1954, 68 Minutes
A record of the visit to Australia by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh in 1954.
The Queen in Australia is a landmark in Australian history. It not only records the first visit by a reigning monarch to Australia, it was also the first colour, feature-length documentary made in this country. This historic program provides nationwide coverage of the 1954 Royal Tour by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh—a two-month journey that took in every facet of Australian life: garden parties at Government House, dancers at the Tivoli, racing at Randwick, tennis at Kooyong with Rosewall and Hoad, cricket with the Don, even a meeting with Papua New Guinean tribal chiefs. The young royals visited every state in the nation. They toured the Newcastle steel mills and Mildura vineyards, saw woodchopping at Wagga and the Flying Doctor Service at Broken Hill. This film captures it all.
It was a mammoth undertaking. The tour covered 10,000 miles by air and 4,000 miles by land and sea. Since the new colour film stock had to be flown to London daily for processing, the editors went to England too. Only six weeks after the tour was completed, the first film prints arrived in Australia. Made two years before the introduction of television, the film was screened in theatres across the country to enthusiastic audiences. (After all, some families had travelled more than 200 miles on rough roads just to see the Queen!). Today, it offers a remarkable and revealing insight into our nation in the 1950s as well as a record of the Queen in Australia.
An Australian National Film Board Production. Produced by the Film Division of the News and Information Bureau of the Department of the Interior in association with Film Centre London. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Producer: Stanley Hawes
Director: Colin Dean
Narrators: Peter Finch, Wilfrid Thomas, John Gray, Frank Basden
Featured People: Queen Elizabeth II, Duke of Edinburgh, William Slim, Robert Menzies, Don Bradman, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad
Running Time: 68 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification