On April 9, 2021, upon the passing of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Mayor John Tory expressed his condolences. Prince Philip passed away at the age of 99. His connection to Toronto was deep and heartfelt. He visited our city more than 20 times during his long and extraordinary service to the Queen, Country and to the Commonwealth:
“On behalf of the people of Toronto, I offer sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Family and the people of Great Britain and the entire Commonwealth on the passing of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Philip’s connection to Toronto was a deep and heartfelt one. He visited our city 20 times, beginning in 1951 when he accompanied then Princess Elizabeth on a tour she made in place of her ailing father, King George. His most recent visit to Toronto was in 2013 when he came for the Presentation of Colours to the Royal Canadian Regiment at Queen’s Park and to receive his insignia as Extra Companion of the Order of Canada and Extra Commander of the Order of Military Merit by the Governor General at Royal York.
In the years between, Prince Philip accompanied Her Majesty on Royal Tours to our city and visited on his own for a myriad of events, including award presentations such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Regimental Visits, the opening of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and charitable events for the World Wildlife Fund.
Prince Philip’s patronages with a Toronto connection are many: Canadian Club of Toronto, Upper Canada College, the Toronto Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto Press Club, Loyal Canadian Prince Club and Massey College in the University of Toronto.
Prince Philip had a lengthy history of public service to the Commonwealth, particularly Canada. Whether it was speaking at the Toronto Board of Trade in 1951 or surprising all with a visit to Toronto in 2013 at age 91 to present a ceremonial flag to the Royal Canadian Regiment’s 3rd Battalion, Prince Philip had a strong connection to our city.
I have asked that all flags on official flag poles at Toronto City Hall, Old City Hall, the Civic Centres, Metro Hall and all City of Toronto facilities, parks and vessels be lowered to mark the passing of His Royal Highness.
Our thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal family and the people of Great Britain and the entire Commonwealth at this sad time.”
Mayor of Toronto
The Government of Canada will hold a national commemorative ceremony to celebrate the life and service of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away on April 9, 2021. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2021, at 12:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa. The ceremony, to be held without a congregation, will be broadcast live by CBC and Radio-Canada and include virtual tributes and performances.
To honour the memory of His Royal Highness, a National Day of Mourning will be proclaimed on the day of the ceremony.
An Artillery Salute in Canada will be conducted in honour of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh on the day of the national commemorative ceremony.
|Date of Visit||Details|
|Autumn 1951||Cross Canada Tour with Princess Elizabeth|
|June – August 1959||Cross Canada Tour with The Queen|
|June 1960||2nd Commonwealth Study Conference pre visit|
|May-June 1962||2nd Commonwealth Study Conference|
|March 21-23, 1966||Duke of Edinburgh’s Award|
|November 7-11, 1967||Opening of Royal Agricultural Winter Fair|
|June 25 – July 3, 1973||Visit to Toronto City Hall and extended tour of Ontario marking the RCMP Centennial with The Queen|
|February 10 – 12, 1978||Meet concerning 1980 Commonwealth Study Conference|
|October 24-26, 1979||Attending Commonwealth Study Conference and 150th anniversary of Upper Canada College|
|June 30 – July 6, 1983||Regimental Visit (RCR) and Duke of Edinburgh Awards Presentation|
|September 24 – October 4, 1984||Bicentennial of Ontario with The Queen|
|June 4 – 7, 1985||International forum of Duke of Edinburgh Awards Schemes|
|March 12 – 15, 1989||Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Presentation|
|October 11 – 15, 1993||World Wildlife Fund, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Upper Canada College, Empire Club|
|November 4 – 6, 1996||Royal Agricultural Winter fair Opening, launch of Charter for Business of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Hart House, World Wildlife Fund Office Visit, Visit St Michael’s Hospital|
|June 23 – July 2, 1997||Official events in Toronto as part of Royal Tour with the Queen|
|October 19 – 21, 2001||Duke of Edinburgh Awards and World Wildlife Fund events|
|October 4 – 15, 2002||Toronto as part of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Tour with HM|
|April 26- 27, 2004||40th anniversary Gala of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards at the Carlu|
|June 28 – July 6, 2010||With Royal Tour of HM – events in Toronto at the end of the Tour. The Queen’s last visit to Canada, Ontario and Toronto|
|April 26-27, 2013||Presentation of Colours to Royal Canadian Regiment at Queen’s Park. The Duke was presented with his insignia as Extra Companion of the Order of Canada and Extra Commander of the Order of Military Merit by the Governor General at Royal York. This was the Duke’s last visit to Toronto and to Canada|
Prince Philip was a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, an Extra Companion of the Order of Canada, an Extra Commander of the Canadian Order of Military Merit and a recipient of the Canadian Forces Decoration (with five bars).
The Prince established the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Canada, in which more than 500,000 young Canadians have participated in Canada over almost 60 years. He also created the Duke of Edinburgh’s Study Conference that hosted four of its 10 conferences in Canada. HRH was also the first president of the World WildLife Fund, a national organization based in Toronto.
The Duke of Edinburgh held rank as Admiral of the Royal Canadian Navy, and as a General in the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force. HRH was Colonel in Chief of five Canadian Regiments. The Prince was also an Admiral in the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets and Air Commodore in Chief of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
At the request of the Mayor and in accordance with the Toronto City Council approved half-masting policy, all flags on official flag poles at Toronto City Hall, Old City Hall, the Civic Centres, Metro Hall and all City of Toronto facilities, parks and vessels were flown at half-mast from April 9 -17, 2021, to mark the passing of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The Toronto sign was dimmed on April 9 and April 17 to honour the memory of Prince Philip.