OTD: George V celebrates Québec’s 300th anniversary

On today’s date in 1908, the Prince of Wales George Frederick Ernest Albert (later King George V) arrived in Québec to celebrate the city’s 300th anniversary.

Earlier that year, France’s Paris Mint struck a silver medal commemorating the 300th anniversary of Québec’s founding. Weighing 300 grams and measuring 76.4 millimetres in diameter, the medal was engraved by Henri Dubois and depicts French colonist Samuel de Champlain disembarking his ship and entering a new land.

Champlain is shown alongside French King Henry IV (1608) and English King Edward VII (1908) on the obverse. The reverse depicts the two countries – France and Britain – symbolized beneath the tree of life with the caption, “Dieu aidant, l’œuvre de Champlain a grandi sous les roses” (“Born under the lilies, God helping, Champlain’s work has grown under the roses inscribed”).

King George V later dedicated Québec’s Battlefields Park, where the Battle of the Plains of Abraham resulted in a British victory over France—and ultimately decided the fate of Canada.

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