Visit of Prince of Wales, Queensland 1920 (AD)
Mint: Stokes & Sons
Other Details: In 1920 the Prince of Wales visited Australia to extend official thanks for its support during World War I and to strengthen links to the Empire. The Prince toured extensively, and his tour was one of the most popular royal visits ever. Wherever he went public holidays were declared, foundation stones laid, memorials unveiled and receptions and balls. The prince made a point of meeting ex-servicemen and women. The Prince spent nine days in Victoria, eleven days in New South Wales, fours days in Tasmania, eleven days in Western Australia, six days in South Australia and eight days in Queensland. While in Queensland Acting Premier J.A. Fihelly enthusiastically declared at the State Banquet that every Queenslander had taken the Prince into their hearts. 'We are only an outpost of the Empire, but we are a very loyal one', he declared. Fihelly was so taken by the Prince that he hired an aeroplane and raced the Prince's train to the New South Wales border to personally say goodbye. Buckingham Palace regarded the Queensland reception as the most successful of the entire tour. It put to rest concerns raised by the Queensland Labor Government's opposition to the War Precautions Act and apparent threats to the traditional power structure by 'disployal' ministers. Public phobia about the threat posed by Japan and other northern neighbours, coupled with support of the White Australia Policy, outweighed other political concerns.
Bust of the Prince in military uniform wearing cap 3/4 facing left; around in two lines H.R.H. PRINCE OF WALES / WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA. Below bust in small letters the mint name, STOKES
Shield of Queensland above ribbon with motto, AUDAX AT FIDELIS; around, TO COMMEMORATE THE PRINCES' VISIT TO QUEENSLAND . 1920 .
In 1920 the Prince of Wales visited Australia to extend official thanks for its support during World War I. The Prince toured extensively, and his tour was one of the most popular royal visits ever. Wherever he went public holidays were declared, foundation stones laid, memorials unveiled and receptions and balls. The prince made a point of meeting ex-servicemen and women. His popularity illustrates the complexity of Australia's self-awareness at the time.
The Prince's staff recorded that 'Confetti is appearing in great and unpleasant quantities, and the touching mania has started, only owing to the heartening disposition of the Australians the touches are more like blows and HRH arrived half blinded and black and blue...The 'touching mania', one of the most remarkable phenomena connected with my travels, took the form of a mass impulse to prod some part of the Prince of Wales. Whenever I entered a crowd, it closed around me like an octopus. I can still hear the shrill, excited cry, 'I touched him!' If I were out of reach, then a blow to my head with a folded newspaper appeared to satisfy the impulse.' (A King's Story: The Memoirs of HRH the Duke of Windsor).
The Prince spent nine days in Victoria, eleven days in New South Wales, fours days in Tasmania, eleven days in Western Australia, six days in South Australia and eight days in Queensland. The overland journey from South Australia to Queensland via inland New South Wales towns was scheduled to take ten days.
The Prince was seen as the embodiment of the White Australia, symbolic of the spirit of his race. His presence strengthened the identity of the young Australian nation as a member of the Empire, resisting the influence of other powers and other races.
The tour also came at a critical time for negotiations with Japan concerning the White Australia Policy. The Japanese Government had a valuable alliance with Britain which was due for renewal. The Australian Government hoped that the Japanese, in their desire to renew the alliance, would make concessions that would allow Australia to retain its internationally unpopular White Australia Policy and keep Japan out of the Pacific region. To its dismay, a navel review to be conducted for the Prince off Rabaul was boycotted by the Prince, whose advisors realised that it would have been a serious political error in light of the on-going negotiations with Japan.
-National Archives of Australia web site http://www.naa.gov.au/Publications/research_guides/guides/royalty/pages/chapter04.htm; Australian War Memorial web site http://www.awm.gov.au/forging/future/prince_visit.htm; Fewster, Kevin. 1980. Politics, Pagentry and Purpose: the 1920 Tour of Australia by the Prince of Wales. Labour History. 38 (May 1980). -D. Tout-Smith 29/9/2003.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15 Mar 1976
Type of item
27 mm (Outside Diameter), 8.26 g (Weight)
31 mm to top of mount
Round with loop
[Article] Fewster, Kevin. 1980. Politics, Pagentry and Purpose: the 1920 Tour of Australia by the Prince of Wales. Labour History. 38 (May 1980): 59-66.