1958, 32 Minutes
This film depicts the visit to Australia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1958.
The nation prepares for the Royal visit with “quiet excitement”. In Her Majesty’s first speech to the nation, she celebrates the great advances that have occurred in Australia since her first visit in 1927 and through a living map of Australia created by children, the Queen Mother is presented with a ‘roll call’ of the states. From Canberra, the capital city of Australia, to Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Launceston, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, each city celebrates her visit in their own special way.
In Canberra, the Queen Mother visits the Royal Military College, Duntroon, pays tribute to the fallen from both World Wars at the Australian War Memorial, opens the 14th Conference of the British Empire Service League at Albert Hall, meets the Women’s Services and attends a Royal Ball at Parliament House. Brisbane presents a Royal Rodeo event; Sydney shows off its magnificent harbour, as the Queen Mother makes her way to Manly to watch ‘Australia’s own kind of pageantry’ – a surf carnival. In Tasmania, the city of Hobart becomes a city of flags as the Queen Mother makes her tour; and those in Launceston are so pleased to be able to see the procession. High fashion at the races is the order of the day in Melbourne, followed by a ceremony at the University of Melbourne at which the Queen Mother is conferred a degree for Doctor of Laws. Bunches of flowers are collected across the whole state of South Australia and sent to Adelaide to make a brilliant floral display. This is Adelaide’s unique way of saying ‘Welcome Your Majesty’.
The film’s closing narration assures us that ‘Every Australian…will remember the charm and the dignity of Her Majesty’ and that ‘she will be remembered not as a remote official personage, but as a warm and gracious lady seeking to know us all.’
Produced by the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit. An Australian National Film Board Production. Department of the Interior. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Producer: Stanley Hawes
Cinematographers: J. W. Trerise, Reg Pearse, Frank McKechnie, L. Alcock, Leo Elia
Narrators: Alan Seymour, Terry McDermott, Gwen Plumb
Running Time: 32 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification