Prince Charles and Princess Diana wowed large crowds when they visited Sudbury,
The future King of England, William, and his brother, Harry, visited Science North in 1991. They were on their first official tour of Canada with their parents, but the visit to Sudbury was done quietly.
On the 20th anniversary of that visit, in 2011, Science North CEO Jim Marchbank remembered the young princes arrived in a beat-up station wagon that belonged to an RCMP officer.
The day before, Oct. 24, William and Harry’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana wowed large crowds when they visited Sudbury, the first stop on their tour that year. At the time, it was reported, that Toronto, as capital of the province, was miffed. Premier Bob Rae had to come north to Sudbury to welcome the Royals to Canada.
The Princess officially opened the Daffodil Lodge at the Northeastern Regional Cancer Treatment Centre. The Prince was the third-generation of the Windsor family to sign the guest book at Inco.
He received a 90-minute tour of Inco’s tailings area and took part in the ceremonial tapping of the “new” flash furnace, the centrepiece of the company’s $600 million initiative to cut sulphur dioxide emissions.
Retired Inco employee Sam Laderoute had the honour of playing the bagpipes for the Prince, his parents in 1984, and his grandparents on their visit to Sudbury in 1939.
Laderoute was not able to see the prince. He lost his eyesight in the early 1980s following cataract surgery and the onset of glaucoma. “This was the third generation of Royalty I’ve played for,” he told the Inco Triangle. “I’ve played for the Queen Mother, the Queen and now Prince Charles…I couldn’t see the prince as he went by but I know he hesitated.”
The world was on the eve of war on June 5, 1939 when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited the city. The couple arrived by train with their host, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.
Festivities were held at the athletic field on Regent St. It was renamed Queen’s Athletic Field in honour of the visit.
The Royals, great-grand parents of William and Harry, went underground at Frood Mine. It was the first official visit of a woman underground and it was big news because it was considered, at the time, to be unlucky for a woman to go into a mine.
Twenty years later, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip also visited Sudbury and Frood Mine on their visit to Canada.
The Queen returned with Phillip to Sudbury to open Science North in 1984.