Sicamous’ status as a transportation nexus has afforded it many unique opportunities; perhaps none are more prestigious than as a stop on tours of Canada by the British Royals.
Local Historian Gordon Mackie told the Eagle Valley News that the Sicamous Museum’s archive contains an extensive collection of photos from the brief visits from the royals.
According to Mackie, King George VI and his wife stopped in front of the old CP Hotel and Station in 1939 and shook hands with many people from the back platform of the train; they never got off the train.
In 1951, shortly before her coronation, Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, made a longer stop in Sicamous. According to Mackie, the royal train stopped on the main line just east of the CP bridge crossing the Sicamous Channel. The Princess and her husband Prince Phillip got off the train and greeted the throng of dignitaries from the Okanagan and Shuswap.
Mackie said there were many people present for the future queen’s visit including lots of children, a photo from museum’s archives shows the Princess greeting local Girl Guides, Brownies and their troop leaders. The Princess’ visit lasted about half an hour before the proceeded on their tour of Western Canada.
The 1951 visit was not the last time the Queen and Prince Phillip set foot on Shuswap soil; Mackie said the royal couple stopped again in 1959, choosing the same location by the east bank of the Sicamous channel to mingle with locals.