Saturday, June 5, 2021

EP Ranch Royal Visit 1923

by Anita Mae Draper

Prince of Wales riding Midnight at EP Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta. Sep 1923. Glenbow Archives

The 1923 photo above shows Edward, Prince of Wales, riding Midnight at the Edward Prince (EP) Ranch in southwestern Alberta, Canada. Edward bought the ranch in 1919 as a place to relax away from the limelight. Note that Edward is using a western saddle with a high horn that cowboys and ranchers use, rather than his usual smaller, lighter english saddle.

As heir to Britain's royal throne, there were certain expectations of Edward's time, and gallivanting off to play cowboy was not one of them. However, he managed to get back for a visit in 1923 to attend a public sale of his improved ranch stock, which turned out to be a huge publicity event from the moment he arrived.

Crowd at EP Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta, to greet Prince of Wales. Sep 1923. Glenbow Archives

Being friends with George Lane, founder of the Calgary Stampede, and other ranching dignitaries, helped Edward meet many of the rodeo celebrities including Pete Vandermeer, Canadian champion bronc buster, shown here receiving an award from Edward who appears to be enjoying the occasion. 

Prince of Wales presenting an award to Pete Vandermeer at EP Ranch, Pekisko, Alberta.

Another Stampede champion, the great Guy Weadick, is shown teaching trick roping to Edward while at the EP Ranch. 

Guy Weadick teaching Prince of Wales to do trick roping, EP ranch, Pekisko, Alberta. Sep 1923

Although Edward could probably drive a buggy without assistance, his ranch training involved driving a team of horses and a hay wagon without a seat, padded or otherwise.

Prince of Wales driving team of horses at EP ranch, Pekisko, Alberta. 1923. Glenbow Archives

With haying in full swing, Edward climbed aboard the stacker for a turn. Newspapers reported that the Prince of Wales wanted to experience everything about the running of a ranch starting with the most menial jobs.

Haying at EP Ranch, Prince of Wales on Stacker. Sep 1923. Glenbow Archives

As the owner, Edward could have stood back and let his manager and ranch hands do the manual labour, but it would have robbed him of the satisfaction he received working with land that he'd personally chosen and paid for without it being part of an inheritance or gift. 

Edward, Prince of Wales helping build a corral, EP Ranch. ca. 1923. Glenbow Archives

Love those knickers!

Stay tuned for my next post on the EP Ranch as we see what happens when Edward shows up for his 1924 visit. 
If you missed it, the first post in this series starts with Alberta's Edward Prince Ranch.


Anita Mae Draper lives on the Canadian prairies where she uses her experience and love of history to enhance her stories of yesteryear's romance with realism and faith. Readers can enrich their story experience with visual references by checking Anita's Pinterest boards. All links available on her website at



  1. I love this site for the unknown history y'all find!

    1. I enjoy contributing for the same reason, Ane. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing! I agree with the point you made that Prince Edward could have just stood by and reaped the rewards of what his workers were doing, but the fact that he wanted to know exactly what work it took to make the ranch viable is to his credit.

    1. That, Connie, is the reason I want to share the story of him and the EP Ranch. This is my own take of him, but I think the reason he skipped out on social functions was because he was bored just standing around talking. Everything I read about him seems to show he was a man of action.