what years did the queen visit south australia

16 visits over 57 years: reflecting on Queen Elizabeth II’s long relationship with Australia

what years did the queen visit south australia

Associate Professor of English, Flinders University

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Giselle Bastin does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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“Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth” has died. Given her advanced years, this has long been expected, yet it still seems incredible this woman who has been Australia’s queen for the duration of most Australians’ lives is no longer with us.

While the focus of the formalities and ceremony of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II will centre on London and the UK, there is no doubt it will be keenly observed by many Australians.

The queen liked Australia and Australians. She came here 16 times throughout her reign and was, famously, on her way to our shores in 1952 when she learned her father had passed on and she was now queen.

Her visits to Australia – from her first in 1954 through to her last in 2011 – offer a snapshot of the changing relationship Australians have had with their sovereign and with the monarchy.

An enthusiastic nation

The queen’s 1954 tour took place during a time described by historian Ben Pimlott as the age of “ British Shintoism ”. Deference to the Crown was paramount in Britain and the Commonwealth, and many Australians were madly enthusiastic about their queen.

what years did the queen visit south australia

After her arrival at Farm Cove in Sydney on February 3 1954, Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to set foot on Australian soil. The royal tour lasted nearly two months and consisted of a gruelling schedule taking in visits to every state and territory apart from the Northern Territory.

During the tour, the queen greeted over 70,000 ex-service men and women; drove in cavalcades that took in massive crowds; attended numerous civic receptions; and opened the Australian Parliament in Canberra. The tour saw Elizabeth travel 10,000 miles by air and 2,000 miles by road – including 207 trips by car and by appointed royal trains.

It is estimated as much as 75% of the population saw the queen and Prince Philip during this tour.

No Australian prime minister has ever had a reception on this scale or exposure to so many of the country’s citizens.

The Queen in a car driving past a crowd.

A “new” and prosperous country

During her first two tours in 1954 and 1963, the Australia laid-out for display for the queen was depicted as having gone from being a small colonial settlement to a thriving economy that had ridden to prosperity “ on the sheep’s back ”.

The queen was treated to endless displays of sheep shearing, surf carnivals, wood chopping, whip cracking, and mass displays of dancing and singing by school children. Federal and state dignitaries, mayors and civic leaders from across the political divide jostled to meet and be seen with her; the country’s florists were emptied of flowers for the hundreds of bouquets presented to her by dozens of shy, nervous school children nudged gently forward by awe-struck parents.

The Queen talks to young children.

During the early tours, Aboriginal Australians were kept at a discreet distance. Apart from a demonstration of boomerang and spear throwing, the closest the queen came to experiencing anything of Indigenous Australian culture was a ballet performed by the Arts Council Ballet titled Corroboree, with no Aboriginal dancers but dancers with blackened faces.

During the 1970 visit, the queen witnessed the re-enactment of Captain James Cook’s arrival at Botany Bay, with Cook and his crew meeting “the resistance of the Aborigines with a volley of musket fire”.

By 1973, Indigenous Australians were given a more significant role in the royal tours. Aboriginal actor Ben Blakeney, one of Bennelong’s descendants, gave the official welcome during the opening of the Sydney Opera House, and the then unknown actor David Gulpilil was among those performing a ceremonial dance.

what years did the queen visit south australia

Invited guest, not ruler of the land

As early as the 1963 tour, the nation-wide royal fervour had dimmed a little. The 1963 visit witnessed smaller crowds and fewer mass public events. When Prime Minister Robert Menzies courted the queen with the now-famous line, “I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her till I die”, the ensuing blushes – including the queen’s own – reflected many Australians’ growing sense of embarrassment at public displays and unquestioning expressions of deference.

Despite this, Menzies’ displays of public ardour saw him being granted The Order of the Thistle shortly after, a bestowal which must surely remain the envy of some subsequent prime ministers.

AAP Image/Supplied by the National Archives of Australia

The 1977 Silver Jubilee and 1988 Australian bicentenary visits perhaps marked the end of a period of royal tours as overt celebrations of Australia’s ties to Britain. This new flavour of tours positioned the sovereign as an invited guest to an independent, modern and multi-cultural nation.

On her 10th tour in 1986, the queen returned to sign the Australia Act , which brought to an end the ability of the UK to create laws for Australia.

Her role as our sovereign subtly transformed from cutting ribbons and opening Parliament to signing the documents that slowly, by degrees, contributed to the cutting of Australia’s ties to the UK and the Crown.

A question of the republic

By the 12th tour in 1992, the cost of the queen’s visits to Australia were increasingly scrutinised by a public feeling largely indifferent about the royal family. The prime minister of the day, Paul Keating, was seen not so much as an entranced liege lord revelling in the opportunity to see his sovereign “passing by” as one who instead – unthinkingly – committed an act of lèse majesté by placing his bare hand on the royal back and waist as he guided her through the crowd.

The gloves, it seemed, were coming off.

what years did the queen visit south australia

The queen made it clear in her last visits to our shores that whether or not Australia should become a republic was a decision for its own citizens to make. Her official announcement after she learned of the result of the 1999 Republic Referendum confirmed this:

I have always made it clear that the future of the Monarchy in Australia is an issue for the Australian people and them alone to decide, by democratic and constitutional means. … My family and I would, of course, have retained our deep affection for Australia and Australians everywhere, whatever the outcome.

In the last decades of her life, the queen retained the affection of many. Her popularity seemed to grow in line with Australians’ increased disenchantment with their home-grown political leaders: the former prime ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Julia Gillard are right to have sensed that any discussion about an Australian republic would have to wait until after Elizabeth II’s death.

what years did the queen visit south australia

Queen Elizabeth II reigned across seven decades and her tours to Australia served as a marker of Australia’s changing relationship with the Crown as well as with its own colonial past and national identity.

Almost certainly, Elizabeth II’s reign as the stalwart, loyal, dutiful, and most cherished and admired of “Glorianas” is one we are unlikely ever to see again.

Correction: the article previously stated the queen was on her way to Australia in 1953 when she learned of her father’s death. This has been corrected to 1952.

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Adelaide, Remember When the Royals came to town?

WITH the Kate and Wills on their way Down Under, we take a look back at all the major Royal visits to the SA Colony, starting in 1954.

NEWS that Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are heading Down Under next month got me thinking of some of the other royal visits to Adelaide.

The Queen has visited Australia 16 times and South Australians have always had a fascination with the royal family.

Who can forget the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s first visit back in 1954 when we welcomed the beautiful young queen and her handsome prince to Adelaide for the first time?

Reports from The Advertiser on that day, March 18, 1954, estimated a crowd of some 200,000 people turned out for the start of her eight-day visit, with large numbers lining the route from Parafield Airport.

Later that week, at the Wayville showground, more than 100,000 children from schools all over the city gathered for a royal music festival.

During the visit, a satellite city north of Adelaide was named in the Queen’s honour.

The newspapers were full of the Royal visit and for the week the Royals were here their activities dominated the scene.


News_Image_File: The young Queen is flanked by South Australian Premier Tom Playford and Prince Phillip as they listen to speeches during a dinner in Adelaide in 1954. Photo: The Advertiser.

The highlight of that first visit for the children of Adelaide was being bussed to Wayville showgrounds to take part in a special display to welcome Her Majesty. We practiced for weeks at school to form part of a giant tableau which spelled out ‘LOYALTY’ and formed the crown. It was quite spectacular really and went without a hitch. After that we got to sit on the oval while other school children performed dances and other various acts depicting life in Australia.

News_Image_File: Children spelling out their loyalty to the crown at the special display at Wayville Showground 1n 1954. Photo: The Advertiser.

We, the people of South Australia, were so happy to see the Royal couple on that first occasion we gave them a special gift, the ‘Andamooka Opal necklace and earring set’. It featured 180 diamonds and the finest piece of opal ever mined at Andamooka. The opal weighed 203 carats and displayed a magnificent array of colours and would be valued in today’s terms at more than $250,000.

News_Image_File: Her Majesty the Queen with Premier Tom Playford and his wife, attending a formal function during the 1954 visit. The Queen is shown here wearing the ‘Andamooka Opal’ necklace. It is not known whether she ever wore it again. Photo: The Advertiser.


The Queen Mother came four years later in 1958. She had first toured Australia as the Duchess of Cornwall and York with her husband in 1927. The couple was supposed to return for another tour in 1949 and then again in 1952, but plans for both these visits were cancelled due to her husband, the King’s, ill health.

From February 15 to March 7 the Queen Mum finally made it to Australia and Adelaide. The Prime Minister had called for ‘plenty of flags’ on display but he did not propose to illuminate and decorate Commonwealth buildings as had been done for the royal visit of 1954. In spite of the lack of bunting, the tour met with great approval from the public.

During her 1958 tour, the Queen Mother visited Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Whilst in Adelaide she attended State Parliament, officially opened the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Woodville and unveiled a portrait of Queen Elizabeth in the foyer before attending a garden party.

News_Image_File: Garden party guests strain to see the Queen Mother as she signs the visitors’ book during her 1958 tour. Photo: The Advertiser.

THE QUEEN – 1963 and 1977

There was a much less formal visit by the Queen in 1963, when she toured all the states and territories, with the primary purpose of leading the Canberra Jubilee celebrations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the naming of the capital. Although it was lower key than the 1954 visit, once again thousands of Royal watchers turned out to welcome the Queen and Prince Phillip to Adelaide.

And again, we welcomed Her Majesty in 1977 as Australia figured prominently in The Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations. The Royal couple visited every state during a three-week tour. During a hectic visit to Adelaide, they officially opened the new Festival Theatre, visited Lindsay Park Stud in the Barossa Valley, conducted a ‘meet the people’ walk through Rundle Mall and visited Glenelg.

News_Image_File: The Queen and a huge gallery of admirers at Glenelg during the Royal visit to celebrate her Silver Jubilee in 1977. Photo: Holdfast Bay History Collection.

DIANA – 1983

The most popular Royal in recent history – Princess Diana – visited Adelaide in 1983 with Prince Charles. They were here at the start of their tour of Southern Australia in April that year. Just looking at an itinerary of their visit, it looks a bit dull compared to some of the earlier Royal visits: they were met by demonstrators calling for British troops to leave Northern Ireland, then they visited a local community centre and a keep fit class, Prince Charles visited a film studio and later the royal couple attended a disco at Adelaide University.

Regardless of the waning popularity of the Royal family in Australia, Princess Diana was universally loved by everybody, created great interest and attracted large crowds of admirers wherever she went.

News_Image_File: Princess Diana lovingly reciprocates Prince Charles’ smile during their visit in 1983. Photo: The Advertiser.

Which of the Royal visits do you remember most of all: as a child in 1954, the Queen Mum’s visit in 1958, the Silver Jubilee celebrations of 1977 or Diana and Charles’ visit in 1983? Comment below.

Want to read past blogs in this series? Check out the “ Adelaide Remember When ” board on The Advertiser’s Pinterest page. This blog features here and on The Advertiser Facebook page every Friday. You can also check out more of Bob’s musings on SA history on his Adelaide Remember When Facebook page.

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  • Australia News

In pictures: A look back at Queen Elizabeth II's visits to Australia during her 70-year reign - as nation mourns her death

Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia 16 times during her long reign, including to open the Sydney Opera House in 1973, Parliament House in 1988 and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006.  

Bryant Hevesi

Queen Elizabeth II's "deep affection" for Australia is being remembered as the nation mourns her death aged 96.

Her Majesty died "peacefully" at her Balmoral home in Scotland on Thursday afternoon (local time) surrounded by close family members. 

She was the first reigning sovereign to visit Australia, making a total of 16 trips Down Under during her 70-year reign, the longest in British history.

The Queen's visits included opening the Sydney Opera House in 1973, Darling Harbour in 1988 and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006.  

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The Queen walks with then NSW premier Robert Askin in front of a large crowd to open the Sydney Opera House on October 20, 1973. Picture: News Ltd

She first visited in 1954, two years after ascending to the throne following the death of her father King George VI, and made her last visit in 2011.

More than seven million Australians, or 70 per cent of the country's population at the time, turned out to catch a glimpse of the young Queen during her first visit. 

"From her famous first trip to Australia, the only reigning sovereign to ever visit, it was clear Her Majesty held a special place in her heart for Australia," Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.

"Fifteen more tour before cheering crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place she held in ours."

On a visit in 1988, the Queen opened the new Parliament House in Canberra, with the parliament's website on Friday stating: "She had a deep affection for Australia and its people, visiting on many occasions to perform official functions".  

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh after arriving at Canberra Airport on October 17, 1973. Picture: Staff photographer

"The Parliament of Australia sends its deepest condolences to her family and will commemorate her life in coming days."

Her majesty's 12 visits to New South Wales featured trips to country towns including Tamworth and Wagga Wagga. 

"As the first reigning monarch to visit our nation, Queen Elizabeth set foot for the first time on Australian soil in 1954 at Farm Cove in Sydney Harbour where an unprecedented crowd of more than one million people greeted her," NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said. 

"The public's overwhelming jubilation and enthusiasm at seeing the young monarch was the beginning of the state's long-held joy in her frequent visits.

The Queen is pictured on May 28, 1980 during a visit to Australia. Picture: News Corp Australia

"Her Late Majesty will forever be connected to pivotal moments in our State's history. She officially opened the Parliament of New South Wales in 1954, Sydney Opera House in 1973, Parramatta Stadium in 1986, and Darling Harbour in 1988.

"She also visited NSW regional areas including Newcastle, Lismore, Orange, Dubbo, Armidale, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga, drawing huge crowds of well-wishers."

The Queen visited Victoria 11 times, with Premier Daniel Andrews saying "during those trips, she left her mark on the state we know today".

"She talked with patients and families at the Royal Children's – and opened our Commonwealth Games," Mr Andrews said. 

The Queen at the opening of the new Parliament House in Canberra in 1988. Picture: News Ltd

"She rode a tram around the Hoddle grid, watched Richmond win at the MCG, and caught a show at the Princess Theatre.

"She travelled across the state – visiting Tatura, Echuca, Rochester, Castlemaine, Maryborough, Ballarat and Geelong - touching so much of what makes Victoria special.

"Her historic reign and long life has come to an end, but Victorians’ deep affection and respect for Her Majesty lives on."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk noted Her Majesty visited the state "often and displayed her care and concern for the people of this state, especially during times of natural disasters".

The Queen, standing next to Ron Walker, meets Ian Thorpe and Kylie Palmer on Day 1 of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Picture: Nathan Richter/News Corp Australia

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said the Queen will forever be an inspiration to the state's residents. 

"Most Western Australians have never known another monarch, with Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest reigning British monarch," Mr McGowan said. 

"She led the Commonwealth through some of the darkest days and will forever be an inspiration to the world and Western Australia, a State she visited seven times."

South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas said: "Her Majesty's great fondness and interest in the welfare of South Australians was evident through her seven visits to our state during her reign". 

The Queen and then prime minister Julia Gillard make their way to a reception at Parliament House in Canberra in 2011. Picture: Kym Smith

"Her Majesty's first visit to South Australia was with the late Duke of Edinburgh in March 1954," Mr Malinauskas said.  

"Some 200,000 people lined the route from the Parafield Airport, where they were met by the Premier, Tom Playford at Government House. Her last visit to South Australia was in February 2002."

Commonwealth countries will observe 10 days of mourning and remembrance in the period between the Queen's death and her funeral. However, in Australia there will not be a limit placed on mourning of the Queen.

The Prime Minister will declare a day of National Memorial Service and a National Day of mourning as he suspended parliament for at least a fortnight.

Mr Albanese and the Governor-General will travel to London in the coming days to meet with King Charles III, as they offer condolences on behalf of Australia.

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SNAPSHOT: The 1954 Royal Tour

what years did the queen visit south australia

Princess Elizabeth was en route to Australia, via Kenya, when she received news in February 1952 of the premature death of her father, 56-year-old King George VI. She hastily abandoned her trip but visited Australia two years later as the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II, the first and only reigning British monarch ever to do so. That 1954 visit was the first of 16 royal tours by the Queen to Australia but was, by every measure, the most successful – and resoundingly so. Royal fever gripped the postwar nation, which seemed to fall, en masse, under the spell of the young queen. During the two-month sojourn it’s estimated that more than 7 million Australians – 70 per cent of the population – attempted to see Elizabeth and her consort, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

what years did the queen visit south australia

In Sydney, 1 million residents reportedly thronged the harbour foreshore and lined the city streets, waiting for hours just to glimpse the royal couple following their arrival on 3 February 1954 at Farm Cove aboard the royal barge.

During the following 58 days, the pair visited 57 towns and cities across the country on an exhausting program of public engagements and community and sporting events. They saw natural wonders such as the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains and the Great Barrier Reef, and watched surf carnivals and gymnastics displays. They met Indigenous leaders, war veterans, farmers and factory workers and hordes of schoolchildren. Australia presented itself as a confident and vigorous young nation with seemingly boundless resources. It was forward-looking while still valuing its strong bonds with the motherland.

It wasn’t until the Queen’s next tour, in 1963, that Prime Minister Menzies famously quoted the poetic phrase “I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her till I die”. But he was already feeling effusive in 1954, and avowed his most profound and passionate feelings of loyalty and devotion to the throne in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald .

Formal celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – 70 years on the throne – the first British monarch to reach such a milestone, will take place in the UK across the long weekend 2–5 June 2022. Among the events and celebrations here in Australia, the Queen’s Jubilee Program is providing up to $15.1 million in grants to eligible groups and organisations for community-based tree-planting programs.

For more information, see The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 .

what years did the queen visit south australia

All photographs by Max Dupain/Courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales

Buildings were dismantled, leaving behind concrete foundations and bitumen roads leading nowhere, when Mary Kathleen was closed.

The outback town that was sold for parts

Once a prosperous and thriving community, the uranium-mining town of Mary Kathleen, about 50km by road east of Mount Isa in north-western Queensland, is now a ghost town.

what years did the queen visit south australia

Floating first

Colour fills the skies above Northam, Western Australia, as the Top Guns of the balloon world chase glory in the Women’s World Hot Air Balloon Championship.

what years did the queen visit south australia

Commemorating brothers in arms on Country

Members of Aboriginal communities are warned that this story contains images and names of deceased people.

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South Australian observances for the death of Her Majesty The Queen

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sadly passed away on 8 September 2022.

what years did the queen visit south australia

Having reigned for more than 70 years, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has dutifully served South Australia and the Commonwealth.

Her Majesty The Queen was the first ruling monarch of Australia to visit our shores and her great fondness and interest in the welfare of South Australians was evident through her 7 visits to South Australia during her reign.

Her Majesty The Queen's first visit to our state was with the late Duke of Edinburgh in March 1954. Some 200,000 people lined the route from the Parafield Airport, where they were met by the Premier, Tom Playford at Government House.

Her last visit to South Australia was in February 2002.

As a sign of respect and to acknowledge the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, the South Australian government will be supporting a number of observances , including flag protocols, illuminations, a projection on Government House, condolence books and a state church service.

The proclamation of the accession of His Majesty The King was held on the steps of Parliament House at 2pm on Sunday 11 September 2022.

A State Service of thanksgiving for the life, work and witness of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took place at 6pm on Tuesday 20 September, at St Peter’s Cathedral.

Members of the public attended and these events were live-streamed on the DPC website and SA Government Facebook page for those unable to attend.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that the National Archives' website and collection contain the names, images and voices of people who have died.

Some records include terms and views that are not appropriate today. They reflect the period in which they were created and are not the views of the National Archives.

The Queen in Australia promotional poster.

The 1954 royal tour

A royal visitor.

On 3 February 1954, the steamship Gothic arrived in Sydney Harbour, carrying the first reigning monarch to visit Australia – Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip. In just under 2 months, the royal couple would travel around Australia by train, car, and plane. They would visit almost every capital city except Darwin, and 40 country towns. Among the revellers, children turned up en masse to view the royal couple, and some even participated in official events. 

A tremendous task

In Sydney, an estimated 120,000 children and their teachers gathered in Centennial Park, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and the Sydney Showgrounds. The Herald reported transporting the students took 80 trains, 209 trams and 214 busses. At the SCG, students were organised into concentric circles so that the royal couple’s Land Rover could pass within 24 feet (7.3 metres) of most of the children. The children were issued coloured streamers attached to short sticks called ‘wavers,’ which came to life at 11:40 am when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh entered the cricket grounds. An enthusiastic roar accompanied the rush of excitement. 

Similar gatherings took place in other large cities. For example, a children’s pageant was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The pageant included children from 6 to 18 years of age, marching, performing callisthenics, and maypole dancing while wearing colourful costumes. As the grand finale, the children formed the word ‘WELCOME’, and the Queen and Duke boarded a Land Rover so that they could drive among the performers. At this point, some exuberant children broke free of their ranks, swamping the royal car and briefly stalling its progress. Finally, the amused Duke ordered them to clear the way.


The formation of words by children in tableaux performances occurred across Australia. In Brisbane and outside of Parliament House, they formed the phrase ‘OUR QUEEN.’ At the Wayville Showgrounds in Adelaide, they formed the word ‘LOYALTY’ and at Manuka Oval in Canberra, ‘WELCOME.’  Throngs of people, keen to catch a glimpse of the nation’s sovereign, greeted the royal couple everywhere they travelled. Their journey and activities were meticulously recorded and compiled by film director Colin Dean and his team. The footage formed the first colour full-length feature film made in Australia. Included is a section devoted to the children’s contribution to the celebrations, capturing the young audience's enthusiasm. 

The Queen in Australia (feature film)

The aftermath

While the effort to put on these displays was enormous, time spent with the children was extremely short. Although the royal couple were only in Canberra for 4 full days, the Queen's schedule was unrelenting. It included opening Parliament, unveiling the Australian-American Memorial, opening Union House at the Australian National University, and laying a wreath and planting a tree at the Australian War Memorial. They also attended Manuka Oval for the children’s welcome, only to depart 30 minutes later. 

Records held by the National Archives include detailed communications, maps, and diagrams used in the organisation of royal events. The day was likely exhausting for the young participants, with many students arriving at the events hours before they were due to commence. A photo from our collection shows exhausted muddy revellers, slightly dishevelled yet still clutching and waving their commemorative flags.   

Children forming the words ‘OUR QUEEN’ and an Australian flag outside Parliament House in Canberra.

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The Queen of travel

Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022

Queen Elizabeth II leaves Fiji during a royal tour in February 1977. Serge Lemoine/Getty Images

The Queen of travel Journeys of a lifetime

By Francesca Street and Mark Oliver, CNN September 13, 2022

S he was traveling the moment she ascended to the throne, and for much of the next seven decades, Queen Elizabeth II criss-crossed the world. Newly married and still just a princess, Britain’s future monarch was in Kenya with husband Prince Philip in February 1952 when she learned of her father’s death and her new regal status.

During her reign she would visit more than 120 countries, witnessing first-hand the revolutions in global travel that shrank the world as her own influence over it diminished.

The Queen lived through the advent of the Jet Age, flew supersonic on the Concorde, saw regimes change, countries form and dissolve, the end of the British Empire and the rise of globalization.

Here are some of the most memorable travel moments from her 70 years as monarch.

November 24-25, 1953

Less than six months after she was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London, Queen Elizabeth set off on her travels again. Her debut official state trip was an epic six-month tour of the Commonwealth -- the alliance of nations which were once British colonies. Traveling by air, sea and land she visited several countries, accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. First stop was the North Atlantic island of Bermuda, a British territory she would visit a further four times during her reign. The trip would go on to include stops in Jamaica, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Cocos Islands, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Aden (now part of Yemen), Uganda, Malta and Gibraltar.

December 19-20, 1953

At Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in June 1953, Queen Salote Tupou III of the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga won over the British public when she sat, rain-soaked, in her open carriage. They also took an interest when Elizabeth returned the visit later in the year. The two queens enjoyed an open-air feast, watched Tongan dancers and admired a tortoise that legend said was presented by explorer Captain James Cook to the King of Tonga in 1777.

December 23, 1953 – January 30, 1954

New zealand.

The Queen voyaged to New Zealand during the Antipodean summer of 1953-4. Over the course of the trip, it’s estimated that three out of every four New Zealanders got a glimpse of her. In preparation for the Queen’s visit, some New Zealand sheep were dyed in the UK flag colors of red, white and blue. The Queen returned to the country nine times over the years, including in 2002 as she marked half a century on the throne.

April 10-21, 1954

Ceylon (now sri lanka).

A visit to Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, coincided with the Queen’s 28th birthday. She visited the city of Colombo where crowds joined together to sing her “Happy Birthday.” She also visited the central city of Kandy, where she watched a procession featuring a reported 140 elephants and met local chiefs.

April 8-11, 1957

The Queen had visited France as a young princess, but her first state visit as monarch was a glamorous affair. She attended the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris, visited the Palace of Versailles, and dined at the Louvre with then-President Rene Coty. The Queen also laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe and visited the Scottish Church of Paris.

October 17-20, 1957

United states.

Having met President Harry S. Truman in Washington in 1951 during a visit before ascending to the throne, Elizabeth was no stranger to America when she arrived on her first trip as Queen. Her 1957 visit marked the 350th anniversary of the first permanent British settlement on the continent, in Jamestown. The monarch attended a college football game at the former Byrd Stadium in Maryland where she watched the home team lose to North Carolina. She met with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the White House and later traveled to New York, where she and Prince Philip drove through the streets and admired panoramic views of the city from the Empire State Building.

February 1-16, 1961

The Queen and Prince Philip visited Pakistan in 1961, arriving in the port city of Karachi after completing a visit to India as part of a wider tour of South Asia. She drove through the streets of Karachi in an open-top car, before going on to visit Lahore, where a torchlight military tattoo took place in her honor and Prince Philip played in a game of polo.

February 26 to March 1, 1961

In Nepal, the Queen inspected troops in Kathmandu and met Gurkha ex-servicemen in Pokhara. The monarch rode on an elephant and visited the Hanuman Dhoka Palace complex in Kathmandu. She took part in the rather grim spectacle of a tiger hunt although didn’t shoot any animals herself. She instead recorded the experience on cine camera – a recording device that she often carried with her on her earlier foreign trips.

March 2-6, 1961

The Queen visited pre-revolution Iran at the end of her 1961 South Asian tour. Hosted by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, she toured ancient monuments including the ruins of Persepolis, once a capital of the Achaemenid Empire, later declared a World Heritage Site. She also saw Sheikh Lotfollah mosque in Esfahan and admired collections of the Archaeological Museum of Iran.

May 5, 1961

Vatican city.

In 1961, Elizabeth became the first British monarch to visit the Vatican. Dressed all in black, the Queen had an audience with Pope John XXIII, also attended by Prince Philip. She returned to the Vatican three more times during her reign, meeting Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis.

November 9-20, 1961

Bombing incidents in the capital Accra left officials worried about the safety of the Queen’s visit to Ghana but, after deliberation, UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan confirmed it would go ahead. During the trip, the Queen famously shared a dance with Ghana’s then-president, Kwame Nkrumah. At the height of Cold War uncertainty, this seemingly innocuous moment was seen as significant in ensuring Ghana remained affiliated to Britain and not the USSR.

May 18-28, 1965

West germany (now germany).

The Queen’s visit to West Germany and West Berlin was viewed as a symbolic gesture of goodwill in the post-World War II landscape. It was the first royal trip to German territory for more than 50 years and photographs such as one of the Queen and Prince Philip in a car driving past the Brandenburg Gate had symbolic resonance.

November 5-11, 1968

Queen Elizabeth became the first reigning British monarch to visit South America when she landed in Brazil in late 1968. During the trip, the Queen wore a striking jewelry set made of Brazilian aquamarine, gifted to her in 1953 by the Brazilian president and added to over time. The monarch also attended a football match between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and presented the winner’s trophy to Brazilian footballer Pele.

October 18-25, 1971

On the first of two trips to Turkey -- the second took place in 2008 -- the Queen visited the Gallipoli peninsula to remember the Allied soldiers who died there during World War I. The monarch also explored the ruins of the ancient Greek empire city of Ephesus. A media highlight of the visit came when she was photographed leaping ashore from a barge, after disembarking from her ship, the Royal Yacht Britannia.

February 10-15, 1972

Accompanied by Prince Philip and daughter Princess Anne, the Queen was greeted on arrival in Bangkok by a carpet of flower petals. The monarch was given a golden key to the city of Bangkok, attended a state banquet and visited Bang Pa-In Palace, the Thai royal family’s summer residence, north of the capital.

October 17-21, 1972

The Queen’s visit to Yugoslavia was her first trip to a communist country. The Central European country no longer exists -- the areas that the Queen visited are now part of Croatia. During her trip, she met Yugoslav political leader Josip Broz Tito and traveled on his famous Blue Train.

February 15-16, 1974

New hebrides (now vanuatu).

The Queen and Prince Philip visited the Pacific island archipelago of Vanuatu, then known as the New Hebrides, in 1974. It’s said the royal couple’s visit to Vanuatu may have strengthened the belief among some locals on Tanna island that the Duke of Edinburgh was a divine being.

February 24-March 1, 1975

On her first of two visits to Mexico, the Queen toured ancient sites -- including the pyramids of Uxmal, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monarch also received local crafts, met school children and attended a banquet. While she was driven through Mexico City, the Queen was showered in confetti.

February 17-20, 1979

Saudi arabia.

In 1979, the Queen became the first female head of state to visit Saudi Arabia, on a tour of Gulf States. At Riyadh Airport, she was met by King Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, pictured. The outfits she wore on the trip were carefully designed in accordance with Saudi Arabia’s conservative dress code for women. The Queen arrived on a British Airways supersonic Concorde aircraft and during the visit attended camel races and toured the National Museum.

October 26-27, 1982

The Queen visited Tuvalu, a group of nine islands in the South Pacific, in 1982. Upon arrival, the Queen and Prince Philip were carried in a flower-filled canoe from sea to shore. Thirty years later, in 2012, Prince William visited Tuvalu with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, who drank a coconut from a tree planted by Queen Elizabeth on this 1982 visit.

February 26 – March 6, 1983

On a star-studded trip to the United States, the Queen toured the 20th Century-Fox studios in Hollywood with then-First Lady Nancy Reagan and met Frank Sinatra, who she’d previously met in the 1950s, at a party given in her honor. The Queen and Prince Philip also visited Yosemite National Park in California, pictured.

November 10-14, 1983

The Queen returned to Kenya in 1983 for a state visit. When she was there 31 years previously, she'd learned that her father had passed away and she had become Britain’s reigning monarch. In 1983, the Queen and Prince Philip revisited the Treetops hotel, pictured, where they were staying at the time she was told the news.

October 12-18, 1986

The Queen’s trip to China was the first -- and, so far, only -- state visit by a British monarch to China. With Prince Philip by her side, the Queen visited the Great Wall of China, pictured, as well as the Forbidden City in Beijing.

October 17-20, 1994

In 1994, in another royal first, the Queen visited Russia. Over the three-day trip, the Queen met Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, pictured here with the monarch outside St Basil’s Cathedral, as well as Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The Queen also attended the Bolshoi Ballet. In her traditional Christmas Day speech broadcast later that year, the Queen reflected on how times had changed, noting she “never thought it would be possible in [her] lifetime” to attend a service in Moscow’s famous cathedral.

March 19-25, 1995

South africa.

In 1994, after apartheid ended, South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth as a republic. The following year, the Queen traveled there, in a visit designed to renew ties between the two countries. The Queen met with President Nelson Mandela, pictured, and presented him with the Order of Merit.

October 12-18, 1997

The Queen visited India for the third time in 1997, her first public engagement since Princess Diana’s funeral just weeks before. The trip marked 50 years since India’s independence from Britain. Most memorably, the monarch visited the site of the Amritsar massacre, also known as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, of April 13, 1919. She also expressed regret at a state banquet in New Delhi for the “distressing” episode in which British soldiers gunned down hundreds of unarmed civilians. The gesture was seen by some as inadequate. “The Queen is doing everything she can to make India like her. But so far it does not seem to be working,” wrote the UK’s Independent newspaper at the time.

October 4-15, 2002

The Queen visited Canada many times. In 2002, her trip to the North American country coincided with her Golden Jubilee festivities, celebrating 50 years of her reign. During the trip, the Queen attended an ice hockey game between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks, and dropped the ceremonial puck.

March 11-16, 2006

The Queen visited Australia 16 times as Head of State. In 2006, she traveled to Melbourne to open the Commonwealth Games. She was greeted by a welcoming party in Canberra, visited the Sydney Opera House, attended a Commonwealth Day service in St. Andrew’s Cathedral and toured Admiralty House, the Sydney residence of the Governor-General of Australia.

May 17-20, 2011

The Queen’s trip to Dublin was the first time a British monarch had set foot in the Irish Republic since its 1922 independence. At Dublin Castle the Queen delivered a well-received speech on the history of Anglo-Irish relations. In County Tipperary, she also toured the medieval Rock of Cashel, pictured, once a seat of power for Ireland’s ancient kings.

November 26-28, 2015

From 1949 to 1951, before she was Queen, Elizabeth and Prince Philip lived in Malta. In 2015, the monarch paid her last visit to the island, touring the Grand Harbour in a Maltese fishing boat and waving to members of the British Royal Navy.

United Kingdom

In the later years of her reign, the Queen cut back on foreign travel, passing on the mantle to the younger royals. In more recent years, royal tours have also been looked at with more skeptical eyes, as Britain reckons with its colonial past.

While she didn't travel abroad in the later years of her reign, the Queen continued to vacation in the UK. Most notably, the Queen’s ties with Scotland remained strong throughout her reign and her residence there, Balmoral Castle, was a favorite refuge. It was at Balmoral that the Queen died on September 8, 2022.

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Northern Sound System in Elizabeth, South Australia

Royal visit for a South Australian town named after a queen

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will find Elizabeth much changed since the days of Ten Pound Poms

“I’m aiming for a high five with the Duke when he gets here,” says Nick O’Connor. “I saw that dude up on stage singing backup with Bon Jovi. He’s cool. Don’t you reckon he’d high five me?”

As project officer at the Northern Sound System in Elizabeth, the 32-year-old musician is helping to co-ordinate the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to South Australia later this month. During their whistle-stop tour of the community school and recording studio, on 23 April, Kate and William will meet graffiti artists, join a rap session and watch skateboarders in action.

Like most of the trainee rappers, producers and video artists he works with at the council-funded facility, O’Connor seems flattered but slightly bewildered that they have been chosen to host these two posh “dudes” from England.

Casey Zeches in Elizabeth, South Australia

“I thought it was going to be some crap like One Direction,” he chuckles. “Give me Kate and Wills any day. I think they’ll get what we’re doing.”

Behind their face studs, tattoos and youthful angst, the students at Northern Sound System seem equally stunned by the prospect of meeting the couple.

“I mean, when you see them [on television] they are not standoffish old dudes,” says Lane Orr, 20. “They are for the youth. I think they’ll just rock up and see a nice venue and a good crowd.”

Casey Zeches, 16, a member of the Aerosol Angels program, which provides a safe environment for graffiti artists, has never met anyone rich or famous before, but likes the look of the young royals.

“I think they’ll both be really nice,” she says.

News of the royal visit, the result of intense lobbying by the city of Playford and the state government, has electrified the northern suburbs of Adelaide – a region which has become a byword for violence, unemployment and social dysfunction.

Mayor of Playford Glenn Docherty in Elizabeth, South Australia

Named in honour of the young Queen, Elizabeth was created in the 1950s as a garden community offering smart civic architecture, affordable housing and plentiful employment, similar to the New Town model so popular in the Britain at the time.

When the South Australian government ran an advertising campaign in the UK, thousands of new settlers responded to the promise of “sunshine and oranges” and boarded ships to Adelaide. Thanks to an assisted migration program they became known as “Ten Pound Poms”.

Many of these original settlers, such as David and Pam Gallery, soon discovered that the city of their dreams consisted of empty paddocks, kangaroos, dry creek beds and, in summer, stifling heat.

“We knew people who were here for a fortnight and went back home. They never gave it a chance,” recalls Pam, 73, from Eccles, Greater Manchester.

Fresh from dark, chilly postwar Britain, the two Mancunians fell in love with sunny Elizabeth and bought a three-bedroom house (with a garden) for £3,700 – they’ve lived here ever since, raised two daughters and have never revisited England.

“We liked it here and stayed,” says Pam. “There were a lot of English clubs. Dave joined the archery club and won a cup – we’ve got a picture.”

But the good times did not last. Elizabeth’s fortunes were closely tied to heavy industry, especially the huge General Motors car factory. With the removal of import tariffs in the 1980s factories began to close and the dole queues lengthened. GM will cease manufacturing cars in Australia by 2016.

Windsor Building, Elizabeth, South Australia

Youth unemployment in Adelaide’s northern suburbs now stands at 41%, the second highest in the country. The crime statistics are equally chilling. Crime statistics show that there were 2,805 reported assaults in 2013, making Elizabeth Adelaide’s most dangerous suburb.

By a strange quirk of history, Elizabeth, with all of its social ills, remains a bastion of monarchism. Locals voted as one against Australia becoming a republic in 1999 – and would no doubt do so again.

“You won’t find too many republicans around here,” says an elderly man at the shopping centre. “Elizabeth is very British. I’m wearing my Union Jack underpants today. Want to see them?”

The mayor of Playford, Glenn Docherty, 30, is aware of Elizabeth’s negative media image, but is convinced that this garden suburb can make a successful transition from post-industrial basket case into the shiny new knowledge economy.

“There are plenty of challenges, but also a lot of opportunities,” he says. “Part of what excited the royal couple was the regeneration going on here.”

Given the suburb’s British heritage and its long connection with the Queen, the mayor expected a positive reaction to the royal visit but even he has been astonished by the level of enthusiasm.

“Our community is so very excited,” he says. “The phone lines have been running hot with people wanting to know where they can see the royal couple and how close they can get.”

Organisers expect at least 50,000 people to line the streets of Elizabeth to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who will fly into nearby RAAF base Edinburgh after their visit to Uluru.

The council has been inundated with offers of gifts for Prince George, who will not accompany his parents to South Australia, including a jersey from the all-conquering Central District Football Club.

It is now 51 years since Queen Elizabeth stood in Windsor Green to unveil a new fountain – a gift from the people of Hemel Hempstead – and to view a modernist sculpture of two dancing figures. The optimism and promise of those days can be seen in the speeches and on the faces of the 4,000 British migrants who politely clapped the Queen.

“I am delighted to find that Elizabeth has grown into such an attractive and thriving community,” she said. “No one could fail to be impressed by the design of the houses, each with its carefully attended garden, with the green open spaces, the avenue of trees and the general air of wellbeing.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will struggle to find much trace of that sunny 1960s world. Windsor Green, popular for picnics and weddings, is now a carpark. The village fountain has been cut up and sold as scrap. Only the statue of the two dancers has survived the economic and social changes which have swept through Elizabeth. It now stands outside the council chambers – beautiful but forlorn. Like two lovers trapped in time.

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