Her coronation was one of the first mass-broadcast events after TV started to become something more and more people owned, and at the end of her reign, Queen Elizabeth II was doing stuff on Zoom like the rest of us. She also had a YouTube page. All of this is to say that there was a lot of change in the 70 years that Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor sat on the throne of the United Kingdom. She passed away today at 96.
“It is with heavy hearts, but with profound gratitude for her 70 years of devoted service, that we join others in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie and CAP Scott Stewart in a joint statement Thursday afternoon. Flags at City facilities have been lowered to half-staff in honour of the Queen’s passing.
“Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Guelph on July 2, 1959 was a tremendous moment for our city, and one that is remembered by many Guelphites today,” Guthrie and Stewart added. “As the Royal City, Guelph was named after the British Royal Family’s Guelph lineage and has been connected to the monarchy since its founding. On behalf of the City of Guelph, we offer our deepest condolences to the Royal Family.”
The Queen’s 1959 visit is pictured in the image above and comes courtesy of the Guelph Museum. The background is familiar: The scene is Carden Street outside the train station, and the mayor at the time David Hastings walked with the Queen from the station to Guelph City Hall. It was one stop in a tour of the region that the Queen was making just six years after her coronation.
“On behalf of Wellington County Council, and the residents of Wellington County, I wish to extend my deepest condolences to His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and all members of the Royal Family, on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada,” said Wellington County Warden Kelly Linton in his own statement. “Wellington County joins people around the world in mourning this great loss.”
“On this sad day, I join everyone across our province, country and the world in commemorating the remarkable life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of Canada. Throughout her historic reign, she taught us the true meaning of selfless service and was respected and admired for her sense of duty and commitment to charity,” said Premier Doug Ford in a statement on behalf of the Government of Ontario.
“I am sorry to hear of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I extend my condolences to members of the Royal Family and to all who mourn today,” added Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner in a post on social media.
“For most Canadians, we have known no other Sovereign. Queen Elizabeth II was a constant presence in our lives. Time and again, Her Majesty marked Canada’s modern history. Over the course of 70 years and twenty-three Royal Tours, Queen Elizabeth II saw this country from coast to coast to coast and was there for our major, historical milestones,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement.
“Today, a page has not only been turned, but a chapter in our shared history has drawn to a close. I know Her Majesty’s service to Canada and Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history. The coming days will be a period of mourning for Canadians, as it will be for all Commonwealth citizens, ending with a national day of mourning when a commemorative service will be held to mark the passing of our Sovereign.”
Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield attached himself to the PM’s comments. “I am saddened to hear that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll has passed away. My deepest condolences to members of the Royal Family.”
“Her Majesty The Queen was, in equal measures, compassionate, dedicated, humble, engaged and wise. She believed in service to her people above all, and inspired so many with her dedication to the Crown. For many of us, we have only ever known one Queen,” said Governor General Mary Simon in a statement.
“When I was growing up, my grandmother revered The Queen, as did so many in the Arctic. She would tell us stories about Her Majesty, about her role and her commitment,” she added. “Her Majesty’s warm welcome when we spent time with her earlier this year was a profound moment in our lives and a memory we will cherish forever.”