), the "Birthplace of Confederation" and site of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference.

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George IV (1762–1830)

Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763–1827)

Namesake of Fredericton, New Brunswick (1785). The Duke of York Bay was named in his honour, since it was discovered on his birthday.

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Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond and 4th Duke of Lennox (1764–1819)

In 1818 he was appointed Governor General of British North America.

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William IV (1765–1837)

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767–1820)

Commander-in-Chief of British forces in North America in 1799. He was the first member of the royal family to live in North America. The Town Clock, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the historic urban core of Nova Scotia's Halifax Regional Municipality is credited to Prince Edward. Charles de Salaberry was his protégé.

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Ernest, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale (1771– 1851)

Namesake of what was Cumberland, Ontario (now amalgamated into Ottawa). Became King of Hanover in 1837.

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Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (1773– 1843)

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Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge (1774–1850)

Namesake of Adolphustown, located in Greater Napanee, Ontario.

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Charles Lennox, 5th Duke of Richmond and 5th Duke of Lennox (1791–1860)

Responsible for establishing the Military General Service Medal in 1847.

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Lady Sarah Lennox (1792–1873)

Married Sir Peregrine Maitland, who served as Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada 1818–1828 and of Nova Scotia 1828–1834.

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Lady Mary Lennox (1792–1847)

Married Sir Charles Augutus Fitzroy, who travelled to Lower Canada with the 4th Duke of Richmond in 1818. Fitzroy was appointed as the 11th Governor of Prince Edward Island in 1837.

 

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Sir Augustus Frederick d'Este, (1794–1848)

Illegitimate son of Prince Augustus. A member of the Aborigines Protection Society, which fought to protect the rights of Aboriginal people in the British Empire; argued for their rights to land in Upper Canada.

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Princess Charlotte of Wales (1796–1817)

Princess Charlotte married Leopold, Prince of Saxe-Coburg, who was the namesake of Cobourg, Ontario. Namesake of the HMS Princess Charlotte built in Kingston, Ontario in 1814.

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Lady Mary Fox, née FitzClarence (1798–1864)

Came to Nova Scotia in 1830 with her husband, Colonel Charles Richard Fox, who commanded the 34th Regiment.

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Lord William Pitt Lennox (1799–1881)

Served as aide-de-camp to the 4th Duke of Richmond, Governor General of British North America 1818–1819.

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Amelia Cary, Viscountess Falkland (1807–1858)

Married Lucius Bentinck Cary, 10th Viscount Falkland who served as Governor of Nova Scotia 1840–1846.

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Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, 6th Duke of Richmond, 6th Duke of Lennox and 1st Duke of Gordon (1818–1903)

President of the Board of Trade in the Derby and Disraeli cabinets, which would help negotiate Confederation in 1867.

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Prince George, Duke of Cambridge (1819–1904)

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Mid-19th Century

Queen Victoria "Mother of Confederation" (1819–1901)

Portrait of Queen Victoria

United Upper Canada and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada, 1841. Chose Ottawa as the capital of the Province of Canada, 1857 and named British Columbia in 1858. United the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into the Dominion of Canada under a new Canadian Crown, 1867.

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Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Prince Consort (1819–1861)

Averted war with the U.S. over the Trent Affair, 1861. The town of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and the Prince Albert Volunteers/Rifles, a militia unit that served during the North-West Rebellion, are named after him.

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Lady Cecilia Catherine Gordon-Lennox (1838–1910)

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Edward VII, "The Peacemaker" (1841–1910)

Portrait of Edward VII

Toured British North America in 1860 as Prince of Wales. Bestowed British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, and Alberta with their coats of arms. Granted the title "Royal" to the Northwest Mounted Police (later the RCMP) in 1904.

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Princess Alice (1843–1878)

Married Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1837–1892). The maternal great-grandmother if Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

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Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (1844–1900)

Toured Eastern Canada by rail in 1861.He was from time to time between 1878 and 1883 stationed in Halifax as Commander of the Royal Navy's North Atlantic Squadron.

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Princess Helena (1846–1923)

Princess Helena is the namesake of one of the five mountains in British Columbia named after Queen Victoria's children.
Co-Founder of the Canadian Red Cross, 1896.

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Princess Louise (1848–1939)

Married John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne, Canada's fourth Governor General (1878–1883), founder of the Royal Society of Canada (1882), the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1880), and the National Art Gallery (1880). They lived in Canada.

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Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (1850–1942)

Served as the Governor General of Canada, the 10th since Canadian Confederation and the first to be of royal descent. Given the title Kavakoudge and named Chief of the Six Nations by the Grand River Reserve Iroquois in 1869.

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Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (1853–1884)

Visited his sister Princess Louise, reviewed the troops on the Plains of Abraham and fished on the Cascapédia River. Sought to be Governor General in Canada in 1881, but rejected due to health issues, haemophilia.

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Princess Beatrice (1857–1944)

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Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (1863–1950)

Married Prince Louis of Battenberg, Marquess of Milford Haven, who was present at the opening of the Canadian National Exhibition in 1905.

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George V (1865–1936)

Portrait of George V

In 1908 The Prince of Wales (Later King George V), on board the warship HMS. Indomitable, accompanied by a squadron of the Royal Navy, visited Quebec. The royal visit was in cordial celebration of the 300 anniversary of the founding of Quebec by Champlain. Appointed Canada's first foreign representatives. Granted Canada its coat of arms and designated red and white as the nation's official colors.

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Mary (1867–1953)

Participated in the 1901 joint Royal Tour of the Commonwealth with her husband, the future King George V. Travelled across Canada via the Canadian Pacific Railway.

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Lady Rosalind Cecilia Caroline Bingham (1869–1958)

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Empress consort Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova (1872–1918)

Married Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias—Tsar Nicholas II.

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Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias—Tsar Nicholas II (1878–1918)

His sister, Olga, lived in exile in rural Ontario (near Cooksville/Mississauga) 1948–1960; died in Toronto and buried in York Cemetery.

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Admiral Sir Alexander Ramsay (1881-1972)

Married Princess Patricia. Served as aide-de-camp to his father-in-law, Prince Arthur, then Governor General of Canada. Proposed to Patricia at a fishing lodge on the Bay of St. Anne, Nova Scotia.

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Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone (1883–1981)

Married Alexander, Earl of Athlone (brother of Queen Mary and great grandson of George III), who was Governor General 1940–1946. He proved to be instrumental in the Canadian war effort and as a host to British and American statesmen during the Second World War.

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Princess Alice of Battenberg (1885–1969)

Married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (1882–1944).

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Prince of Battenberg (1886–1960)

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Princess Patricia of Connaught, (Lady Patricia Ramsay) (1886–1974)

The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry was named in her honour and she served as its Colonel-in-Chief from 1918 to 1974. Her portrait appears on the One Dollar note of the Dominion of Canada with issue date March 17th 1917.

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Edward VIII (1894–1972)

Portrait of Edward VIII

Unveiled Canada's National Vimy Ridge Memorial in France on July 26, 1936, to a crowd with more than 50,000 Canadian and French veterans in attendance. Owned the E.P. Ranch in rural Alberta 1919–1962.

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George VI (1895–1952)

Lady Cynthia Elinor Beatrix Hamilton, Countess Spencer (1897–1972)

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Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood (1897–1965)

Presented new colours earned in the Second World War by the Canadian Scottish Regiment in 1962. Former Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

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Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900–1979)

Planned the Dieppe Raid led by Canadians in 1942 and commanded the Supreme East Asia Command1943–1946. Opened the Canadian National Exhibition in 1948 and the Toronto Maritime Museum.

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Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900–1974)

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Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900-2002)

Toured Canada in 1939 alongside her husband King George VI. Patron to many worthy charities, including the Victorian Order of Nurses and the Ontario Jockey Club.

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Prince George Edward, Duke of Kent (1902–1942)

Toured Canada in 1941 to inspect air bases and training centres. Received the Canadian Forces Decoration medal. President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the intergovernmental organization of which Canada is a member.

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Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent (1906–1968)

Princess Marina married Prince George Edward, Duke of Kent. Former Colonel-in-Chief of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment.

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Lady Iris Mountbatten (1920–1982)

Married W.A. Kemp, a Canadian TV broadcaster and actor in 1965. Lived in Toronto 1965–1982, and died in Toronto.

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Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer (1924–1992)

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Patricia, Countess Mountbatten of Burma (1924–)

Served as Colonel-in-Chief of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry from 1974 to 2007 when she was succeeded by the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson. She received the Canadian Meritorious Service Cross as well as the Canadian Forces Decoration.

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Mid-20th Century to Present

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921–)

Son of Princess Alice of Battenberg. Founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award, launched in Canada in 1963. Appointed to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada in 1957.

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Queen Elizabeth II (1926–)

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II

Current reigning constitutional monarch; adopted the title of "Queen of Canada" by Parliament in 1953. Colonel-in-Chief of various Canadian Forces regiments and patron of numerous Canadian charities. Signed the Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982. The Salish Nation named Queen Elizabeth II the "Mother of all People" in 1959. She was the first sovereign to read the Speech from the Throne in 1957; she opened Parliament in 1957; she participated in Canada's Centennial; witnessed the creation of Nunavut in 1999; joined Canadians in festivities marking the centennials of various provinces. She is one of only two monarchs to have celebrated
her Diamond Jubilee.

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Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930–2002)

Namesake of the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. In 1958, was presented with Portland Island (now Princess Margaret Marine Park) in British Columbia to commemorate her visit to the province.

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Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (1935–)

Personal aide-de-camp to Queen Elizabeth II. Colonel-in-Chief of The Lorne Scots 1977–present. Opened the Calgary Stampede in 1968.

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Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy (1936–)

Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada (until 2010) and of the Canadian Scottish Regiment. Married Hon. Sir Angus Ogilvy.

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Prince Michael of Kent (1942–)

Prince Michael toured Halifax, Sydney, Louisbourg, and Baddeck to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first powered flight in the British Empire. Colonel-in-Chief, The Essex and Kent Scottish.

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Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester (1944–)

Appointed to the Order of St. John in 1974. As Grand Prior, he presided at the centenary celebrations of St. John Ambulance in Canada in 1983.

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (1947–)

Great-great-great granddaughter of Sir Allan MacNab, Prime Minister of the Province of Canada before Confederation. Camilla is patron of Dundurn Castle, built by MacNab, and Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada.

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Charles, Prince of Wales (1948–)

Portrait of Charles

Founded The Prince's Trust Charity (1976), which produced The Prince's Charities Canada in 2010. Has received several Aboriginal titles; is Colonel-in-Chief of six Canadian regiments and has extended patronage to several Canadian organizations.

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Anne, The Princess Royal (1950–)

Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces Medical Services and of five other Canadian regiments. Patron of the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. She competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

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Prince Andrew, Duke of York (1960–)

Travels to Canada frequently as the Colonel-in-Chief of three Canadian Forces regiments. Attended Lakefield College in Lakefield, Ontario in 1977.

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Diana, Princess of Wales (1961–1997)

In 1983, the Prince and Princess of Wales undertook official visits to Canada for the official opening of World Universities Games and to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Sir Humphrey Gilbert taking possession of Newfoundland. They visited Expo 86 in 1986. In 1991, they undertook an official visit to Canada to present replica of Queen Victoria's Royal Charter to Queen's University, on the 150th anniversary of the university's 1841 founding. The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment was named in her Honour.

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George Windsor, Earl of St. Andrews (1962–)

Married Sylvana Tomaselli, who was born in Placentia, Newfoundland.

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Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (1964–)

Travels frequently to Canada to present the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards and participated in the regimental ceremony at Queenston Heights for the War of 1812. Is Colonel-in-Chief of three Canadian regiments.

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex (1965–)

Is Colonel-in-Chief of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment and of the South Alberta Light Horse Regiment.

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Peter Phillips (1977–)

Married Autumn Kelly, a Canadian from Pointe-Claire, Quebec in May 2008.

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (1982–)

The Duke of Cambridge in 2016

After twice accompanying his parents to Canada, The Duke of Cambridge, with his wife The Duchess of Cambridge, toured Canada attending Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in 2011. He became the first Canadian Royal to participate in a citizenship ceremony in Gatineau, Qc, in 2011. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned to Canada in 2016, visiting British Columbia and Yukon. The Royal Couple brought their children George, Prince of Cambridge and Charlotte, Princess of Cambridge on the tour, marking the first time the family had travelled together on an official tour.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (1982–)

The Duchess of Cambridge in 2016

With The Duke of Cambridge, toured Canada in June 2011 as her first official Commonwealth tour. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their children George, Prince of Cambridge and Charlotte, Princess of Cambridge, returned to Canada in 2016, visiting British Columbia and Yukon.

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Prince Henry of Wales (1984–)

Toured Canada in 1991 with his family. Trained for a tour of duty in Afghanistan at Canadian Forces Bases Suffield near Medicine Hat, Alberta in June 2007.

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