Has Queen Elizabeth II made her last trip to Canada?

Matthew Coutts
Daily Brew

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the 60th anniversary of her coronation this week, with a glitzy show of pomp and pageantry that involved nearly two dozen members of the Royal Family.

Among those were, of course, her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and her grandson Prince William and his wife Kate. These two couples it seems have taken on more responsibility for the 87-year-old monarch, including touring Commonwealth nations such as Canada.

With the Queen's advanced age in mind, it becomes suddenly quite possible that our Queen may have already made her last visit to the Great White North.

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Andrew Pierce, an editor at the Daily Mail and a royal commentator for CBC News, suggested on Tuesday that the Queen will continue trimming her duties, leaving it on the shoulders of Prince Charles, his wife and his popular children to wave the royal flag outside of Britain.

"Prince Charles [is] doing more and more," Pierce told CBC News. "And the Queen would always announce her overseas royal trips at the end of that (state opening of Parliament) speech — none were announced. Are there to be no more? And if she is not to do them, will Charles and Camilla take on more of the onerous work?"

Queen Elizabeth's last visit to Canada came in the summer of 2010. It was a nine-day trip during which she and her husband, Prince Philip, visited Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Toronto and Waterloo, Ont.

She dedicated the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, visited with executives from Research in Motion (now known as BlackBerry) and took in the 151st running of the Queen's Plate at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack.

It was, if not a perfect trip, a decent-enough one for Canadian monarchists to remember her by. Crowds were massive at every public event. Media coverage was incorrigible. We all wanted more.

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And we got more, with two key visits in quick succession. Newlyweds Prince William and Kate came as part of a 2011 honeymoon tour and Prince Charles and Camilla came to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last year.

Last month, however, a spokesman said Buckingham Palace was reviewing “the amount of long-haul travel that is taken by the Queen.”

But it is not as if the Queen is officially too old to make the eight-hour flight to Canada. Her husband, 91-year-old Prince Philip, made a whirlwind "private working visit" to the Toronto area earlier this year.

To commemorate her 60th anniversary on the throne, Canada announced this week that Queen Elizabeth II was symbolically named the first Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces' Legal Branch.

So perhaps there will be a visit in the near future to mark the occasion. Or perhaps Canada has seen the last of Queen Elizabeth II. Neither would be surprising.

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