Sydney Rare Book Week (25 to 29 October)
This gallery shows highlights from the Sydney and NSW portion of the tour - 3 to 18 February 1954 - and includes the decorations and illuminations of public buildings and parks in Sydney and the schedule of events and visits.
An estimated 1 million people descended upon the Sydney streets and Farm Cove to greet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, "the surging crowds receiving them with gay abandon."[Trove] Another half a million people crowded the foreshore vantage points for the evening fireworks display.
Those unable to attend the historic occasion could listen to the arrival on ABC Radio.
A whirlwind schedule saw Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visiting much of Sydney and New South Wales.
Among the many events that the Queen and Prince Philip attended were four children's gatherings allowing over 150,000 children to see the Royal visitors. Children assembled at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Showground, Centennial Park and Concord Park where the Queen and the Duke were driven among the children in an open car. It was thought to be the "biggest mass movement of children ever attempted in the world."[Trove]
On leaving Sydney, Queen Elizabeth II sent a letter of thanks to the Governor of New South Wales.
At the time, the Royal Tour was the largest event ever planned in Australia. The extensive itinerary of visiting 57 cities and towns across all states and territories (except the Northern Territory) allowed some 75% of the population to see the Queen.[ABC]