Monday, 28 May 2012

Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year and the main block of celebratory activities takes place  from June 2 to June 5. If you happen to be in England you could attend these events - check out the following websites.The official Royal Family website can be found at  and the official Jubilee website is at  

Casey Cardinia has various links to the Monarchy. Firstly, Lord Casey after whom the City of Casey was named, lived in Berwick and was the Governor General of Australia from September 1965 until April 1969. The Governor General is appointed by the Monarch and is the Monarch's representative in Australia. Secondly, some of our roads have a Royal connection -  the Princes Highway was originally known as the Gippsland Road but changed in 1920 after the visit of Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII, then the Duke of Windsor). Station Street in Berwick was changed to Gloucester Avenue after the visit of the Duke of Gloucester to Victoria in 1934. Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh and son of Queen Victoria, visited Beaconsfield in 1869 and stayed at the Gippsland Hotel. John and Margaret Doveton, who gave their name to Doveton are said to have been descended from Edward 1 and his wife Eleanor of Castille.


The Queen and Prince Phillip came to Australia in 1954, they arrived on February 3 in Sydney and left on April 1 from Fremantle. Whilst they were here they visited every state and many country towns. On March 3 the Royal couple were in Gippsland, they flew to Sale for  a reception, then went by the Royal Train to Traralgon for a reception, by car to Yallourn to see the open-cut coal mine, then they drove to Warragul for a reception and then took the Royal Train back to Melbourne.  Many towns along the way decorated their shop fronts including Berwick. These photographs, of High Street Berwick,  are from our Archive and show how Berwick celebrated the 1954 visit by the Queen.The photographs were donated by Mrs Julie Berry (nee Halleur)

If anyone knows the name of this gentleman, then I would love to know. He is presumably the Local Real Estate, replacing his sign with a banner.

My family actually has a connection to this Royal visit. My father, Frank Rouse, was doing his National Service at the time and they had to put in a certain amount of hours and one of his duties was being a Guard of Honour, along the route. Dad and his colleagues, spent about seven hours standing at their designated spot (in his case on the outskirts of Warragul) and the Royal motorcade apparently passed by in a second. He has his gun, but no bullets, however, he can (and does) say that he successfully guarded the Queen! 40,000 people were  in Warragul on the day of the Queen’s visit. 

In honour of the Diamond Jubilee, the Queen has made available the diaries of her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria.  Queen Victoria also celebrated a Diamond Jubilee and this why they have been released at this time. The journals have been digitised, so you can  see Queen Victoria's own hand writing and also the illustrations she interspersed amongst the text. This one is a self portrait from August 21, 1850. These journals are  a great historical resource and even if you are not especially interested in the content, then this represents a great example of how history meets technology - not only can you read the diaries, you can follow Queen Victoria's thoughts on Twitter and you can 'like' her on Facebook. The journals can be found at

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