Point of Interest

George VI and Queen Elizabeth Ascent Route

Canada / Americas

The first royal visit, to what is now Canada, was in 1776. However, the first visit by a reigning monarch, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother), was in 1939. The royal visitors stopped in Banff and hiked up Tunnel Mountain. Banff Park Superintendent Major P.J. Jennings served as King George and Queen Elizabeth’s tour guide. The King quizzed Jennings about the natural and historic features of the park as he had a keen interest. Quote: “We hope that your short stay with us in Banff will prove most restful and enjoyable.” Superintendent P.J. Jennings’ greeting to the King and Queen, quoted in the Crag and Canyon, June 2, 1939.

Did you know? For his services, as tour guide, Superintendent Jennings was given a set of gold cuff links inscribed with a crown and the King and Queen’s initials.

  • King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I at the Banff Springs Hotel in June 1939. Dan McCowan and Mary McCowan Fonds, V408/PA-25, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

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  • King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I at the Banff Springs Hotel in June 1939. Dan McCowan and Mary McCowan Fonds, V408/PA-25, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

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