(21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022)
Today we remember Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who was Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth for over 70 years.
In February 1954, Queen Elizabeth II made her first trip to Australia and was the first reigning British monarch to visit the country.
During the eight-week royal tour, Queen Elizabeth II visited Melbourne arriving on 24 February which was marked by a Public Holiday.
In diary entries made by the Sisters of the Church, they described the preparations in the lead-up to the Queen’s arrival, 15-19 February “Rehearsals nearly every day for the display for the Royal Tour”.
The day of the Queen’s arrival, they recounted “The Queen arrived. All Melbourne decorated and excited. The Sisters and Boarders left “listened in” to the arrival and Royal Progress thro’ the city.”
On 2 March the diary entry reads “Queen passed down Chapel St. We spent nearly all the morning erecting a stand. Excellent view… The Queen slowed down and waving graciously. Every child had a flag.”
The Queen’s visit in 1954 was the biggest event planned in Australia and Sister Gabrielle expresses her thoughts on the Queen at the annual Speech Night.
“…our beloved Queen, who seems to me, and I am sure to all of you, too, to be the living symbol of perfection in womanhood, and whom we are lucky enough to be able to call the head of our great family nations. We have seen for ourselves the influence of her presence in this country and throughout the Empire.”A citation from Sister Gabrielle’s speech at the annual Speech Night.
On the morning of Monday 19 September, many people will gather in the United Kingdom to farewell Queen Elizabeth II and commemorate her remarkable life and leadership.