The Canadian Royal Heritage Gallery at the Elgin Military Museum
Canadian Royal Heritage Gallery
(at The Elgin Military Museum /
Duncombe House Heritage Centre)
St Thomas, Ontario
The first half of the 20th Century was a critical time for the Canadian Monarchy, as the country evolved from a self-governing colonial Dominion within the British Empire into a fully independent Dominion / Kingdom in the Commonwealth of Nations. In this period the Canadian Forces of the Crown fought the Boer War, two World Wars and the Korean War, and great economic developments such as the St Lawrence Seaway shaped the growth of Canada. This gallery of the Canadian Royal Heritage Trust focuses on the sixty-year period in the history of the Canadian Monarchy from 1901 – 1960.
The Duncombe House Heritage Centre is operated by the Elgin Military Museum in the historic 1845 Duncombe House, connected to the main museum building. The Canadian Royal Heritage Trust has been welcomed by the museum as a partner in the Heritage Centre and has established the gallery to serve Southwestern Ontario and to provide exhibits on specific themes to complement its museum in Midwestern Ontario and its galleries in Toronto and the Quinte Area.
Entered through the Elgin Military Museum, the gallery has areas for four themes, and an area that changes to reflect other aspects of Canada’s royal heritage.
Canadian Royal Military Heritage
This display area presents artefacts, pictures and text highlighting and explaining the close relationship between members of Canada’s Royal Family and the armed forces of the Canadian Crown. This complements the mandate of the Elgin Military Museum, host museum for the Trust’s gallery.
Four Kings Of Canada
Portraits, commemoratives and historical information describe the lives and reigns of King Edward VII (1901 – 1910), King George V (1910 – 1936), King Edward VIII (1936) and King George VI (1936 – 1952), Canadian monarchs between the long reigns of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II.
Canada’s Royal River
Under 1950s era portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, the 1959 opening by Her Majesty the Queen and the American President, Dwight Eisenhower of the historic St Lawrence Seaway, linking the Great Lakes and Ontario with the world, is highlighted through a display of commemoratives.
Model Sailors, Soldiers and Aviators of the Crown
Toy soldiers, model ships, tanks and aircraft celebrate in miniature Canada’s military history of service to “God, King / Queen and Country”, and the history of her allies and opponents.
Temporary Exhibits Case
Other aspects of Canada’s royal heritage will be featured in regularly changing temporary displays.
$ 4 admission fee ($1 for children) to the Elgin Military Museum includes admission to the Canadian Royal Heritage Gallery and other galleries in the Duncombe House Heritage Centre.
Tuesday to Friday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Open year round.
The Canadian Royal Heritage Gallery at the Elgin Military Museum / Duncombe House Heritage Centre is located at 30 & 32 Talbot Street in the historic west end of St Thomas, Ontario, by the statue of Jumbo the Elephant. St Thomas is reached via King’s Highway #4 from King’s Highway #401, just southwest of London, Ontario.
The Duncombe House Heritage Centre is also home to the Canadian Royal Heritage Trust’s Elgin Branch of the King George III Canadian Royal Heritage Library and to meetings of its Southwestern Ontario Branch of the Canadian Royal Heritage Institute.
Elgin Military Museum website