Nova Scotia Archives

Halifax and Its People / 1749-1999

Royal Visits and Special Events

With its long history as a significant naval port and military garrison for the strategic defence of British North America, it is only natural that Halifax has been a stopping-off point on various royal itineraries over the years. In 1786 and 1787, Prince William Henry (later King William IV), then captain of HMS Pegasus, called in port on several occasions. During the 1790s, his brother HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, came to the city as Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty's Forces — bringing with him his mistress, Madame St. Laurent, who both charmed and mortified the local gentry, some of whom refused to attend gatherings where she would be present.

The duke's grandson, HRH Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, visited the Garrison City in 1860; Phyllis R. Blakeley described this event in her book, Glimpses of Halifax 1867-1900:

Day after day the future King Edward VII received addresses and read replies, reviewed volunteer troops, drove through cheering crowds on streets bedecked with bunting, held levees and attended dances and luncheons.... The streets and gutters had been swept until there 'was not a dead cat, a broken bottle, or an old boot to be seen. Even the dirty pieces of paper, the favorite embellishment of our sidewalks and gutters, especially in the upper streets, had vanished from the nonce.'

Indeed, no dead cats, broken bottles or old boots can be seen in the photographic record of the visit, one of the earliest surviving examples of outdoor photography produced in the city.

HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and later the Governor-General of Canada (1911-16), stopped off in the city in 1869. His sister, Princess Louise, was the first female member of the Royal Family to visit Halifax; she accompanied her husband, the Marquess of Lorne, who in 1878 took the oath of office as Governor-General of Canada, in the city. The most memorable Royal Visits of this century have been those of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939; HRH Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1951; and HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1983.

Other notable visitors have also drawn large crowds to the old port city over the years. In September 1984, Pope John Paul II visited Halifax and celebrated an outdoor mass on the Central Commons. And the eyes of the world were on the city in June 1995 when the leaders of the industrialized nations held their annual G-7 (21st) Economic Summit in Halifax, using the waterfront as backdrop.


Results 1 to 9 of 9 from your search: Royal Visits and Special Events


Inauguration of the Welsford-Parker Monument, Halifax, 17 July 1860
Date: 17 July 1860
Photographer: W. Chase
Reference no.: W. Chase Nova Scotia Archives  no. 8

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"Court House, Halifax, Spring Garden Road, looking east, 1860. Arch of General Trollope in honour of the visit of the Prince of Wales, designed by Col. Nelson, R.E."
Date: 1860
Photographer: W. Chase
Reference no.: W. Chase Nova Scotia Archives  no. 6

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"Presentation to the Marquis of Lorne of Micmac Indians, in the Council Chamber of the Provincial Building, Halifax, November 26th", 1878
Date: 1878
Medium: lithograph published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 21 December 1878
Artist: from sketches by H.A. Ogden
Reference no.: Prints Old and Rare Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1997-233 no. 6

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"School children at unveiling of fountain, Public Gardens, Halifax, Jubilee week, 1897"
Date: 1897
Photographer: Notman Studio
Reference no.: Notman Studio Nova Scotia Archives  no. 4073

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"Musquodoboit Centennial Celebrations", 11-13 July 1915
Date: 1968
Reference no.: William A. Fisher Collection Nova Scotia Archives  Photo Drawer Places - Musquodoboit, Middle - Churches - Presbyterian Centenary, nos. 2,4

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King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's visit to Halifax, 1939
Date: 14 June 1939
Photographer: John Kanelokas
Reference no.: Jean C. Cuthbert Nova Scotia Archives  Photo Drawer - People - George VI - Visit, 1939

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Halifax Bicentenary Parade on Quinpool Road, Looking East near Oxford Street, 1949
Date: 1949
Photographer: Nova Scotia Bureau of Information
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Information Service Nova Scotia Archives  no. 3906

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HRH Princess Elizabeth and Premier Angus L. Macdonald Walking between Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in Province House, 1951
Date: 1951
Photographer: The Halifax Herald Ltd.
Reference no.: Girl Guides of Canada. Nova Scotia Division Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1981-352 no. 25

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President William Jefferson ("Bill") Clinton Greets Onlookers during the G-7 Economic Summit held in Halifax, 15 June 1995
Date: 15 June 1995
Photographer: MCPL M. Ray, CFB Halifax
Reference no.: G7 21st Economic Summit [courtesy Canada. Department of National Defence] Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1996-178 no. 8

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