The Queen in Knowlton 

Fred Langan 

The death of the Queen reminds some older local residents of when the Queen and her immediate family were in Knowlton in the summer of 1976. The Queen was in Canada to officially open the Montreal Olympics. The trip to Knowlton was to watch her daughter, Princess Anne, compete in the Equestrian events in nearby Bromont. 

The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, stayed at Alva House on Brome Lake, a property owned by the late Philip Fisher. Because of security concerns, the Queen returned to Montreal every night. The Knowlton part of the Royal Tour was a private family visit. Princess Anne and her former husband, Mark Phillips, travelled with the British Equestrian Team and stayed at the Olympic Village. Prince Charles, now King Charles III, arrived separately, as did his two brothers. 

The Queen spent days watching her daughter compete at Bromont. There were no official ceremonies in Knowlton, though eagle-eyed locals kept a watch for a royal drive-by. 

“We stood on the road when we knew she would be driving by, and she gave us a gentle wave,” recalls longtime Knowlton resident Jan Rzyzora. 

On the final day of the equestrian events the Queen invited the Commonwealth equestrian teams for a buffet supper at Alva House. At that time the Royal Family posed on the lawn of Alva House, one of the few occasions when the whole family was together outside Britain. 

Fred Langan covered the equestrian games and the Royal family’s visit for the CBC.