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aussi disponible en français
July 3, 2012
For immediate release

Government House summer tours begin

Lieutenant Governor's Office

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Her Honour Dorothy Lewis was at the door of Government House at 10:00 this morning to welcome the first visitors of the summer open house tours. The surprised first visitors received commemorative Diamond Jubilee pins and flags.

Government House, called the official residence of all Islanders, is open for free guided tours from Monday to Friday during July and August. Tours begin every thirty minutes starting at 10 a.m. with the last tour at 3:30 p.m. The grounds of Fanningbank are open to the public throughout the day, including the beautiful flower and rose gardens.

Prince Edward Island’s second Governor from 1736 to 1804, Sir Edmund Fanning, believed that the governor should have an official residence and set aside 100 acres for that purpose. Government House was built some years later, in 1834, with William Young being the first governor to occupy the beautiful home. It has been the official residence for each Governor and Lieutenant Governor, except two, since it was completed.

Fanningbank was reduced from 100 acres to approximately 10 acres when property was given to the City of Charlottetown to create Victoria Park.

The tour, available in English or French, covers nine rooms on both levels of Government House, including the four bedrooms, featuring the Queen’s Room, used in the past by members of the Royal Family. Queen Elizabeth II has stayed in this room as well as the Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex and most recently the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Katherine Middleton) in 2011.

A souvenir booklet, including photographs and descriptions, is available in French and English, as photographs are not permitted during tours. Interested visitors are also reminded that Government House may be closed on certain dates when it hosts private functions or special ceremonies.

The building has been carefully restored with period furnishings, some of it original to the house. Many historic paintings, including several by celebrated Island artist, Robert Harris, are prominently displayed. Continuing a tradition begun in 2007, there will be a special display in the Morning Room. This year it features memories, images and memorabilia of Her Majesty’s three visits to Prince Edward Island.

Media Contact: Cindy Cheverie
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