On Wednesday 9 September 2015 Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest serving monarch in British history, surpassing the record of Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years, 7 months and 2 days. Elizabeth was proclaimed Sovereign on February 6 1952, following the death of her father King George the Sixth. Queen Elizabeth’s coronation took place on 2nd June 1953 with great pomp and ceremony at Westminster Abbey. The event was celebrated with somewhat less pomp in a Coronation Ball in the RSL Hall in Charleville.
Queen Elizabeth is the only reigning monarch to have set foot on Australian soil. She first came to Australia, and to Queensland in 1954. The royal visit was a cause of great excitement. There were extensive preparations in Brisbane and also in Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and Rockhampton.
Her Majesty started and finished her visit to Queensland in Brisbane.
In between these visits to Brisbane the Queen went to several regional centres in Queensland including Cairns and Mackay.
Queen Elizabeth returned to Queensland in 1963 with the Queensland leg of her trip confined to Brisbane and the Gold Coast with visits to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and the Gold Coast surf carnival at Coolangatta.
In 1970 the Queen visited Queensland on the occasion of the Captain Cook Bi-Centenary celebrations.
In 1988 she returned to Australia for the Bicentennial celebrations and came to Brisbane to open Expo ’88.
Queen Elizabeth most recently visited Australia in 2011 when she visited Canberra, Melbourne and Perth as well as Brisbane.
Simon Miller – Library Technician, State Library of Queensland