20 September 2022


Seminar: Royal Tours of Canada During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth II: Change and Continuity

Carolyn Harris (University of Toronto) 


The Queen has visited Canada more often than any other Commonwealth realm. The reign of Queen Elizabeth II has witnessed a transformation in the nature of royal tours of Canada from the multi week coast to coast train tours of the 1950s to the shorter, more targeted royal tours of the 21st century. The last seventy years have also seen the emergence of new forms of royal engagement with Canadians including the televised coronation and Christmas messages, working visits on behalf of royal patronages, and virtual appearances during the covid-19 pandemic. Although the format of royal tours has changed over the course of the Queen's reign, the themes have remained fairly consistent including a focus on Canada's environment, culture and economy, royal patronage of Canadian philanthropic organizations and institutions, commemoration of historic anniversaries where the monarchy represents continuity over time, and meetings with Canadians from a variety of walks of life with a focus on youth, indigenous peoples, the armed forces and new Canadians. Subsequent monarchs will face the challenge of maintaining steady engagement with Commonwealth realms such as Canada with a smaller number of working members of the royal family. 



Dr Ellie Woodacre


Seminar Timetable

17:00 – 17:10: Introduction (Chair)

17:10 – 17:55: Presentations

17:55 – 18:15: Q&A


Dr. Carolyn Harris is an instructor in history at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. She received her PhD in European history from Queen's University at Kingston in 2012. Her writing concerning the history of monarchy in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Canada has appeared in numerous publications including the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Smithsonian Magazine, Reader's Digest, the Canadian Encyclopedia and the BBC History Magazine, and she frequently provides royal and historical commentary for the media including the BBC, CBC News and the CTV News Channel. She is the author of three books, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada (Dundurn Press, 2015), Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting (Dundurn Press, 2017). She is the co-editor of English Consorts: Power, Influence, Dynasty, a four volume history of English royal consorts published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2022, and the proofreading editor of the Royal Studies Journal in 2021-2022.


Twitter: @royalhistorian