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Royalty and Australian Society: Records relating to the British Monarchy held in Canberra


7 Proposed Royal Tours

Duke of Kent – Royal Visit 1934 and proposed Governor-Generalship

It was initially intended that Prince George, the Duke of Kent visit Australia in 1934 to participate in Victoria's centenary celebrations. Prince George, however, withdrew in mid 1934 and his place on the tour was taken by his brother, the Duke of Gloucester.

Few files appear to exist that relate specifically to plans made for Prince George's visit, however records initially relating to his visit were used in the organisation of the Duke of Gloucester's subsequent visit. A number of these files are listed above in the section relating to the 1934 tour of the Duke of Gloucester. Several files however, that were originally used to plan the Duke of Kent's visit are:

Series: A461
Recorded by: 1934–1950 Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Royal family – The Duke and Duchess of Kent, 1934–1936 A461, E396/1/4
Series: A664
Recorded by: 1924–1940 Department of Defence (CA 19)
Prince George – Visit to Australia 1934 – Arrangements in connection with A664, 486/403/1
Transport Staff. Prince George's Visit 1934 A664, 486/403/18
Recorded by: 1923–1938 Navy Office, Department of Defence (CA 2456)
Visit of HRH Prince George to confer with Commonwealth Authorities MP124/6, 462/204/3
Image 31: One of two drawings of the Duke of Kent submitted for copyright registration.

Image 31: One of two drawings of the Duke of Kent submitted for copyright registration.
NAA: A1861, 6517
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Image 32: A second drawing of the Duke submitted by Mr Sanders.

Image 32: A second drawing of the Duke submitted by Mr Sanders.
NAA: A1861, 6519
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A keen artist, Mr Frank Hedley Sanders, was eager to copyright images of the proposed royal visitor. He accordingly submitted two drawings of the Duke of Kent for copyright in early 1934. However, when it was announced that Prince George was no longer coming, Mr Sanders wasted no time in drawing and registering for copyright two images of the Duke of Gloucester.

Series: A1861
Recorded by: 1907–1913 Australian Industrial Property Organisation (CA 555)
Photograph. 'Crayon Drawing of Prince George'. Registration and Exhibit. A1861, 6517
Photograph. 'Portrait of Prince George in Naval Costume and Including Battleship'. Registration and Exhibit. A1861, 651
Photograph. Drawings. 'Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester'. Registration and Exhibit. A1861, 6531
Image 33: Drawings of the Duke of Gloucester by Mr Frank Hedley Sanders of Melbourne, 1934.

Image 33: Drawings of the Duke of Gloucester by Mr Frank Hedley Sanders of Melbourne, 1934.
NAA: A1861, 6531
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Some members of the Government were also angered when sectors of the press made light of the Duke of Kent's decision not to come to Australia. In particular, it was suggested that journalists at Smith's Weekly should be charged with sedition for printing the cartoon. However, Mr Latham, writing to the Honourable R G Casey about the issue said that although 'the article is a form of low class humour which is very objectionable', pursuing a prosecution 'would give the proprietors an opportunity to pose as defenders of the freedom of the press and liberty of speech.'1 The publishers of the cartoon were therefore never charged.

Series: A432
Recorded by: 1901–1970 Attorney-General's Department (CA 5)
'Smith's Weekly' – Cartoon of Royal Family

After the Duke of Kent's marriage on 29 November 1934, he sought to restrict commercial use of his new wife's name, Marina.

A432, 1934/1029
Trade Marks – use of the work 'Marina', 1935–1944 A432, 1939/587
Series: A461
Recorded by: 1934–1950 Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent. Use of name 'Marina', 1939 A461, AT7/1/7
Series: A601
Recorded by: 1935–1943 Department of Commerce (CA 28)
Registration of Brands 'Marina', 1935–1940 A601, 8/4/397

The Duke of Kent as Governor-General

Image 34: Cartoon from Smith’s Weekly, 12 May 1934.

Image 34: Cartoon from Smith’s Weekly, 12 May 1934.
NAA: A432, 1934/1029
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With Lord Gowrie's term as Governor-General due to come to an end in 1939, it was proposed that the Duke of Kent be appointed as his successor. This appointment was finalised in early 1939 but was suspended when the Second World War began.

Cabinet discussion about expenditure in connection with the accommodation of the Kents was quite extensive. A telegram from Lord Bruce about the Kents' purchases (at Government expense) even before their arrival in Australia, was particularly examined. It read:

Goods selected by Duke or Duchess and on order are curtains with interlinings, linings and trimmings and furniture covers at £1212, carpets at £1109, dressing table cover(s) and mirror(s) at £60, celanese net voile at £260. All figures in sterling. In addition, cables from Bracegirdle to Lowther invite selection of teasets, glassware, linen etc, now in process of selection but no prices except for one afternoon teaset at £52.2

Eventually, the Cabinet sub-committee convened on 7 July 1939 to discuss arrangements for the Kents decided to:

send a cablegram to Mr Bruce… [explaining] that in view of the heavy Defence programme every effort was being made to curtail avoidable expenditure. An examination of the costs indicate that the amount for the work at Government House had now reached a considerable sum. The Committee was apprehensive lest this may provoke criticism which would prove embarrassing to Their Royal Highnesses after they took up residence on Australia. It was not desired that formal representations be made to His Royal Highness, and it was agreed that the matter be left entirely in the hands of the High Commissioner.3

Some of the files dealing with the appointment of the Duke contain examples of public disapproval at his appointment and objections to the expense the government was prepared to accept in order to accommodate the Duke as Governor-General. A letter from Milicent Smith to Prime Minister Lyons, dated 6 November 1938 exemplifies some of the public opposition:

Like many… citizens in this fair land, I am wondering where the money is coming from to entertain the Kents while they are here… The people are not interested in the sartorial splendour of the Kents. He is only a London playboy (receiving £25 000 per annum of the British taxpayers' money)… Ye Gods – this is what is to be the future Governor-General of Australia, I wonder?4

As it turned out, however, the Duke never assumed the position of Australian Governor-General as he was killed in an air accident over Scotland whilst on active service in 1942. The pilot of the Sunderland aircraft he was aboard was an Australian serving with the RAF, Flight Lieutenant Frank McKenzie Goyen. Mr Goyen was also killed in the accident.

When the Duke of Kent's brother the Duke of Gloucester became Australia's Governor-General in 1945, his demeanour and attitudes were contrasted strongly by the media with those of his brother:

Simplicity likely in Canberra… At the request of the Duke and Duchess themselves, all that has been done has been to ensure that Government House and its grounds are in order and provide adequate accommodation for their family and staff. Except for slight renovations and installation of a few new pieces of furniture, Government House has been left almost untouched.5

Examples of records relating to the appointment of the Duke of Kent as Governor-General

Series: A461
Recorded by: 1934–1950 Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Governor-General, Office of – Appointment of a Member of the Royal Family, 1934–1947

This file contains a petition drafted by the right wing organisation the New Guard in 1934. The petition read:

We venture to ask that Your Majesty may be graciously pleased to cause to be appointed a Prince of the Royal Household, one of your Majesty's beloved sons, as the next Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia…

The letter covering the petition, sent to Prime Minister Lyons on 4 December 1934, was written by the Chief Commander of the New Guard, Eric Campbell. The letter praises Sir Isaac Isaacs' efforts in the position: 'We are all deeply conscious of the magnificent manner in which His Excellency the present Governor-General has fulfilled his high office.' However:

Our earnest desire to see a member of the Royal Household accept the appointment in due course is actuated by a realisation of the necessity for still greater Imperial unity and by the belief that solutions of a number of our major economic problems (caused as a result of the Depression) will flow from the consummation of such a policy.

Subsequent portions of this file relate to both the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Gloucester.

A461, L7/1/1
Series: A461
Recorded by: 1934–1950 Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Governor-General His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent – Arrival in Australia, 1938–1939 A461, A7/1/7
Governor-General His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent – Appointment, 1939 A461, B7/1/7
Governor-General His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent – Address of welcome, 1939 A461, D7/1/7
Governor-General His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent – Arrival in Australia, 1938–1939 A461, E7/1/7
Governor-General His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent – Expenditure, 1934–1939 A461, L7/1/7
Governor-General. His Royal Highness – the Duke of Kent – Patronage, 1939–1948 A461, P7/1/7
Governor-General His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent – Press statements, 1939 A461, T7/1/7
Governor-General – His Royal Highness – the Duke of Kent Publicity and Press arrangements A461, AA7/1/7
His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent – Specification for decorative work at Government House Canberra, 1939 A461, AB7/1/7 Attachment
Duchess of Kent Shooting Incident, 1939–1943

On 8 June 1939, the Duchess of Kent, Princess Marina, was shot at by Ledwidge Vincent Lawlor, a former member of the AIF. The Duchess was not injured in the incident. The shooting incident occurred shortly after it was announced that the Duke of Kent would be coming to Australia to assume the position of Governor-General. Lawlor was returned to Australia and imprisoned.

A461, T7/1/2
Series: A2910
Recorded by: 1918–1960 Australian High Commission, United Kingdom (London) (CA 241)
Special Postage Stamp. Their Royal Highnesses the Duke & Duchess of Kent, 1939 A2910, 436/1/132
Series: A6006
Recorded by: 1939 Cabinet Office
Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Kent, 1939

Cabinet discussion concerning costs associated with relocating the Kents to Australia.

A6006, 1939/07/07

The death of the Duke of Kent

Series: A5954
Recorded by: 1937–1971 Sir Frederick Geoffrey Shedden KCMG, OBE (CP 320)
Death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, 1942 A5954, 398/3

Royal Visit 1936 (King Eward VIII, King George VI)

Another Royal Visit was proposed in 1936 as the culmination of the New South Wales sesquicentenary celebrations in 1938. The idea was first raised by the Premier of New South Wales and was strongly supported by all other state premiers and Prime Minister Lyons.

The new king, Edward VIII, however, refused to commit himself to a tour. Lord Wigram wrote to Governor-General Gowrie on the matter on 9 September 1936 saying:

I spoke to the King about this, and His Majesty says that at the present time it is quite impossible to say whether any members of the Royal Family will be able to be present at this ceremony. It is quite useless to put forward this question now and I would suggest your Prime Minister taking soundings when he is over here for the Coronation.6

Edward VIII abdicated three months after this advice and Lyons was therefore unable to put his request to the new monarch, George VI until after his coronation in May of the following year. After this meeting Lyons reported to Acting Prime Minister Page on 21 June 1937:

I deeply regret am now advised that His Majesty has reluctantly come to the conclusion that at this early stage of reign there is so much to be done at home he cannot very well spare one of few available relatives.7

Any plans for a potential tour were therefore subsequently cancelled.

Record relating to the proposed tour of 1938:

Series: A461
Recorded by: 1934–1950 Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
NSW Sesquicentenary. Royal Visit, 1936–1937 A461, G317/1/3

Tour of 1949 (King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret)

A visit by King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret was proposed for 1949, but as the commencement of the tour grew near, it became apparent that the King's ill health would preclude any possible visit. By the time the cancellation was announced extensive plans had already been made and records documenting these are contained within the records described below. The records were retained within the Prime Minister's Department to act as a guide for the planning and administration of any future visits.

In announcing the cancellation to the public Prime Minister Chifley said the following regarding his communications with the United Kingdom:

I said that, although we in Australia were bitterly disappointed that we would not have the privilege of having their Majesties and the Princess Margaret with us as planned, that was of a very secondary consideration when compared with the King's well-being…

We know that their Majesties and Her Royal Highness shared with us the most pleasurable anticipation of the opportunity the Royal visit would have given them to make personal contact with so many Australians.

I am sure I speak for every citizen of the Commonwealth when I say that we, on our part, deeply regret that we will be unable to show directly and personally to their Majesties the loyalty and devotion to the Crown and the person of His Majesty which characterises the feelings of the people of Australia.8

The two agencies in charge of the 1949 royal tour were the Commonwealth Directorate of the Royal Visit 1949 (CA 1055).

The Commonwealth Directorate was responsible to the Minister in Charge of the Royal Visit and both agencies were formed within the Prime Minister's Department. The Commonwealth Directorate was headed by Lieutenant-General Frank Berryman, who was later also responsible for the organisation of the 1952 and 1954 royal visits. At the time of his appointment, Berryman was the General Officer Commanding Eastern Command. Senator J I Armstrong, the Minister for Munitions, was appointed by Prime Minister Chifley as Minister in Charge of the royal visit.

Record series relating to this proposed visit, primarily created by the above two agencies are:

Canberra
Series: A1265
Quantity: 0.04 metres
Recorded by: Minister in Charge of the Royal Visit 1949 (CA 1055)
REPORT BY THE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER ON THE POSTPONED ROYAL VISIT, 1949

This series consists of the signed Report by the Public Relations Officer on the postponed Royal Visit 1949. It is an original typescript Report with Appendices A, B, and C.

A1265
Canberra
Series: A1267
Quantity: 0.54 metres
Recorded by: Commonwealth Directorate of the Royal Visit 1949 (CA 1054)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 'RV' (ROYAL VISIT) SERIES

Correspondence on advance arrangements and preparations for the Royal Visit 1949 which, due to the illness of His Majesty King George VI, was cancelled on 23 November 1948.

A1267
Canberra
Series: A1268
Quantity: 0.047 metres
Recorded by: Commonwealth Directorate of the Royal Visit 1949 (CA 1054)
INDEX BOOKLET FOR CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 'RV' (ROYAL VISIT) SERIES

This series consists of a booklet which acts as an index to the correspondence files (A1267, above), which were raised for filing correspondence on advance arrangements and preparations for the Royal Visit 1949.

A1268
Series: A1269
Quantity: 0.05 metres
Recorded by: Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
REGISTRATION BOOKLET FOR CORRESPONDENCE ON PUBLIC RELATIONS, ROYAL VISIT 1949

This series consists of one booklet recording correspondence received on Public Relations matters associated with the Royal Visit 1949.

A1269
Series: A1274
Quantity: 0.09 metres
Recorded by: Commonwealth Directorate of the Royal Visit 1949 (CA 1054)
PRESS CUTTING BOOK – POSTPONED ROYAL VISIT 1949

This series consists of one bound volume of numbered pages to which press cuttings, relating to the postponed Royal Visit 1949 and dating from 24 January to 27 December 1948, have been added.

A1274

The visit of 1949 was scheduled to start in Sydney on 4 April 1949 and conclude in Western Australia on 13 June. It was intended that the royal party visit all states and territories with the exception of the Northern Territory.

Examples of records relating to the proposed tour of 1949 are:

Series: A461
Recorded by: Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Royal visit 1949 – Announcement of, 1948 A461, A396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Fireworks – Displays during royal visit, 1948 A461, C396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Flying arrangements, 1948 A461, J396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Railway arrangements A461, K396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Security of the royal party A461, R396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Itinerary, 1948 A461, U396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Meetings of Cabinet committee, 1948–1952 A461, W396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Conference of Minister and Director with State Directors, 1948 A461, X396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Publicity A461, Y396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Representatives of foreign countries, 1948 A461, AC396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Organisation – General, 1948 A461, AE396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – General – Organisation of communications, 1948 A461, AH396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Finance, 1948 A461, AK396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Addresses of welcome and speeches – Policy, 1927–1949 A461, AL396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – General – Supply of goods from the United Kingdom , 1948 A461, AP396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Supplies of flags and bunting, 1948–1949 A461, O396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Postponement of visit, 1948–1949 A461, BQ396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Commonwealth Director's report, 1949 A461, BU396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – Renewal of invitation 1951, 1949–1951 A461, BW396/2/1
Royal visit 1949 – New South Wales – Invitations to visit municipalities, shires, etc in New South Wales, 1948 A461, A396/2/2
Royal visit 1949 – New South Wales – Arrangements in New South Wales, 1948–1949 A461, C396/2/2
Royal visit 1949 – Victoria – Arrangements in Victoria, 1948–1949 A461, D396/2/3
Royal visit 1949 – Tasmania – Arrangements in Tasmania, 1948–1949 A461, A396/2/4
Royal visit 1949 – South Australia – Arrangements in South Australia, 1948 A461, A396/2/5
Royal visit 1949 – Western Australia – Arrangements in Western Australia, 1948–1949 A461, A396/2/6
Royal visit 1949 – Queensland – Arrangements in Queensland, 1948 A461, A396/2/7
Royal visit 1949 – Australian Capital Territory – General, 1948 A461, B396/2/8
Royal visit 1949 – Newspaper and radio arrangements, 1948 A461, C396/4/1
Royal visit 1949 – Film on Great Barrier Reef, 1948 A461, I396/4/1
Royal visit 1949 – Canberra – Press committee, 1948 A461, R396/4/1
Royal visit 1949 – Conferences with Commonwealth and state officials, 1948 A461, V396/4/1
Royal visit – Conferences of Commonwealth officials, 1948 A461, W396/4/1
Royal visit 1949 – Transport arrangements, 1948 A461, Y396/4/1
Royal visit 1949 – General, 1948 A461, AA396/4/1
Royal visit 1949 – General, 1949 A461, AA396/4/1 Attachment 1
Royal visit 1949 – General, 1948 A461, AA396/4/1 Attachment 2
Series: A518
Recorded by: 1928–1941 Territories Branch, Prime Minister's Department (CA 822)
Papua – Miscellaneous – Suggested Visit of a Papuan Contingent during Royal Tour 1949, 1948 A518, AI918/4
Norfolk Island – Miscellaneous Royal Visit – 1949 Invitation by residents of Norfolk Island to visit Territory A518, DR618/3
Series: A2617
Recorded by: 1946–1959 Works Director, ACT (CA 743)
Royal Visit, Canberra. Press and Newsreel Photographers' Stands, 1948

Consists of architectural plans for the construction of press stands.

A2617, ACT17994
Series: A5954
Recorded by: 1937–1971 Sir Frederick Geoffrey Shedden, KCMG, OBE (CP 320)
Royal Tour in 1949, 1948 A5954, 2075/1
Series: SP338/1
Recorded by: 1945–1951 Flag Officer-in-Charge, New South Wales, and Admiral Superintendent, Sydney (CA 4341)
Royal Visit 1949 – General File, 1948 SP338/1, 927/1/4
Series: SP339/1
Recorded by: 1945–1951 Flag Officer-in-Charge, New South Wales, and Admiral Superintendent, Sydney (CA 4341)
Royal Visit (1949) – Itinerary, 1948 SP339/1, 256/6/4
Royal Visit (1949) – Landing and Reception Committee, 1948 SP339/1, 256/6/6
Royal Visit (1949) – Construction of glass-bottomed boat, 1948–1949 SP339/1, 256/6/7
Series: SP1008/1
Recorded by: 1946–1961 Headquarters, Eastern Command, Australian Military Forces (CA 1878)
G6/4 – Progress summaries Royal Visit 1949

This file contains a record of all decisions and actions taken in connection with the tour to 5 April 1948. These actions include the organisation of the itinerary, and security and transport arrangements.

SP1008/1, 447/11/4 part 12
G6/5 – Commonwealth Directors' Conference Sydney 17–18 June 1948 re Royal Visit 1949

This file describes the proposed itinerary and includes suggestions as to how this can be improved or altered.

SP1008/1, 447/11/4 part 13
G6/7 – Conference of Commonwealth Director and staff Sydney re Royal Visit 1949

In this item, Frank Berryman's recent visit to the United Kingdom is discussed, as are the King and Queen's requirements and requests for the structure of the tour.

SP1008/1, 447/11/4 part 15
G7 – Correspondence re Royal visit 1949 – general SP1008/1, 447/11/4 part 19
G8 – Finance Royal visit 1949 SP1008/1, 447/11/4 part 20
G22 – Press and radio – Royal Visit 1949 SP1008/1, 447/11/4 part 31
G24 – Security Royal Visit 1949 SP1008/1, 447/11/4 part 41
G25 – Staff appointments Royal Visit 1949 SP1008/1, 447/11/4 part 4
G26 – Visits and functions Royal Visit 1949 SP1008/1, 447/11/4 part 43

Royal visit 1952 (Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip)

In August 1950 the Private Secretary to His Majesty King George VI advised Australian authorities that the King, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret would tour Australia in early 1952. This tour would be in place of the postponed tour of 1949 and was to have been a more limited and less demanding tour due to the state of the King's health. Prime Minister Menzies stated on 5 September 1950 that 'the fact that the King's health has improved to such an extent as to enable His Majesty even to contemplate a visit to Australia is in itself a matter for intense satisfaction and rejoicing.'9

However, on 10 October 1951 Palace authorities announced that due to the King's ill health, he, the Queen and Princess Margaret would not be able to tour Australia. The tour would instead be undertaken by Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. It was decided that the programme already approved was still to be followed wherever possible. The visit was scheduled to begin in Fremantle on 1 March and conclude in Townsville on 1 May 1952. However the proposed tour was cancelled whilst the couple was in Kenya due to the death of the princess' father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952.

The Director-General of the Royal Tour, Lieutenant-General Berryman wrote of the cancellation:

The sudden death of His Majesty the King and the consequent postponement of the Royal Tour of Ceylon, Australia and New Zealand during the period of the stay of Their Royal Highnesses in Kenya, was reflected in the poignant grief of the Australian people in the passing of the Sovereign and in the widespread disappointment at the non-fulfillment of hopes of the royal visit so near at hand.10

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip would visit Australia in 1954 as Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Administration of the visit

The agency responsible for the proposed 1952 tour was the Royal Visit Organisation 1952, Director-General, Sydney (CA 654).

On 12 December 1950 the Prime Minister advised Lieutenant-General F H Berryman CB, CBE, DSO, of his appointment from 7 February 1951 as Director-General of the Commonwealth Jubilee in 1951 and of the Royal Tour in 1952. On completion of his duties as Director of the Royal Tour, Lt-Gen Berryman was to resume his appointment as General Officer Commanding Eastern Command.

The Prime Minister further advised that the Royal Visit Organisation would be housed at Victoria Barracks in Sydney, would have the use of the Army Organisation and the Minister of the Army would offer every assistance.

After the tour was finally cancelled, and in order that those charged with arranging any future royal visit would benefit from the experience of the 1952 organisation, the Director-General arranged for the preparation of a detailed report which was submitted to the Commonwealth Government.

The records created by this organisation are as follows:

Canberra

On 8 January 1951, the Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department advised the Secretary, Department of the Army, that the Prime Minister had authorised in principle the raising by Army Headquarters of a Royal Car Company. The file series commenced early in 1952 when the preparations for the Royal Visit were in their final stages.

Major R Sutton was the Staff Officer in charge of the Company and was stationed with the Director-General of the 1952 Tour, Lieutenant-General F H Berryman CB, CBE, DSO, at Victoria Barracks, Paddington, NSW. There are seven files in the series prefixed 'SO' (Staff Officer) and they deal principally with Major Sutton's coordination of transport arrangements with various State Transport Officers responsible for assisting the Royal Car Company in each State and Territory.

Series: A5524
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1951–1952 Royal Visit Organisation 1952, Director-General, Sydney (CA 654)
ROYAL VISIT CAR COMPANY CORRESPONDENCE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES WITH 'SO' [STAFF OFFICER] PREFIX, 1951–1952 A5524
Canberra

Main correspondence file series for the proposed Royal Visit of 1952. The files in this series document the major administrative operations undertaken by the Director-General of the 1952 Visit, Lieutenant-General F H Berryman.

The first number of each file number designates the file subject as either General (1) or Public Relations (2). Further numerical divisions indicate 'general' or the state or territory concerned, and the letters indicate the particular subject area. A number of the files have been added to by the staff of the 1954 Royal Visit Organisation. Also, a number of the files were used in producing the annexures to the Director-General's Report (A6688).

Series: A5525
Quantity: 1.80 metres
Recorded by: 1951–1952 Royal Visit Organisation 1952, Director-General, Sydney (CA 654)
ROYAL VISIT CAR COMPANY CORRESPONDENCE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES WITH 'SO' (STAFF OFFICER) PREFIX, 1951–1952 A5525
Canberra

This canvas covered booklet (labelled 'Index Book') lists files registered in the main correspondence file series (A5525 above) in preparation for the proposed 1952 Royal Tour which was abandoned following the death of His Majesty King George VI.

Series: A5526
Quantity: 0.09 metres
Recorded by: 1951–1952 Royal Visit Organisation 1952, Director-General, Sydney (CA 654)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER AND LETTER SERIES WITH 'RV' [ROYAL VISIT] PREFIX, 1951–1952 A5526
Canberra

This series consists of name and subject index cards for the correspondence file series of the Royal Visit Organisation of 1952. These index cards are arranged lexicographically according to subject, and detail the date of correspondence relating to the subject, relevant file number and an explanatory note giving the nature of the correspondence.

Series: A6687
Quantity: 0.09 metres
Recorded by: 1951–1952 Royal Visit Organisation 1952, Director-General, Sydney (CA 654)
REGISTRATION BOOKLET FOR CRS A5525, CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER AND LETTER SERIES WITH 'RV' [ROYAL VISIT] PREFIX, 1951–1952 A6687
Canberra

Three files containing a draft report and two copies of the final report and files containing 21 annexures to the report made to the Minister-in-Charge by the Director-General of the cancelled Royal Visit of 1952.

Series: A6688
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1951–1952 Royal Visit Organisation 1952, Director-General, Sydney (CA 654)
DIRECTOR-GENERAL'S REPORT AND ANNEXURES, ROYAL VISIT 1952 A6688
Canberra

Printed items relating to the proposed Royal Visit of 1952. The items are either souvenir or official publications concerning the visit, and include souvenir programs, a guide for planning the Royal Tour, invitation cards, and colour souvenir photographs.

Series: A6689
Quantity: 0.20 metres
Recorded by: 1951–1952 Royal Visit Organisation 1952, Director-General, Sydney (CA 654)
SOUVENIRS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS, ROYAL VISIT 1952 A6689
Canberra

This series was created by the Prime Minister's Department, to record and commemorate the Commonwealth Jubilee and the Royal Visit 1952. It contains such things as inward and outward letters, pictures, programs and publications.

Series: A9645
Quantity: 2.52 metres
Recorded by: 1950–1952 Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, COMMONWEALTH JUBILEE AND ROYAL VISIT 1952, ALPHA-NUMERIC SERIES, 1950–1952 A9645

The cancelled royal visit of 1952

Examples of records include:

Series: A452
Recorded by: 1951–1968 Department of Territories (CA 60)
Royal Visit to Commonwealth of Australia – General A452, 1956/1184 part 1
Series: A462, 824/3/2
Recorded by: 1951–1955 Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Royal tour 1952 – Flags and bunting – Supply position, 1951 A462, 824/3/2
Royal tour 1952 – Press representations – Accompanying royal tour in Gothic, 1948–1952

The Gothic was the royal yacht that was to have been used to transport the royal party around Australia.

A462, 824/7/3
Series: A6688
Recorded by: Royal Visit Organisation 1952, Director General, Sydney (CA 654)
2 Report by Director-General to Minister in Charge, Royal Visit 1952

Contains a detailed history of the royal tour and a complete report to the Minister about the planning and arrangements for the visit. Some of the numerous annexures to this report are listed below.

A6688, Report part
Draft Programmes

Contains draft programs for the itineraries in each Australian state and territory.

A6688, Annexure 1
Conferences of State Directors

Contains minutes of the numerous meetings with the directors of the visits to each state and territory. These give detailed arrangements for prospective activities in each state.

A6688, Annexure 2
Financial Review

In all, by the time of the cancellation, the Government had spent £84 040 on the visit. This sum was principally spent on salaries, printing of commemorative publications, cars and flags.

A6688, Annexure 5
State Publications

Contains copies of the published and bound programs issued for each state.

A6688, Annexure 7
Royal Visit 1952, Guide for Planning

This document was classed as 'Restricted' and bears the following warning on its cover – 'The information given in this document is not to be communicated, either directly or indirectly, to the Press or to any person not authorised to receive it'.

The Guide contains guidelines that should be adhered to when planning a tour. For example, in Part III, Sequence of events for the first day of a visit to a capital city, the section under Salutes reads 'The Salute will never be fired when the Royal Highnesses are in the Immediate vicinity of the gun area'.

The Guide also lists other procedures and standard arrangements for transport, accommodation, dress, press details, security etc.

This guide was the first such publication designed in the Commonwealth and was deemed to be of inestimable use in the organisation of all future royal visits.

A6688, Annexure 9
Commonwealth Movement and Accommodation Plan

Details transport arrangements to and from each state.

A6688, Annexure 11
Movement by Land

Principally documents transport arrangements for the royal visit. It documents the type of vehicles that are to be used, the transport arrangements for each of the official engagements and the selection criteria to be used to find suitable transport personnel. In addition, the file includes photographs of the construction of the official Daimler cars to be used during the course of the visit.

A6688, Annexure 13
Press arrangements

Contains details of official press representatives, notes provided to editors and details of the conditions imposed on the press.

A6688, Annexure 16
Security

Explains security issues generally and describes how adequate security measures should be implemented.

A6688, Annexure 18
Series: A9300
Recorded by: 1939–1959 Department of Air (CA 35)
0396, Group Captain, Cowan, Michael George, DSO, MVO, 1938–1973

RAAF personnel dossier of Group Captain Michael Cowan (born 18/10/1916; retired 18/10/1968), who had been appointed as RAAF equerry for the 1952 royal visit. As the 1952 tour never eventuated, Cowan was proposed as the official equerry again in 1954. He was subsequently appointed as Equerry-in-Waiting to the Queen for the duration of the royal visit in 1954.

This file contains letters of commendation for his service during the 1954 royal visit and details about the rest of his Service career.

Service dossiers for all persons who have served in the RAAF are available through the National Archives in Canberra.

A9300, Cowan MG
Series: M2128
Recorded by: 1934–1973 The Hon Dame Annabelle Jane Mary Rankin DBE (CA 137)
Canberra programme for 'Visit to Australia of Their Royal Highnesses the Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke of Edinburgh, April 1952' M2128, 48

Royal visit 1959 (Princess Margaret)

In addition to the cancelled tours of 1949 and 1952, it had also been suggested that Princess Margaret visit Australia in 1958 and then in 1959, the latter visit for the purpose of celebrating Queensland's centenary. These visits also failed to eventuate.

Series: A463
Recorded by: 1956– Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Queensland centenary celebrations 1959 – Invitation to HRH Princess Margaret, 1957–1958 A463, 1958/89

To help celebrate the centenary of European settlement in Queensland in 1959, the then Premier Gair wrote to the Prime Minister and Governor-General to ask that the Queen or a member of her family acting as her representative, come to Australia for the celebrations (correspondence dated 25 February 1957).

This request was forwarded to the Queen who responded through her Private Secretary, Michael Adeane on 21 September 1957:

Her Majesty desires we to say that she fears that neither she nor the Duke of Edinburgh are likely to be able to visit Queensland on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of that State in 1959…

I am not in a position to speak for any other member of the royal family, who all make their arrangements through their own staffs, but I conclude that as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother is visiting Australia in 1958, it would, perhaps, not be appropriate to ask her to return in 1959.

In effect, this leaves the following, any of whom may well be free in 1959:

The Princess Margaret
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
The Princess Royal
The Duchess of Kent

Press speculation lead to the suggestion that Princess Margaret would come to Queensland. It prompted the Queensland Premier Frank Nicklin to write the following in a letter to Menzies dated 9 January 1958, 'A visit from our beloved and charming Princess would be the coping stone of what we aim to make and hope to be a wonderful year.'

However, Princess Margaret was forced to turn down Menzies official invitation and eventually it was Princess Alexandra who visited Australia for the Queensland centenary. Records relating to this royal visit are discussed later in this guide.

Series: A1838
Recorded by: 1948–1970 Department of External Affairs (CA 18)
Protocol – Visit to Australia of Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret, 1958 A1838, 1516/88
Series: A2908
Recorded by: 1930–1952 Australian High Commission, United Kingdom (London) (CA 241)
Suggested visit of HRH Princess Margaret to Australia, 1958

Recorded by: 1930–1952 Australian High Commission, United Kingdom [London] (CA 241) Official correspondence in this file states that Princess Margaret could not come to Australia in 1959 as she already had prior arrangements to tour both the Carribean and Canada in this year.

Aside from records relating to these visits which never eventuated, the National Archives holds a number of other records relating to Princess Margaret. For example, a number of records were created about the liaison and rumoured nuptials between Princess Margaret and Group Captain Peter Townsend.

A2908, V70
Series: A5954/1
Recorded by: Recorded by: 1937–1971 Sir Frederick Geoffrey Shedden, KCMG, OBE (CP 320)
Press Cuttings. Special. Box file No.3. Princess Margaret and Group Captain Townsend and the Snowdons, 1955–1965 A5954/1, 1131/10
Controversy arising from proposed marriage of HRH Princess Margaret to Group Captain Peter Townsend A5954, 2196/5
Series: A6706
Recorded by: 1950–1966 Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Royalty – Princess Margaret and Group Captain Townsend; Mr Nehru's views on a formal position for Prince Philip, 1953

This file contains a letter marked 'Secret and personal' from British Prime Minister Anthony Eden to Prime Minister Menzies. The letter states that Princess Margaret had not yet made up her mind as to whether she was going to marry Peter Townsend. Eden stated that until she had made up her mind, the Queen would not be seeking the opinions of the other Commonwealth countries on the issue.

A6706, 60
Princess Margaret married Anthony Armstrong–Jones (later Lord Snowdon) in 1960. Records relating to this event include:
Series: A463
Recorded by: Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
HRH Princess Margaret – Gift on marriage, 1960

For her marriage, the Princess was to receive a Hans Heysen painting from the Commonwealth Government but Robert Menzies, when he was in London, purchased and presented the couple with an antique silver punch bowl instead.

The Daily Telegraph of 28 April 1960 reported that the people of Gibraltar intended to present the couple with a solid gold model of the Rock of Gibraltar as a wedding gift.

Wedding of HRH Princess Margaret 1960 – Souvenir Policy

The normally stringent rules governing the use of reproductions of portraits of members of the royal family was to be relaxed during the period of the wedding to allow for the sale and marketing of related souvenirs.

A463, 1960/4001
Wedding of HRH Princess Margaret 1960

Contains policy advice concerning the broadcasting of Princess Margaret's wedding. A file note dated 4 May 1960 reads:

Commercial stations in Australia have been advised by their own association that it would be permissible to interrupt the programme for announcements and advertisements during the Procession to and from Westminster Abbey but the actual Wedding Ceremony within the Abbey is not to be broken at any point.

Mr Budds of the ABC Board said that under normal circumstances the Board would not allow any form of advertising during the broadcast and televising of the Wedding but they understood that the Palace authorities had indicated that restrained and dignified advertising would be permissible.

The concept of inserting advertising during the broadcast raised some government debate because at the time the Post-Master General's Department had a standing rule that there should be no television or radio advertising two minutes before or after the appearance of a member of the royal family.

A463, 1960/4404

General records about Princess Margaret

Examples of general records about Princess Margaret include:

Series: A461
Recorded by: 1934–1950 Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Portrait – Princess Margaret Rose, 1948 A461, BF370/1/7
Series: A463
Recorded by: 1956– Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
College of Nursing – Conferring of honorary fellowship on HRH Princess Margaret, 1958–1959 A463, 1958/4411
Series: A2910
Recorded by: 1918–1960 Australian High Commission, United Kingdom (London) (CA 241)
HRH Princess Margaret, Colonel-in-Chief – WRAAC, 1953 A2910, 427/16/857
Series: A5954
Recorded by: 1937–1971 Sir Frederick Geoffrey Shedden, KCMG, OBE (CP 320)
Princess Margaret: Profile Re. Article in the 'New Statesman' – 30th April 1960 A5954, 1923/19

Notes

Chapter notes | All notes

1 NAA: A461, G317/3/1

2 NAA: A461, G317/3/1

6 NAA: A432, 1934/1029, letter dated 15/9/34

4 NAA: A461, AI7/1/7

5 NAA: A461, AI7/1/7

6 NAA: A461, A7/1/7

7 The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 January 1945, p.1

8 Taken from newspaper article in The Age, 24 November 1948, located on file NAA: A1945, 234/2/2

9 NAA: A6688, Report Part 1

10 NAA: A6688, Report Part 1


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