Brisbane illuminated - Royal tour 1954
One of the main attractions to coincide with the 1954 Royal visit to Brisbane of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was the Royal Tour illuminations. Initially planned to run every evening between 5th to 20th March, a number of public and private buildings, structures and spaces in central Brisbane were illuminated, including City Hall, the General Post Office, the Story, Victoria and Grey Street bridges, the Government Printing Office, Customs House and the Courier-Mail building.
In the lead-up to the visit, police were concerned about an influx of cars to the city during the nights of the illuminations and urged visitors to use public transport.
On the evening of 5th March the lights were officially switched on with an estimated 100,000 people in attendance. "In Queen Street, Wickham and Brunswick Streets sightseers were forced off the footpaths as thousands stared at the illuminated buildings," reported the Courier-Mail newspaper (6/3/1954, p.1).
Those looking for a wider view flocked to Mt Coot-tha. According to the Courier-Mail (27/2/1954, p.3) authorities were prepared for this eventuality. Police were stationed along the road up to Mt Coot-tha while parking was restricted to 50 cars on the crest and another 200 from the the crest to the summit lookout. Upon leaving vehicles were diverted onto Sir Samuel Griffith Drive and then onto Simpsons Road at Bardon to keep traffic flowing.
Towards the end of the Royal Tour illuminations, Queensland Premier Vince Gair announced that the lighting of public buildings and spaces would continue for a further week, ending on 27th March. The Premier also appealed to private businesses with lights to consider extending their use.
Myles Sinnamon, Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland
- Hear ye! Hear ye! 1954 and Her Majesty is coming!
- Queen Elizabeth and the Governor's wife
- Ahoy! Ahoy! – Her Majesty returns in 1963!
- The state of Queensland welcomes royalty in 1970 - Part 1 The Inland Tour
- The state of Queensland welcomes royalty in 1970 - Part 2 The Coastal Tour
- Photographs - Royal Tour 1954 (Flickr)
- Photographs - Royal Tour- Queensland on show 1954 (Flickr)