1954 Australian Tour: Mt. Gambier & Melbourne

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh continued their tour of Australian on February 26, 1954, flying to Hamilton from Melbourne for a day trip there which included a jaunt to the South Australian town of Mt. Gambier.

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The Queen repeated the blue silk shantung coat earlier  worn in Wollongong on February 11 with matching braided blue straw calot. The hat’s cuffed brim was studded with small blue silk flowers and the hat was trimmed with a veil and black bow at the back.


One spectator in Mt. Gambier drew particularly attention: 18-year-old Shirley Weston, known  as the Australian ‘snake girl’ who was there on behalf on the South Australian Showmen’s Guild. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that  Prince Philip nearly fell out of the Royal car when he saw Shirley standing by the roadside, draped with an 8-foot python and 6-foot carpet snake. It’s widely understood that the Queen and Duke both adore unexpected surprises on royal engagements and I can only imagine they were long delighted by their encounter with young Shirley!

On Saturday, February 27, attended Flemington Races and the Australia vs. South Africa tennis match at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. Her denim blue silk dress and coat was topped with a matching calot hat rimmed in overlapping blue leaves. Notice the sparkling diamond wattle brooch, gifted to earlier this tour, on her lapel.

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Embed from Getty Images

On Sunday, February 28, the royal couple attended Divine Service at St Paul’s Cathedral followed by a visit to Melbourne’s Shine of Remembrance monument. For these events, the Queen wore a floral dress, muted green coat and a white calot hat covered in ruffles.

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Embed from Getty Images

Images from Getty social media as indicated

One thought on “1954 Australian Tour: Mt. Gambier & Melbourne

  1. I went to Mt Gambier just over a year ago when my husband and I had a trip to Oz. Lovely little place and I’m glad the Queen seemed to enjoy it too… even allowing for Shirley and her snake!

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