Catching the ’54 Royal fever from a matchbox holder
Organise an exhibition to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s visit. That was my mission. I examined my inner monarchy barometer and it read ambivalent. I was neither interested or disinterested in all things royal.
In this frame of mind I started to develop the exhibition and gradually, very gradually, the objects began to speak of the excitement, anticipation and pure devotion that was the summer of 1954 and the Queen’s eight week tour of Australia. The well-thumbed and treasured Women’s Weekly magazines. The Sun-Herald supplement glowing between pages of more pedestrian print. The lapel badge with a positively grinning young Queen. A utilitarian head scarf featuring the Queen surrounded by Australian icons—all very walking with the corgis at Balmoral. A matchbox holder emblazoned with the royal couple so every time you lit up you would be reminded of the visit. And when the dust had settled and the royal yacht Gothic had departed from Fremantle, the souvenir coffee table books resplendent with photographs and commentary to capture the time when the reigning monarch visited Australia for the first time.
Come and see if the objects whisper to you of times past at the Happy and Glorious Exhibition.