Monarch Moments at Fairmont Empress
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Royal Wedding Fever has descended upon picturesque Victoria, BC with its long British Royal history. Here are a few tidbits on the royal history:
Her Majesty’s Crown – a Victoria Landmark
The B.C. Legislative Building was deemed completed in 1897, just in time for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The sparkling exterior night lights, totaling more than 3,000 bulbs, were lit in her honour, and meant to look like Her Majesty’s crown. The queen’s lights have been gracing Victoria’s evening skyline ever since.
The Empress has played hostess to numerous royal figures. In 1919, Edward Prince of Wales, as part of his Canada wide royal visit, waltzed into the wee hours in the iconic Crystal Ballroom. It was an event so important to Victorians that as much as 50 years later, obituaries of elderly ladies would appear under headlines such as, Mrs. Thornley-Hall Dies. Prince of Wales Singled Her Out.
The Prince of Wales’ Canadian tour began on August 11, 1919, when his ship arrived in Newfoundland and ended on November 10, 1919 when he left Ottawa by train to begin his visit to the United States. His itinerary (in the images above) took him to many Canadian cities.
She Loves Us, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Queen Elizabeth II has visited Canada more than any other country – 27 times! The Empress Hotel has also been a popular choice for the reigning Queen; she’s visited us at least once every decade. Shown in a photo above in 1951, just one year before becoming Queen - Princess Elizabeth with then Prince Philip of Greece (now The Duke of Edinburgh), dining in the space that is now Q Bar.
Sharing the Love
The 1939 Royal Tour in British Columbia included travel by Royal Train from Banff, to Kamloops and then Vancouver. In Vancouver, the royal couple helped open up our sister hotel – Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth then boarded the Princess Marguerite for Victoria, where they opened the Legislature, lunched at the Empress and presented Colours to the Royal Canadian Navy in Beacon Hill Park.
A Recent Regal Visit
In 2016, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, fondly known as Will and Kate, along with their two children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, made Victoria their home for 8 days during the Royal Tour Canada 2016. The future King of England and his young family said one of the highlights of their visit were the seaplane rides with Harbour Air.
Put A Ring On It
HRH Prince Henry and Meghan Markle will marry at 12pm noon London time (4:00am PST) on Saturday May 19, 2018. We will be replaying the wedding all day in Q at the Empress. We will also be celebrating all month long with the Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea. Cheers