Wednesday, May 15, 2019

George VI & Elizabeth enter Canadian waters.

May 15, 1939

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Breaking News:  King George VI and Queen Elizabeth "heard the first cheers of their Canadian subjects today," thanks to radio, as their ship, the Empress of Australia , entered the Cabot Strait, " reports the New York Times.

Two Canadian destroyers, the Skeena and Saguenay, "steamed along side' the Empress of Australia.  Canadian warships joined the royal navy cruisers, Glasgow and Southampton, which escorted the liner across the Atlantic.

A hat less King, dressed in civilian clothes, with the Queen at his side, "waved a response to the throaty cheers from the crews" of the two destroyers.

The first Canadian welcome took place several hours earlier when Canadian naval planes "roared over the liner in the first salute of welcome."

The Empress of Australia left Southampton on May 6.  The crossing has taken "almost twice as long" as a normal crossing due to thick fog and floating ice, which held the ship almost motionless" for several days.

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The King sent a wireless message to the Skeena.

"It affords me great pleasure on entering Canadian waters to be greeted by my Canadian Navy.  I thank you for the welcome you have given me and I congratulate you warmly on the fine appearance of your ships.  George R.I."

George and Elizabeth remained on the bridge even after the destroyers had left their stations, as they wanted to enjoy the "brilliant sunshine."

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