The British Royals: A Queensland Story – exhibition launch at Queensland State Archives

On Wednesday 22 June 2011 Queensland State Archives’ new exhibition, The British Royals: A Queensland Story, was opened by Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC, Governor of Queensland and attended by guests including The Hon Simon Finn MP, Minister for Government Services, Building Industry and Information and Communication Technology and Ms Megan Hunt, British Vice Consul and Head of Consular Services.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother at State Reception, Feb 1958. ID7938.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother at State Reception, Feb 1958. ID7938.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the only reigning British monarch to have come to Queensland. The exhibition brings together photographs, records and memorabilia that bring these visits to life and commemorate many of the noteworthy events that the British royal family has participated in – including the opening and closing of World Expo ’88, unveiling a silver jubilee fountain at the new Queensland Cultural Centre, and inspecting Guards of Honour.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH Princess Anne, 1970. QSA Image ID 7988.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH Princess Anne, 1970. QSA Image ID 7988.

The exhibition also features some rare film footage of the 1963 visit to Brisbane of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The film shows Her Majesty being met by the Brisbane Lord Mayor, Clem Jones, and braving a torrential downpour to attend a surf carnival at Coolangatta.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Queen Street Mall, Brisbane City, c1982. QSA Digital Image 7979.

Included are some original records from the Queensland State Archives collection, including an entrée card for the Royal Ball in 1954, a map of the royal progress in 1963, an invitation to farewell the Duke of Gloucester in 1934 and even a map of the fireworks display in 1901.

In a spirit of cultural collaboration, the Queensland Museum and the State Library of Queensland have both loaned fascinating items from their collections to further enhance and enrich this exhibition.

Niles Elvery

Manager, Public Access - Queensland State Archives

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