The Queen's 90th birthday
Happy birthday to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, our Head of State, who today turns 90.
To commemorate this celebratory occasion, here are eight photos from the archives, one photo from each of Her Majesty's eight visits to our State.
Queen Elizabeth II became the first reigning monarch to set foot on Australian soil during Her Majesty's inaugural tour in 1954. The Queensland portion of the “Royal Progress” was from 9 to 15 March 1954 and included Brisbane, Bundaberg, Oakey, Toowoomba, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, a day of rest on the Great Barrier Reef, and a visit to Townsville, where Her Majesty is pictured in front of iconic Castle Hill. More than 50,000 people turned out to greet the Royal visitors there, including 12,000 school children.
In 1963, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Brisbane and Coolangatta, where this picture was taken, Royal visitors braving a torrential downpour to attend a surf carnival. The 1963 tour also included a citizens’ welcome reception at the Exhibition Grounds; unveiling a cairn at Bulwer on Moreton Island commemorating the discovery of oil in Queensland; an investiture; and a children’s welcome at Brisbane Cricket Ground.
Queen Elizabeth II returned with the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Anne from 12 to 23 April 1970. Her Majesty's duties included opening the Brisbane District Courts; an investiture; visiting the Royal Flying Doctors Base at Mt Isa and Lavarack Army Barracks at Townsville; proclaiming the independence of James Cook University in Townsville; unveiling a memorial stone at Cooktown where the Endeavour landed; opening the James Cook Museum in Cooktown; and planting a tree in Longreach commemorating 50 years of Qantas.
To celebrate the Silver Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Queensland from 9 to 11 March 1977. The tour began with a civic welcome in Brisbane City, where Her Majesty is pictured here alongside then Lord Mayor Frank Sleeman, followed by dinner at Government House and a state reception at Cloudland Ballroom. The final Queensland day of the tour included unveiling a silver jubilee fountain at the new Queensland Cultural Centre.
The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the Brisbane Commonwealth Games on 30 September 1982 at QEII Stadium, named in honour of The Queen. Her Majesty officially closed the Games on 9 October 1982, and with the Duke, she was driven around the stadium several times while the Australian team formed a guard of honour running alongside the car. The Royal Mail later released a stamp of Her Majesty in this beautiful wattle yellow outfit taken during the closing ceremony.
On 30 April 1988, the World Exposition (known as Expo 88) was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. In her opening speech The Queen stated:
'All those who visit it will take away lasting and affectionate memories of the warm welcome extended by the people of Brisbane and Queensland. I say that with great confidence, because each time I come here I am made to feel truly welcome. I am told you like to call your state the Sunshine State – but I prefer to think of it by its original name – “Queen’s Land”.'
Her Majesty returned to Queensland in 2002 to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Coolum. The Queen is pictured here at Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane.
Her Majesty has returned Queenslanders affection in countless ways, most recently in the summer of 2011, when she attended a Queensland Government Reception for those affected by the natural disasters during the summer of 2010/11. Whilst in Brisbane, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh also delighted crowds taking a cruise on the Brisbane River from Bretts Wharf to South Bank and strolled through the cultural forecourt at South Bank.