1959 : Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Visit Windsor and Detroit

July 3, 2018 all-day

On July 3, 1959 : Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip helped celebrate the First Annual Freedom Festival in Windsor. Arriving by train, the Royal Party transferred to the Royal Yacht Britannia and sailed up the Detroit River to Lake St. Clair and into Lake Huron on their way to Orillia, Muskoka, and on to Chicago.

People on the American and Canadian sides of the Detroit River lined its banks, cheered the Britannia and waved to the Queen and Prince Philip as it passed. Using 1950s camera and movie technology, they snapped and filmed mementos of the Royal visit for their children and grandchildren. For many people, the visit of Queen Elizabeth II is an exciting memory that is still as fresh as today. Diane McQueen St. Aubin who lived in Ecorse at the time, remembers the Britannia, “on the Canadian side of the River of course,” as a flash of elegance and color.

Source : Kathy Warnes, “Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s Detroit River Cruise”, 1959 “, Meandering Michigan History, June 2012.

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