Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sepia Saturday: The day we saw the Queen

Queen Elizabeth. (Image held by the Genealogical Society of Victoria)
In February 1954 I was a student at a one-teacher rural school in country Victoria called Homerton. There were only about twenty students at the school, ranging in age from five to fifteen. I had turned five years old in November, received a new little bike for Christmas and started riding the five kilometres to school each day with several girls who lived on neighbouring farms.

I have a few vague memories of that time but one thing I do remember is when all of the school went to Hamilton to see the Queen. Hamilton was about 60 kilometres away but I don't remember how we got there - probably our parents took us in cars, We dressed in our best and, with 13 000 other children, sat on Melville Oval waiting for the Queen and Prince Phillip to arrive. I remember seeing the car drive past in a flash and seeing the Queen wave and then she was gone. It was all very exciting but I wonder if we even knew what it was all about. I wonder if I'm in the photo below, one of the many children waving a flag.

The Queen's visit to Hamilton, Victoria. (The Age, 27 February 1954)

This post is my response to the Sepia Saturday theme photo that shows Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret dressed for a pantomime performance. Happy birthday Queen Elizabeth. You might like to see how others responded by checking out the website.


  1. The photo of the Queen on horseback is wonderful. You rode a long distance on your bike for such a young child! Those were the days...can you imagine one of today's parents allowing a child that much unsupervised time and that much personal responsibility.

  2. Isn't it good to know you were once an enraptured child? Seems your own memory must be just as good as that of the royals, who probably forgot many of the details of that trip as well.

  3. When the Queen came to visit Yosemite National Park 35 years ago the route of her entourage took her right past the U.S. Forest Service compound where we were living at the time. All of us gathered out by the highway to see her go by. It was raining but we waited (& waited!) Finally we could see them coming. As her car went by we saw a white gloved hand wave in the window. We hoped it was actually her hand, but we couldn't see her face, so I've never been quite sure?

  4. I guess it must have been an exciting outing. As I grew up in Switzerland we never had royalty to greet with flags. For me this is very strange.

  5. Considering her time on the throne and the great age of modern transport, it's a wonder that Her Majesty has met thousands of royal monarchs, premiers, presidents, bishops, celebrities, etc. and been seen by countless ordinary people.


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