Lieutenant Governors have had an important role to play since the Province of Alberta was created. Here are highlights of the people and events behind Alberta's vice-regal history.
The Coronation of King Charles III
King Charles III and Queen Camilla are coronated at an elaborate ceremony in London. Long live the king!
May 6, 2023
Demise of the Crown
Queen Elizabeth II dies at the age of 96. Her son, Prince Charles, immediately ascends to the throne as King.
September 8, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Platinum Jubilee
A historic 70 years on the throne, the Alberta government produces a medal to commemorate the occasion. 7000 Albertans were presented with this honour throughout the jubilee year.
Salma Lakhani - 19th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Her Honour, the Hon. Salma Lakhani's longstanding community service has been guided by her deep commitment to the values of pluralism and inclusion and her dedication to championing those who face barriers in life. Biography
August 26, 2020 -
Queen Elizabeth II Longest Reigning Monarch
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning Monarch in British history, surpassing the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. Learn more
September 9, 2015
Lois Mitchell - 18th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Hon Lois E. Mitchell came to her duties following a career as an accomplished businesswoman and a proud, longstanding member of Alberta’s dedicated corps of community volunteers. Biography Installation
June 12, 2015 - August 26, 2020
Royal Tour - Slave Lake, Calgary
Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge chose Alberta as the location for one of their first tours as newlyweds. The Royal Couple spend time in Slave Lake, tour the Calgary Zoo and attend the Calgary Stampede. Tour details & photos
The Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee
2012 marks the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, which includes a Diamond Jubilee medal to recognize the volunteer service and contributions of Canadians. Launch of Alberta's celebrations
February 6, 2012
Donald S. Ethell - 17th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Col [Ret'd] the Hon. Donald S. Ethell becomes Alberta's Vice-Regal representative following a long and distinguished career in the Canadian Armed Forces that included 14 overseas peace support operations. One of his principle legacies as Lieutenant Governor is the establishment of the LG's Circle on Mental Health and Addiction. During his tenure, he also revives the tradition of wearing a civil uniform for ceremonial occasions. Biography Installation Ceremony
May 11, 2010 - June 12, 2015
Alberta turns 100
Alberta celebrates its Centennial. Lieutenant Governor Kwong helps Albertans mark the milestone with Centennial medal presentations throughout the year and takes part in the September 1 re-enactment of the 1905 Inauguration Day ceremonies on the grounds of the Alberta Legislature. Communities around the province enjoy 100th birthday celebrations and fireworks.
September 1, 2005
Royal Tour - Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Calgary
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh make a special tour of the province to mark Alberta's 100th birthday. The official itinerary includes a welcome ceremony at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, the Queen's first address to the Legislative Assembly, a tour of Fort McMurray for the Duke of Edinburgh and a grand send off for the Royal Couple at the Saddledome in Calgary. Approximately 60,000 people attend official public events in Edmonton and Calgary and thousands more come out to line the motorcade routes. Itinerary and photos
Norman Kwong - 16th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Calgarian Norman L. Kwong becomes the first person of Chinese heritage to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. Widely-known for his 13 pioneering and record-breaking seasons with the Canadian Football League and his long and successful business and real estate career, he brings an emphasis on sport, wellness and seniors programs to the role. Biography Statement on passing of Norman Kwong (Sept 3,2016)
January 20, 2005 - May 11, 2010
Royal Tour - Edmonton
The Earl and Countess of Wessex visit Edmonton and attend the 2001 World Championships in Athletics.
Lois Hole - 15th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Successful businesswoman, best-selling author, education advocate, and community supporter Lois Hole, becomes Alberta's second female Lieutenant Governor and brings a strong focus on libraries, literacy, and the arts to the role. She earns the nickname "Queen of Hugs" during her tenure in office Biography
February 10, 2000 - January 2005
Bud Olson - 14th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Southern Alberta's Horace A. "Bud" Olson takes on vice-regal responsibilities following five terms as a Member of the House of Commons and service as a Senator. He steps down from the role four years into his tenure for health reasons.
April 17, 1996 - February 10, 2000
Gordon Towers - 13th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Red Deer area farmer, soil conversationalist, and community leader Gordon Towers takes on vice-regal duties following 16 years of service in the Canadian House of Commons, making him the first Lieutenant Governor of Alberta to have served as a Member of Parliament.
March 11, 1991 - April 17, 1996
Royal Tour - Red Deer and Calgary
Queen Elizabeth II tours Calgary and Red Deer.
June 27-30, 1990
Helen Hunley - 12th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Army veteran, politician, and community leader Helen Hunley becomes the first woman to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, following a groundbreaking career as the first woman to hold full ministerial status in the Alberta Government, the province's first Solicitor General, and the first female Mayor of Rocky Mountain House.
January 22, 1985 - March 11, 1991
Frank Lynch-Staunton - 11th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Frank Lynch-Staunton becomes Alberta's vice-regal representative following a long career spent on the family ranch near Pincher Creek in Southern Alberta, extensive community and municipal service, and duties as a reservist with the 15th Canadian Light Horse.
October 18, 1979 - January 22, 1985
Royal Tour - Edmonton, Central and Northern Alberta
Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward visit Edmonton for the XI Commonwealth Games and tour Grande Prairie, Peace River, St. Paul, Vegreville, Fort Saskatchewan, Mundare, Chipman, Lamont, and Bruderheim.
Royal Tour - Southern Alberta
Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Prince Andrew tour Southern Alberta for events related to the 100th anniversary of the Signing of Treaty 7 and attend the Calgary Stampede.
July 5-9, 1977
Ralph Steinhauer - 10th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Ralph Garvin Steinhauer becomes the first person of Indigenous heritage to be appointed Lieutenant Governor of a Canadian province. A respected community leader, he brings new perspectives to the office, including his experience as a farmer, as an advocate for rural concerns, and as a councilor and Chief of the Saddle Lake First Nation.
July 2, 1974 - October 18, 1979
Royal Tour - Calgary
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh stop in Calgary during a Canada-wide tour to mark the RCMP centennial.
J.W. Grant MacEwan - 9th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
J.W. Grant MacEwan, a well-known agriculturalist, historian, educator, public speaker, author, conservationist, and former Calgary MLA and Mayor, adds Lieutenant Governor to his long list of accomplishments. He establishes a busy schedule of traveling to visit communities in every corner of the province, often carrying his trademark shovel and a tree to plant at outdoor ceremonies as a symbol of his interest in the environment.
January 26, 1966 - July 2, 1974
J. Percy Page - 8th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
John Percy Page takes on his vice-regal duties following a career that included work as a teacher, school trustee, Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly and, most famously, as coach of Edmonton's record-breaking women's basketball team the Edmonton Grads.
December 21, 1959 - January 26, 1966
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh stop in Alberta as part of a cross-Canada tour to mark the Opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Queen Elizabeth II Begins Reign
Queen Elizabeth II becomes Sovereign upon the death of her father, King George VI. Learn more
February 6, 1952
Their Royal Highnesses Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Alberta as part of a coast-to-coast official tour of Canada.
J.J. Bowlen - 7th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
The successful rancher and former MLA, John J. Bowlen becomes Lieutenant Governor and earns the unofficial title of "Vice-Regal Cowboy" for his hard working spirit, love of western culture and a life story that paralleled the growth and development of the Canadian west.
February 1, 1950 - December 21, 1959
King George VI becomes the first reigning monarch to set foot on Canadian soil when His Majesty and Queen Elizabeth take a month long tour of Canada. They criss-cross the country in a special royal train, with Alberta stops in Calgary, Banff, Edmonton, and Jasper. Learn more
Lieutenant Governor Bowen reserves Royal Assent
The essential constitutional function of Canada's Vice-Regal representatives is brought into sharp focus in Alberta with Lieutenant Governor Bowen's refusal to grant Royal Assent to a number of bills proposed by the government of the day. Learn more
John C. Bowen - 6th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
A former Edmonton Alderman, MLA, and First World War veteran, the Honourable John C. Bowen takes on duties as Alberta's Lieutenant Governor beginning a tenure that spans the Second World War and includes a challenging period in the province's Vice-Regal history. Bowen's extensive term in office earns him the record as Alberta's longest serving Lieutenant Governor.
March 23, 1937 - February 1, 1950
Philip C. H. Primrose - 5th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Longstanding member of the North-West Mounted Police and a former city police officer, Philip Primrose becomes the first Edmonton or northern Alberta resident to be named Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. He also becomes Alberta's first vice-regal representative to die in office, just short of five months after beginning his tenure.
October 1, 1936 - March 17, 1937
William Walsh - 4th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Supreme Court of Alberta Justice and Calgary resident William Walsh becomes Alberta's 4th Lieutenant Governor. Key events in his tenure in office include presiding over the resignation of Premier John Brownlee.
May 5, 1931 - October 1, 1936
Dr. William Egbert - 3rd Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
William Egbert, one of Calgary's leading medical practitioners of the day becomes Alberta's 2nd Lieutenant Governor. Prior to becoming vice-regal representative, he was a member of the Calgary Rifles (103rd Regiment) and served two terms as a Calgary alderman.
October 29, 1925 - May 5, 1931
A Royal Resident - the Prince of Wales & E.P. Ranch
Following a 1919 Royal Tour to Alberta, Edward, Prince of Wales (who would later become King Edward VIII) is so impressed with the ranch country of Southern Alberta that he purchases the 4,000 acre E.P. Ranch, near Pekisko. He makes a number of unofficial visits to the ranch, including a prolonged stay in 1923 when he stops in on many towns and cities over a seven week period. In 1941 and 1950 he comes to the ranch as the Duke of Windsor, with the Duchess of Windsor (Wallis Simpson). He sells the ranch in 1962, 10 years before his death. Learn more
1919 - 1950
Dr. Robert G. Brett - 2nd Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Robert G. Brett, a pioneering resident of Banff, Alberta and a key player in shaping the governance structure of the Northwest Territories, becomes the first medical doctor to be appointed as Alberta's vice-regal representative.
October 20, 1915 - October 29, 1925
Government House officially opens
Government House in Edmonton opens as the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. The province's first six vice-regal representatives and their families call the stately building home.
October 7, 1913
Alberta becomes a province and the first Lieutenant Governor, the Hon. George H. V. Bulyea is sworn in.
September 1, 1905