Small Australian flag attached to a stick. This flag is one of thousands given to state school children to wave at the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth as she paraded through the streets of Melbourne during the 1954 royal visit. It belonged to Russell Grainger who stood at the edge of the crowd with other pupils from the local state school in Chadstone.
Princess Elizabeth was en route to Australia in 1952 when she heard news that her father, King George VI, had died. Her trip was curtailed, but when she made it to Australia two years later she was now Queen Elizabeth II; this marked her visit as being particularly significant for it was the first by a reigning monarch. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's tour of Australia included all major cities and a number of regional towns. The tour commenced in Sydney on 3 February, and finished in Perth on 1 April 1954. The royal couple were in Victoria from 24 February to 9 March.
Rectangular piece of fabric printed on both sides with the Australian flag. It is attached to a thin stick, proper left.
The Royal Visit in 1954 was perhaps the last major demonstration of the enthusiasm Australians felt for their ties with Britain, and the British Royal Family. In Melbourne it was a major event, and most buildings in the CBD were decorated; hundreds of thousands of people queued and jostled to see the Queen and Prince Phillip pass by. This flag is a rare survivor of the ephemeral decorations of the city at the time.
Donation from Mr Bryan Cunningham - Cunningham Martyn Design, June 2011
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