As the world watches coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and her legacy is revisited, a Saskatoon woman is recalling her unique royal experience.
Prior to her coronation, then Princess Elizabeth II visited Canada, including a stop in Saskatoon on October 29, 1951.
The royal tour of the city went along the Broadway Bridge and Saskatchewan Crescent, in front of Diane Schaffel’s home.
“When my brother and I were three years old, the princess and Prince Philip came to Saskatoon on their cross-country tour at the time,” Schaffel said.
“My brother and I sat at the window and watched them drive by in a convertible with a glass top.”
Even as a child, Schaffel knew the importance of this royal visit, especially having a front-row seat from your bed.
“Oh, my mom, I think we know it’s a princess and we’re walking down our street,” Schaffel told CTV News.
“It’s one of the few things I really remember from my early years, but yes, we knew it was important.”
To commemorate the occasion, the Schaffel family acquired a small state carriage set made by John Hill and Company in 1953.
Set, intact pieces, rare.
Schaffel says they’ve played with the set for a few years, and despite some bumps, it still holds together.
“A part of the carriage came loose and Prince Philip lost his head,” she said. “It was repaired a few years ago, but I packed it all away in a box for a few days, and then I thought about it last week.”
Schaffel’s mother also presented a rare single teacup from the ‘Merry England Series’ of the Royal Albert Balmoral collection.
“I don’t know if it has anything to do with Balmoral, where the Queen likes to live, but the colors are sort of royal colors, so I’m definitely going to pull that off,” Schaffel said.
Although Schaffel brought out her collections to remember Queen’s legacy, she said she learned more in the past week than she knew before.
“This is the last time there will be a queen for a long time, so it’s very special,” she said. “And she’s been around a long time, so she’s done a good job.”