With the coronation underway, it is a great time to reflect back on the life of Queen Elizabeth II. As you will likely know, the Queen was the head of state for the Commonwealth before her passing, with Charles III succeeding her. The Commonwealth is home to almost one-third of the world’s population, around 2.5 billion people! 56 countries make up the Commonwealth, with more than 60 per cent of the Commonwealth population being aged 29 or under. The Queen enjoyed a close relationship with the Commonwealth, which is why she visited so often.
Research has been completed and analyzed by experts Audley Travel to find out what Commonwealth countries the former Monarch Queen Elizabeth II visited. We can look at all this information to understand what countries she loved to visit, which could help inspire your next trip!
Canada has remained close to the UK long after its independence. In fact, the late Queen actually visited Canada the most out of all the Commonwealth countries, as it held a special place in her heart. She visited 22 times, visiting many different provinces in the process. She often came up during memorable holidays and important days, but sometimes she came up just to see the sights!
It’s not just the Queen, and the new King, who loves Canada. Many British people and members of the Commonwealth often make the trek to Canada to take in the sights and follow in the royal footsteps. Canada should be high up on your list of places to visit.
This key commonwealth country has many guided walking tours across major cities for you to take in and enjoy. This includes places such as Halifax, Ottawa, Québec City, and Montréal. Away from the cities, you can embrace the outdoors in the Rockies and engage in activities such as hiking to white-water rafting.
Joseph Saunders, Canada specialist at Audley, said: ‘Queen Elizabeth II may have had official duties to undertake during her visits to Canada, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the country’s melting pot of cultures and striking mix of landscapes, from mountains to prairies to wild coastlines, also played a part in Canada being a firm favorite of hers.’
It wasn’t just Canada that was high up on the list of places to visit for the Queen. Looking at the data, you can see that Queen Elizabeth II journeyed across the globe to visit Australia 16 times during her reign. She visited the Great Barrier Reef, Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens, Mount Wellington in Tasmania, and the National Gallery of Victoria.
Similarly to Canada, you can follow the royal heritage by visiting Australia yourself. This country is truly massive, so plan your trip accordingly and ensure you are going to the right places, as you likely won’t be able to see everything in one visit. Pick a coast and see what you want there, and plan what you want to do before you get there. Next time you visit Australia, you can go to a different area, and take it all in!
Queen Elizabeth II made several visits to New Zealand over the years, dating back to her first tour of the country in 1953-54. The Queen has always been warmly received by New Zealanders, who see her as a symbol of the country’s historical ties to England. She often visited the country with her husband, visiting a total of ten times.
During her visits, the Queen has participated in a variety of events and ceremonies, including opening new buildings and attending cultural performances. She has also met with New Zealand’s political leaders, including the Prime Minister, and has addressed the country’s parliament on several occasions. The Queen often met Māori leaders, including Māori Queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, in 1974. She also attended the anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1963.
One of the most memorable moments of the Queen’s visits to New Zealand came in 1981 when she visited the country during intense political turmoil. At the time, many New Zealanders protested the country’s decision to allow a rugby team from apartheid-era South Africa to tour the country. The Queen’s visit was controversial, with some protesters calling for a boycott of her events. Despite this, the Queen continued with her tour, and her presence was seen by many as a calming influence during a difficult time.
If you were thinking of visiting Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, then going for a longer period of time, much like if you were on a royal tour yourself, will be in your best interest! Plan your trip ahead of time so that you can do all the things you want to do!