Prince Michael of Kent Visits the Fortress of Louisbourg

On February 24th, 1984, Prince Michael of Kent toured the Fortress of Louisbourg, with Bill O’Shea as his guide. 

Prince Michael of Kent is a member of the British Royal Family and the younger brother of Prince Edwards, the Duke of Kent. 

He visited Canada in 1984 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first powered flight in the British Empire. He visited Halifax, Sydney, Baddeck and Louisbourg. 

The first powered flight in the British Empire was in Baddeck on the 23rd of February 1909. The plane was the AEA Silver Dart. 

AEA Silver Dart in Flight – Wikipedia

“The Silver Dart (or Aerodrome #4) was a derivative of an early aircraft built by a Canadian/U.S. team, which after many successful flights in Hammondsport, New York, earlier in 1908, was dismantled and shipped to Baddeck, Nova Scotia. It was flown from the ice of Baddeck Bay, a sub-basin of Bras d’Or Lake, on 23 February 1909, making it the first controlled powered flight in Canada. The aircraft was piloted by one of its designers, John McCurdy. The original Silver Dart was designed and built by the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA), formed under the guidance of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell.” – Wikipedia

Bill O’Shea, being the Head Historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg was tasked with giving the Prince a tour of the site. 

Bill O’Shea with Prince Michael of Kent on site at the Fortress of Louisbourg.
Deputy Prime Minister Allan J. MacEachern, Prince Michael of Kent and William A. O’Shea (Bill O’Shea) – February 24th, 1984.
Prince Michael of Kent, Bill O’Shea, Deputy Prime Minister Allan J. MacEachen and Nova Scotia Premier John Buchanan.
Left-Right – Helen O’Shea, Prince Michael of Kent, Premiere John Buchanan and William A. O’Shea.
Left to right – Unknown, Premiere John Buchanan, Bill O’Shea, Member of Parliament David Dingwall, Prince Michael of Kent, unknown, Deputy Prime Minister Allan J. MacEachern at the Fortress of Louisbourg on February 24th, 1984.

This was a very memorable moment for the Town of Louisbourg. I remember being a 9 year old child at the time and people lined the streets of Louisbourg to get a glimpse of a member of the Royal Family.

This site is dedicated to the memory of William A. O’Shea:

William A. O’Shea was a researcher, historian, and manager for Parks Canada / Heritage Canada. His professional life was dedicated to learning more about and teaching Canada about the history of our country. One of his personal passions has always been to learn more about local histories and share them with the broader community. He was a founding member of the Louisbourg Heritage Society, Deputy Mayor of the Town of Louisbourg (Nova Scotia) and wrote many books and articles about the town of Louisbourg and the surrounding area. He called Louisbourg home for more than 30 years. Until his passing on October 14th, 2019, he resided in Cornwall, Ontario near his home town of Long Sault, Ontario. 

Bill O’Shea at the Lost Villages Museum in Long Sault, Ontario with his daughter-in-law, Mai O’Shea and grandchildren, Rina and Kai O’Shea in 2018.

This site is maintained and updated by Kevin O’Shea (O’Shea Archives founder).

Contact Kevin (email):

Twitter: @madformaple


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