The National Library is deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty The Queen. On behalf of our Chair and Council, we send our sincere condolences to Her Majesty’s family. You may wish to leave a message of condolence via the online form on the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.
As the collector and keeper of the nation’s memory, we invite you to reflect on the life of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning British monarch in history, through the many moments recorded in our collections.
Queen Elizabeth II became the first reigning British monarch to visit Australia when she stepped ashore at Farm Cove, Sydney on 3 February 1954.
On this visit, the Queen went to all state and territory capitals, excluding Darwin, allowing as many people as possible to see her at a range of functions, events and regional centres. Australians responded passionately to the young monarch, who ascended to the throne in February 1952 – her coronation taking place on 2 June 1953.
It is estimated that almost three-quarters of the Australian population glimpsed the Queen at least once during the 1954 royal tour, which was a mixture of politics, fashion and carnival. From the pomp and ceremony of opening federal parliament to massed public displays of affection, she left a lasting impression on those who took part.
The 1954 tour was not the only time the Queen would visit Australia, and glimpses of these later visits, her life and contribution to Australia are captured in our vast collections.
You can view a display celebrating Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in our Treasures Gallery or view moments of the Queen’s life in our collections. Look back at all of Queen’s visits to Australia in Trove.