Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Royal Tour - February 1954

This month sees Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and of course baby Prince George visiting Australia.  Thirty years ago it was the Prince and Princess of Wales, and sixty years ago it was the new Queen of the Commonwealth, Elizabeth, and her husband prince Phillip, visited Australia for the first time.

 It was a big deal, as Elizabeth was the first reigning monarch to do so.  Everyone was encouraged to line the streets and cheer loudly as the Queen's car rolled by.  I wasn't there, but I do remember a royal tour in the 1970s, where we were encouraged to do the same.

The Queen and Prince Phillip travelling along Queen Street, Brisbane, March 1954
The Royal couple arrived in Sydney on 3 February 1954, visited Victoria from 24 February to 9 March, then Queensland, and departed the country from Fremantle in WA on 1 April 1954, having visited all the capital cities apart from Darwin, and over 70 country towns.  They went to races at Randwick in Sydney and Flemington in Melbourne, Adelaide hosted a cricket match and Sydney also laid on a surf carnival. They even stopped here in Mackay before sailing around the Great Barrier Reef.

The Queen speaking at the Mackay Showgrounds, March 1954
I don't know that they visited Ayers Rock (Uluru) as both subsequent couples have done!
Australia was on show to the Queen - and the world, but the Queen was also on show - hopeful that her subjects would not cry for Independence and the leave the Commonwealth.

Everyone got into the Royal  Tour, even advertisers, eager to cash in on Royal fever.....

Pink sceptre and royal red nail polish from Cutex,

And even towels.

And what would you wear to meet the Queen? Well, if you were attending a garden party....

And of course you'll need your pink spice lipstick "harmonize and gives sparkle to the clothes you'll be wearing during the Royal Tour Season."

And your fiesta stockings.

You can read more about the 1954 Royal tour at the National Museum of Australia
For more ads of the time see my tumblr tab.

Deb xx

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