Qld’s unique wedding gift to the Queen

“The gift seems unusual until you consider that Britain was left financially depleted by the war effort,” wrote library heritage experts Karen Hind and Trudy Bennett.

“Wartime austerity not only continued into peacetime, but the rationing of basic commodities was even worse in 1946 and 1947 than it was during the war.

“That’s why the royal couple had requested that some of their gifts be for their people.”

According to a November 1947 edition of the The Australian Women’s Weekly, Queensland pineapple cans had “special gift tags”.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman at the time said the canned pineapple was distributed as Princess Elizabeth requested in 1947.

“Food was not a common gift and it was probably one of the biggest in volume,” she said.

The current Governor of Queensland, Dr Jeannette Young, described the impact of Queen Elizabeth’s eight visits to Queensland after becoming queen in 1952 as an “example of duty and service”.

Queen Elizabeth meets crowds of children at the Queen Street Mall in 1982. Here she is accompanied by Lord Mayor Roy Harvey.Credit:government house

“Since childhood, the Queen has been held in great affection by the people of Queensland,” Young said.

“The strength of the bond between our people and our Sovereign was evident during Her Majesty’s eight remarkably successful visits to our State.

“Since becoming Queensland’s Head of State in 1952, Her Majesty has been a powerful symbol of continuity and stability, an unparalleled example of duty and service.”

No doubt canned pineapple would have raised eyebrows five years ago.

Queen Elizabeth has visited Queensland eight times, mostly with her husband Prince Philip.

In 1954 she spent seven days in Queensland, visiting regional towns including Townsville in addition to Brisbane.

On the second trip in March 1963, she visited Brisbane and Coolangatta as part of a trip to Australia to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of Canberra.

The Queen and Philip arrived on the royal yacht HMS Britannia and stayed at Government House as guests of then Queensland Governor Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith.

During her visit in 1970 to mark the 200th anniversary of Captain James Cook charting the east coast of Australia, the Queen visited Longreach, Mount Isa and Townsville as well as Cooktown where she unveiled a memorial stone at the site where the ‘Endeavor has landed.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh watch a cultural performance at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Cairns, Australia.  The Duke asked the Aboriginal artists: “Are you still throwing spears at each other?

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh watch a cultural performance at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Cairns, Australia. The Duke asked the Aboriginal artists: “Are you still throwing spears at each other?Credit:Getty Images

Seven years later, she and Philip visited Brisbane for three days to attend a state reception at the Cloudland Ballroom, unveiled a Silver Jubilee fountain at the new Queensland Cultural Center and opened the Queen Elizabeth II Sports Center Jubilee (QEII) at Mount Gravatt.

It was on the same ground in 1982 that the Queen closed the Commonwealth Games and the image of Matilda the winking kangaroo circled the world in pre-internet times.

She returned to Brisbane in 1988 to open World Expo 88 at what is now South Bank Parklands and again in March 2002 where she also opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Coolum.

The Queen’s last visit to Queensland was in October 2011 to attend a Queensland Government reception in Brisbane for people affected by the natural disasters of the summer of 2010-2011.

Comments are closed.