The government and treasury of Niue have issued new collector coins which remember the first-ever royal tour of Canada, which occurred 80 years ago and set the standard for such future royal visits. With the accession and coronation of HM King George VI in December 1936 and May 1937, respectively, increased interest in the royal couple by many Canadians resulted in an announced visit by their Majesties in 1939. The tour would be the first-ever of any reigning British monarch and would include multi-stopovers to every Canadian province at the time.
It was becoming more apparent that war was looming, and one of the main reasons for the royal tour was to stimulate Canadian affection and support for Britain in what was going to be an imminent world-wide conflict. An enormous amount of work went into the preparation of the royal tour, which would also include a personal visit with President and Mrs. Roosevelt. The King and Queen arrived in Canada by ship and travelled across the country by train accompanied by the-then Prime Minister Mackenzie King. Both the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian National Railways offered their services, and a royal train was assembled using some of their best carriages. Well-wishers greeted the train at every stop much to the delight of King George and Queen Elizabeth. The tour lasted from the 17th May to the 15th June, taking in nearly 80 stops along the way and was considered an enormous success. Encompassing Canada, Newfoundland, and the United States, the royal couple took the opportunity to visit Mount Vernon on the 9th June, the 1939 New York World’s Fair on the 10th June, and had dinner at President Roosevelt’s estate at Hyde Park on the 11th June, before resuming their Canadian tour.
To mark the event in Canada, a special commemorative silver dollar was issued depicting the Parliament in Ottawa, which was only Canada’s second commemorative dollar coin, and is widely collected today.
The coin’s design is based on two elements of the royal visit: The shape of the coin is that of the four-pointed Royal Star, and includes dual effigies of the King and Queen originally designed by British engraver Percy Metcalf for souvenir silver and bronze medals issued for the occasion 80 years ago. Also included for this coin is the Canadian crest, which appeared on the commemorative medal and a garland of maple leaves. The commemorative years 1939 and 2019 are seen on the outlines of maple leaves placed on each side of the portraits.
The obverse design features floral symbols of the United Kingdom: The rose (England), thistle (Scotland), leek (Wales), and Shamrock (Ireland), along with an effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II created by British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley.
|40 x 40 mm
|Proof with applied colour
The coins are specially encapsulated to accommodate their dimensions and shape and are presented in a custom case along with a certificate of authenticity. For more details, please visit the website of the Royal Canadian Mint.