Canada's History - - ROOTS - by Carolyn Har­ris

Among Man­i­toba’s one hun­dred thou­sand lakes are eight that have one thing in com­mon: Lakes Prince Wil­liam, Prince Henry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eu­ge­nie, Peter Phillips, Zara Phillips, Princess Louise, and Prince James are all named after Queen El­iz­a­beth II’s eight grand­chil­dren. The grand­kids are the most re­cent gen­er­a­tion of roy­als to have their names added to the map of Canada, fol­low­ing a cen­turies-old tra­di­tion of nam­ing cities and land­marks after roy­alty.

The ear­li­est ex­plor­ers named set­tle­ments and land­marks in hon­our of roy­alty to stake their coun­try’s claim to the ter­ri­tory. Among the first to do so was French ex­plorer Jac­ques Cartier, who called the hill over­look­ing the Indige­nous vil­lage of Hochelaga “Mont Real” (Mount Royal) after his king, Fran­cis I. The name Mon­treal lasted to in­clude not just the moun­tain but the city that later emerged. A later French ex­plorer named a lake in present-day Man­i­toba “Dauphin,” in hon­our of the heir to the French throne. As Bri­tain and France fought for con­trol of North Amer­ica, set­tle­ments re­ceived new royal place names or pro­nun­ci­a­tions.

Roy­alty who lived in Canada for a time named places after them­selves and their rel­a­tives. Crown fig­ures who in­flu­enced Canada from afar — such as Prince Ru­pert and Queen Vic­to­ria — also had their names added. And royal wed­dings, births, tours, and coro­na­tions all in­flu­enced place names. Here are the sto­ries of a few of the colour­ful majesties on our map:

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