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 65th Anniversary Royal Wattle Tour

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  • 5 Crown 65th Anniversary commemorative coin
     

  • Celebrating the first ever reigning British monarch’s visit to Australian soil
     

  • 2 oz silver proof with stunning gold accents and Swarovski Crystals
     

  • Worldwide edition limit of only 199​

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When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II stepped ashore at Farm Cove, Sydney from the SS Gothic on 3rd February 1954, she became the first and only reigning British Sovereign to ever set foot on Australian soil. The response was passionately patriotic and, above all, affectionate: enthusiastic men, women and children, statesmen, drovers, clerks, farmers, city dwellers and people living in the outback all turned out in their millions (almost three quarters of our population) to catch a brief glimpse of their beloved Queen. Some say it was an event that stopped the nation.

In Sydney alone, more than a million people lined the streets and the harbour to welcome Her Majesty and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The Sydney Morning Herald described their welcome as ‘tumultuous’. Those who could not make it to vantage points listened to the comprehensive national-wide radio coverage.

This was an event that had been in the planning since 1949 for the then King George VI (Elizabeth’s father), but in 1951 it was announced with disappointment that due to the King’s health he would be unable to make the royal visit – his daughter the then Princess Elizabeth and her husband would take his place.

The royal tour saw a staggering 57 towns and cities visited over the 58-day tour. This extraordinary well planned and executed tour (in a time when email, facsimile and mobile phones didn’t exist), saw the Royals travel the country via various modes of transport which started with their arrival on the royal yacht SS Gothic on the 3rd February 1954, and then ending with their departure from Fremantle on the 1st April 1954. Between these dates Her Royal Highness and the Duke would travel across our great nation via car, plane and train. 

The vehicle used for the road trips was the Daimler, a vehicle that for many years had a royal patronage. The longer major trips were done by way of air travel through the appointed airline TAA (Trans-Australia Airlines), who allocated two aircraft to be used at the time (the second plane was a backup in case of mechanical difficulties with the first). But only one was ever used. The model of plane used was the Convair. Finally, the eager would line the rail tracks to see the royal train speed by – images of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip waving from the balcony of the rear carriage form firm memories for thousands. 

This royal tour was also widely known as the ‘Wattle Tour’, in honour of the famous and much-loved wattle yellow dress designed by Norman Hartnell and immortalised in the ‘wattle painting’ by Australian artist Sir William Dargie. The Queen, delighted by the portrait, commissioned her own version of it.

By the time the SS Gothic departed on the 1st April 1954, Her Royal Highness the memory of her charm, sincerity, serenity and her inherent majesty had been implanted for all time in the great southern realm.

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