1954 Australian Tour: Tasmania & Melbourne

On Tuesday, February 23, 1954, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh left Hobart for Northern Tasmania. Landing in Wynyard, they embarked on a whistle stop tour of Northern towns Burnie, Penguin, Ulverstone, Devonport, Letrobe, Deloraine, Westbury and Longford before stopping in Cressy for the night. For this full day, the Queen wore a sky blue tailored suit and striped blue and white collarless blouse. The lapels of the belted peplum jacket were in the same striped fabric as the blouse, on the bias; the Queen finished the crisp ensemble with a white calot hat with folded back bonnet brim and a waved pleat on the side.

On Wednesday, February 23, 1954, the royal couple spent the morning on Launceston before flying to Melbourne for a series of welcome events that afternoon. The Queen wore a pale gold silk dress dotted with small black spots and matching coat with black buttons and velvet collar (see a better view here, taken in January 1954 in New Zealand). The ensemble was finished with black accessories including a black straw hat with small rounded crown and visor style brim trimmed with a black velvet slim hatband and side bow and a black veil.

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After opening Victoria’s parliament on Thursday, February 25, the royal couple attended a massive gathering of ex-service men and women and war widows at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Queen Elizabeth wore an casque design of individually made, overlapping leaves (or petals?) trimmed with a net veil.

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Images from Getty and social media as indicated

1954 Australian Tour: Hobart

On Saturday, February 20, 1954, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Hobart, Tasmania.

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For their arrival, the queen wore a pale silver silk dress and tailored coat, topped with a silver and black pinstripe silk folded brimless hat trimmed with a curled black feather on the side.

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On Sunday February 21, the couple attended Divine Service at St. David’s Cathedral then laid a wreath of remembrance at the Queen’s Domain war memorial. For these events, the Queen repeated a green printed dress topped with a green blazer and matching silk draped calot hat. You can see coloured photos of this ensemble, taken on its previous outing on January 19, 1954 in Christchurch New Zealand, here and here.

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On the morning of Monday, February 22, Her Majesty opened Tasmanian parliament.

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That afternoon, she and the Duke attended a Garden Party (also attended by over 4000 guests!) in the grounds of Government House. For this last event in Hobart, Queen Elizabeth repeated the silk suit she had worn on February 14 to church in Canberra, topped this time with a pale calot. I suspect the hat was the same calot with coiled pyramid side trim that she wore in Newcastle on February 9.

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1954 Australian Tour: Sydney

Royal HatsOn the morning of February 18, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip departed Canberra by plane to return to Sydney where they visited the Balmoral Naval Depot. For this travel and visit, the Queen wore a dress with horizontally pleated yoke, sleeves and skirt, topped with an embellished calot/beret hat.

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That afternoon, the couple attended a garden party at Government House. The queen wore a fitted lace column dress that stood out thanks to its silhouette, which was completely different from all of the full skirted looks Her Majesty had worn so far on the tour, and for its accompanying very dramatic hat. The hat’s shallow black straw crown was balanced by a wide transparent black crin brim, it’s two layers sandwiching ostrich feathers described by the Sydney Herald as “vivid scarlet, emerald green and pale blue”. The design was finished with a slim black velvet hatband that tied in a trailing bow at the back. While most of the ensembles and hats worn on the tour had been worn earlier in the Caribbean and New Zealand, this was this ensemble’s first outing. We can only imagine now much more magnificent it was in colour!

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The Sydney Living Museum collection includes this fantastic photo of four Sydney policewomen, in a quartet of wonderful hats, who attended the garden party. While not royal, it certainly speaks to the fashion and excitement of the day.

Following the garden party, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip boarded their ship, Gothic, to depart for Tasmania. We’ll pick up the tour there next!

Images from Getty as indicated

1954 Australian Tour: Canberra

Royal Hats Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh continued their very full schedule of engagements in Canberra on February 16, 1954 with visits to the Australian National Memorial to the United States, the Australian, the Australian War Memorial, a children’s rally held in Menuka Park, the opening of University House and the presentation of Address-In-Reply in parliament. For these events, the queen wore a lemon yellow silk shantung dress topped by a charming calot covered in small yellow silk blossoms

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The morning of February 17 was equally busy, the Queen and Duke meeting with the Privy Council and former and current service men and women at Government House and Parliament House, presenting colours to the Corps of Staff Cadets at the Royal Military College and lunching at Duntroon House. For these events, the Queen wore a dark green silk dress with matching ruched calot, trimmed with a pair of striped white, black and dark green feather wings on one side.

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We don’t talk much about jewelry here but it’s worth noting that the Queen was gifted a diamond wattle brooch by Prime Minister Robert Menzies during her Canberra stay and chose this morning, and the fantastic backdrop of this deep green silk dress, to wear it for the first time.

That afternoon, the couple attended a garden party at Government House. The Queen wore a dark floral dress topped with a picture hat- the first brimmed hat seen on the Australian leg of the coronation tour. The hat’s waved brim, bound in a contrasting dark silk stripe, gave a lovely, face-framing movement to the design. When we think about garden party moments on the 1954 tour, one from Sydney stands out (we’ll look at it tomorrow!) but I think this one is nearly as memorable!

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Images from Getty and The State Library of New South Wales as indicated

1954 Australian Tour: Canberra

Royal Hats to Monday, February 15, 1954, the third day of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to the Australian capital. The day began with the Queen meeting with a delegation from South Pacific Commonwealth Territories and receiving High Commissioners from the UK, Canada, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and Malta, along with their wives at Government house. She wore a silk shantung dress with pleated, draped skirt, topped with a matching calot hat. The hat appears to have been trimmed with a crescent of beaded or printed fabric in a swoosh around the back.

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Two hours later, the Queen left to open Australian parliament, resplendent in her coronation gown and diamond fringe tiara. Prince Philip wore his tropical white naval dress uniform complete with cap.
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Following the opening of parliament, the Queen reviewed detachments of Australian Armed Services on parade in front of Parliament House. She wore a white coat with black sawtooth triangle applique on the sleeves and a matching white calot hat with small black feathers and an extended, bonnet-style front.

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Images from Getty as indicated