Canada Greets Her King

At the National Capital

" He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth "

GRANT DEXTER May 15 1939
Canada Greets Her King

At the National Capital

" He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth "

GRANT DEXTER May 15 1939

At the National Capital

Canada Greets Her King

" He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth "


FOR FOUR DAYS, the Capital of Canada will be host to King George and Queen Elizabeth. These four days, May 17 to 20, will be of special significance to all of Canada for the reason that in visiting the capital of the Dominion, Their Majesties in an official sense will be visiting the Canadian people-atlarge. All that the Royal tour will hold of pomp and pageantry will be crowded into this brief period of time. And with a program calling for a state dinner, a parliamentary dinner, a garden party, the dedication of the National War Memorial and the laying of the cornerstone of the Supreme Court Building—these will be the most colorful days of the tour.

Elsewhere in the Dominion. Their Majesties will appear with almost none of the trappings of Royalty. The stopovers at such great cities as Montreal. Toronto. Winnipeg and Vancouver are for brief periods of hours. But at Ottawa, the King and Queen of Canada will spend four days as the heads of the state.

Details of the Ottawa program will depend in some measure on the trend of events on Parliament Hill. That King George will make an official visit to Parliament for the purpose of giving Royal assent to legislation approved by the Senate and the Commons, is certain. But if the business of Parliament can be completed in time. Their Majesties will play their part in a most colorful pageant — the proroguing of Parliament. For this purpose, the crowns, the Royal robes and other insignia of the Throne are being brought to Ottawa.

Ottawa will present a strange contrast to that infant capital -rather, the potential capital—which welcomed Edward VII. then Prince of Wales, in I860. In that tar day. the good burghers of Ottawa, their wives and children, arrayed in homespun, poke bonnets and crinolines, forgot the muddy streets of By-Town as they craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the future King of England.

Parliament Hill, then Barrack Hill, was a rough and broken promontory. Wellington Street, now facing Parliament Hill, was rocky and uneven, and only a day or two before Edward’s arrival the Royal carriage had upset at a spot which today is but a stone’s throw from the Victory Tower.

In 1939, all is changed and changing. Government buildings, lordly creations of Nepean stone, erected at a cost of nearly fifty million dollars, tower high above the

Ottawa River. In a striking way. they tell the story of this country. The famed East Block was begun in the very year that Edward VI1 came to Canada. He laid the cornerstone, and since the beginning of the Dominion this building has housed the offices of the Governor-General, the Privy Council and the Prime Minister. Here, as it were, is the heart, the centre of all government in Canada. Then come the Parliament Buildings, rebuilt after the disastrous fire of 1915. Next is the West Block, built during the Alexander Mackenzie regime in the ’70’s. Beneath the shadow of the West Block is the old Supreme Court Building, and across the street the stately Confederation Building, flanked by the Justice Building which, in turn, is being flanked by a new Supreme Court Building. So runs the story of Canada in stone.

All this has grown with the long, slow years but. during recent months, the face of Ottawa has been changing with astounding speed. Since the Royal visit was announced, gangs of workmen, steam shovels, cranes, all the paraphernalia of construction, have been hard at work. Through snow and sleet, oblivious to frost and wind, the work on the National War Memorial and the rebuilding of the centre of the capital went forward. Buildings were razed; new buildings reached upward with all but magical sf>eed. Across a seeming chaos of frozen earth, snow, shattered beams and the rubble of wrecked masonry, men toiled, plotting the substructure of the Memorial, digging gardens which are to leaf and blossom this spring, fashioning wide approaches which six weeks prior to the arrival of Their Majesties existed only on blueprint plans, but which will 1m* complete in every particular by May 17.

Great maple trees, standing fifty feet and higher, wert* cut out of the frost-bound earth, hauled to the WatMemorial site, and with the aid of dynamite, planted in ground as hard as flint. These trees arriver! on trucks, with the frozen earth about their roots forming a great bulb at least thirty feet across. When pits had been blasted out of the ground, they were hoisted aloft by cranes and planted.

This Maytime, when Their Majesties are here, the trees will be in full leaf, so naturally a part of the scene that no one would guess they had not grown there from seed.

The story of the Royal visit to Ottawa, therefore, is much more than a narrative of state functions. It is an epic of planning and construction, in which thousands of men have played a part.

The Royal party, when it arrives at Ottawa at eleven a.m. on May 17, will not enter the city at the Union Station, just opposite the Chateau Laurier and Parliament Hill. A social station is being erected on the Canadian National line on the western fringe of the city, where the railway crosses the Island Park Drive, part of Ottawa’s

system of Government driveways. As the Royal train pulls in. a salute of twenty-one guns will be fired. There will be a large assembly of distinguished persons to greet Their Majesties. These will include: Their Excellencies the Governor-General and Lady Tweedsmuir and their staff; the Prime Minister; the members of the Cabinet and their wives; the Mayor of Ottawa and the members of the city council and their wives; as well as many other notables.

His Majesty will first inspect the guard of honor, which will be drawn up facing the station platform.

Those assembled to greet him will then be presented, and the King and Queen. Their Excellencies, Mr. King, and a selected number of those who have been presented to Their Majesties will step into motor cars and begin the drive through the city to Government House. There will be eight motor cars in the procession, and they will proceed from the station along the driveways, through the Dominion Experimental Farm, along the Rideau Canal and eastward along the Ottawa River to Rideau Hall.

Their Majesties then will lunch privately at Rideau Hall.

State Dinner

THAT evening at 8.15 o’clock there will be a state dinner at Rideau Hall. The guests will number approximately 100 persons.

For obvious reasons the usual practice at state dinners will not be followed. The practice is to invite men only. There are. as a rule, no ladies at a state dinner. But a reception is held after the dinner at which ladies are received.

In this case, the presence of Her Majesty makes a change of procedure desirable. Her Majesty will attend the dinner and. therefore, the guests will include ladies as well as gentlemen.

Under these circumstances, the usual order of precedence cannot be followed. The guests, m order of precedence, will be as follows:

The ladies and gentlemen in attendance on Their Majesties.

Their Excellencies and the members of their stall'.

Prime Minister Mackenzie King.

The ministers from foreign countries.

The representatives of the various churches in Canada. The members of the Cabinet.

The High Commissioner from the United Kingdom and the accredited representative of the Union of South Africa. The Chief Justice of Canada.

Former Prime Ministers of Canada.

The Leader of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition

The S(K*akers of the Senate and the House of Commons.

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Canada Greets Her King

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The Mayor of Ottawa.

These gentlemen and their wives will be the guests at the dinner.

After the dinner there will be a reception, to which the following will be invited:

Consuls General from foreign countries, judges of the Supreme Court of Canada; judges from the Exchequer Court; the chiefs of the general staff (navy, army and air); E. J. Lemaire, clerk of the Privy Council; L. Clare Moyer, clerk of the Senate; Arthur Beauchesne, clerk of the House of Commons; Major A. S. Redfern, secretary to the Governor-General ; Georges Gonthier, auditor general; the deputy ministers of departments of Government; the principal secretary to the Prime Minister; and the secretary of the interdepartment committee on the Royal visit.

These gentlemen, with their wives, will be received by Their Majesties after the state dinner.

Unveiling of War Memorial

ON THURSDAY, May 18. the first public function will take place in the afternoon, with all of Canada listening in. This will be the unveiling of the National War Memorial by His Majesty at three p.m.

Their Majesties will drive from Rideau Hall to Connaught Place, where the Memorial stands, with a mounted escort. They will be received by Mr. King and Hon. Ian Mackenzie, Minister of National Defense. The guard of honor will be provided by ex-service men. His Majesty, upon arrival, will inspect the guard of honor, while Mr. King escorts Her Majesty to the Royal stand. The King will follow, and on his way he will pause to have the heads of national veterans’ organizations presented to him. The choir will then sing, “O Valiant Hearts,” to be followed by the piping of the “Lament for the Fallen” by the pipers.

Mr. King will then invite the King to unveil the Memorial. His Majesty will deliver a brief address which will be broadcast throughout Canada and will unveil the Memorial. The “Last Post” will be sounded, to be followed by a silence. Then will come “Reveille.” to be followed by the singing of “O God Our Help in Ages Past.”

The King will place a wreath at the foot of the Memorial. Mr. Mackenzie will do likewise, and as Their Majesties move away to their motor car the choir will sing “O Canada” and “God Save the King.” That evening at eight o’clock Their Majesties will be the guests of honor at a parliamentary dinner to be held in the Chateau Laurier. Their Majesties will be attended by their ladies and gentlemen-inwaiting. Their Excellencies and their stall will also attend. Members of the Senate and the House of Commons and their wives (or husbands) will be present. Mr. King will preside.

The dinner will conclude in time for the Royal visitors to see a display of fireworks on Parliament Hill. They will drive from the Chateau to Nepean Point, whence they will command a view of the display.

On Friday. May 19. the first function will be the laying of the cornerstone of the Supreme Court Buildings by Her Majesty. After laying the stone, Her Majesty will make a brief speech.

In the afternoon, there will be a visit to the Houses of Parliament.

It is certain that the King will give Royal assent to several bills.

May Prorogue Parliament

BUT, of course, the great desire at Ottawa is that Their Majesties should prorogue Parliament. Whether or not this will be possible will depend on the speed with which the session’s work can be completed. At this writing, the chances are highly favorable.

In England, of course, the King does not prorogue Parliament; the great event, there, is the opening. When the King opens the Westminster Parliament, the Queen accompanies him and sits beside him on a throne which is only slightly lower than the King’s throne.

If the prorogation ceremony takes place, undoubtedly some variant of the British ceremony at the opening of Parliament will be worked out. Both the King and his Consort will take part; two thrones will be used. Their Majesties will enter the Senate, as they do the House of Lords, hand in hand.

This ceremony, whatever its nature, will be the last function of Their Majesties on the Friday.

Saturday will bring the trooping of the colors on Parliament Hill at eleven a.m. This is a function dating from the eighteenth century and it is, strictly speaking, a guard-mounting ceremony. In the beginning, the battalion finding the Royal Guard for the day, troojxïd the colors which were to be carried by the King’s Guard.

On this occasion, the Canadian Brigade of Guards will troop the colors. The brigade consists of two regiments—the Governor-General’s Foot Guards of Ottawa. and the Canadian Grenadier Guards of Montreal. They will parade, with the colors, on Parliament Hill, where His Majesty will take the salute and inspect them.

At four o’clock the same day there will be a garden party at Government House. Some 5,(XX) persons will be invited. So many applications were received that the hxx>ks had to be closed early in April. Those present at the garden party will not meet Their Majesties. The usual practice will be followed. The guests form in two lines and the King will walk down one line and the Queen the other. During the progress of the party, Their Majesties, separately or otherwise, will send their A.D.C.’s to bring to them such of the guests as they desire to meet.

That evening at seven o'clock, the Royal party will entrain for Cornwall, Brockville. Kingston and Toronto. Somewhere east of Kingston, the Royal train will be stopped for the night, so that, after their tiring and exacting functions at Ottawa, the Royal visitors may have a sound night's rest.