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The Queen's Jubilee, 1959.

Royal Platinum Jubilee

Commemorating the Royal Visit

In June of 1959, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and His Royal Highness Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, came to Dundas County to officially open the St Lawrence Seaway. After flying from England, the Royal Couple joined the Royal Yacht Britannia after opening the Seaway at the St Lambert Lock in Montreal. According to the Cornwall Standard–Freeholder, the presence of fog ‘threw carefully timed arrangements into a cocked hat.’  

While they were in Ontario for 14 days, the main focus of the tour was the official opening of the Seaway. Preparations for such an event involved many hours of logistics, security and protocol. Even local groups had their hand in the planning of the event that was to take place in Iroquois. 

The local newspapers of Dundas County all reported on the plans. The Chesterville Record - dated June 25, 1959 - identified the schedule and route that the cavalcade was to take. This information would be considered high-risk for planning in our current era and wouldn’t be released to the public. In 1959 however, that was not on their radar. 

There was also information regarding the planned speed of the cavalcade at certain stages. The route was to follow the Long Sault Parkway at 35 miles per hour. The speed would then pick up along the ‘Queen’s Highway,’ referring to Highway 2. They would slow down again at Riverside Heights as they expected a crowd to gather, along with Morrisburg.  

There was no planned stop in Morrisburg so crowds only got a glimpse of the Royal couple. The highlight of the tour was an actual stop in Iroquois. The Queen and Prince Phillip made a ten-minute scheduled stop at the new Iroquois Plaza. 

Written by Susan Peters
Dundas County Archives

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