26 January 2014

Flashback: Parliament Opening, Canberra, Australia, 1954

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, opened Parliament in Canberra, Australia, in February 1954.
During her landmark post-Coronation tour of Australia in 1954, one of the Queen's most anticipated events was the opening of Parliament in Canberra. She did not disappoint, turning up in tremendous splendor: Queen Alexandra's Kokoshnik Tiara, the Coronation Necklace and Earrings, a bracelet and evening watch, the Riband (secured with one of Queen Victoria's Bow Brooches, I believe), Star, and Lesser George of the Order of the Garter. All those diamonds had some serious competition for sparkle, though, because this is one of the occasions after the 1953 Coronation for which the Queen wore her spectacular Coronation gown. This is also just one of several tiara events on that tour.

Video: The Queen in Australia, Part 1 (playlist for all 7 parts)
I recently stumbled across a long film on YouTube chronicling the Queen's long Australian visit back in 1954 which is really rather charming - and a good watch in honor of Australia Day! (It's in 7 parts, the embedded video above includes a playlist for all 7.) The Parliament opening in Canberra included here is shown in Part 2.

In current news... The Queen made her annual visit to the Sandringham Women's Institute meeting on January 23, wearing the Amethyst Bouquet Brooch. Today, January 26, she braved the rain to attend church at Sandringham wearing Queen Victoria's 11 Pearl Brooch.

Photo: National Library of Australia