4. Meeting the Queen
After landing work with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1961, Trebek began hosting the music show Music Hop, quiz show Reach for the Top, as well as several sporting events. As one of the only bilingual announcers on staff, he was assigned to host a two-hour variety special on Parliament Hill in 1967, Canada’s centennial year. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were in attendance and greeted everyone at the end of the show. “As the host, I was at the end of the line. The Queen got to me and said, ‘Good show. Please tell me your name, and where you are from.’ And as I began answering her, I couldn’t help but notice that she glanced over her shoulder, just for a second, to see where Prince Philip was,” he writes. “Now, normally in public the Queen has Prince Philip one or two steps behind her, and she will not leave the stage until he is accompanying her. Only this time he wasn’t one or two steps behind. He had paused fifty feet back and was chatting up the Kalev Estonian gymnasts—a group of twenty- year- old blond girls in electric- blue leotards. So the Queen was stuck talking to me for four or five minutes. You’re not supposed to lead the conversation with the Queen. She loved horses, and once she found out I was hosting the Canadian Triple Crown of racing, we spent much of our discussion on that. Finally, after several minutes of conversation, Prince Philip showed up and said, ‘Good show,’ shook my hand, and off they went.” The next day, he hosted another show that involved the Queen and he expected them to greet one another like old pals. “And when she got to me, she said, ‘Good show. Please tell me your name, and where you are from,'” he reveals.