Events In History
12 January 1954Queen Elizabeth II opens Parliament
A crowd of 50,000 greeted Queen Elizabeth II, resplendent in her coronation gown, when she opened a special session of the New Zealand Parliament in its centennial year. Read more...
23 December 1953Queen Elizabeth II arrives for royal tour
For New Zealanders old enough to have experienced it, the visit of the young Queen and her dashing husband, Prince Philip, in the summer of 1953–4 was a never-to-be forgotten event. Read more...
26 August 1911New Zealand Coat of Arms warranted
On this day King George V signed the Royal Warrant assigning the first New Zealand Coat of Arms. The Warrant was published in the New Zealand Gazette on 11 January 1912. Read more...
11 April 1869New Zealand's first royal visit
The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, arrived in Wellington as captain of the frigate HMS Galatea. The first member of the British royal family to visit New Zealand, he was greeted with haka, speeches and bunting. Read more...
For those New Zealanders old enough to have experienced it, the visit of the young Queen and her dashing husband, Prince Philip, to New Zealand in the summer of 1953-54 is a never-to-be forgotten event.
Page 2 – Itinerary
The progress of the royal visit down the length of the country
Page 3 – Popularity
Why was the royal visit of 1953/4 greeted with such enthusiasm by New Zealanders?
Page 4 – The Queen and Māori
For many Māori the royal visit raised important issues about their place in New Zealand.
Page 5 – A pastoral paradise
Following their stay in Auckland and visits to Waitangi, Hamilton and Rotorua, the Queen and Duke had a two-day break at Lake Rotoiti before flying to Gisborne and Napier.
Page 6 – A loyal people
As head of the Church of England the Queen laid the foundation stone of the new Anglican cathedral in Wellington, and as head of the Commonwealth's armed forces she laid
Page 7 – Great place to bring up children
On the day of the reception for children at Athletic Park, the Evening Post wrote: 'As the mother of two young children 12,000 miles away, the Queen today assumed the
Page 8 – Remembering the royals
Memories from around the country of the 1953-54 royal tour to New Zealand
Page 9 – Later royal visits
On 30 January 1954 the Gothic sailed from Bluff and after a brief side trip into Milford Sound, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip departed for Australia. They have returned
Page 10 – Further information
Recommended books and websites relating to the 1953-4 Royal Tour
'To be invisible is to be forgotten,' constitutional theorist Walter Bagehot (1826–77) warned. For the King or Queen's New Zealand representative, the Governor-General, that meant hitting the road
- Page 1 - Viceregal visiting'To be invisible is to be forgotten,' constitutional theorist Walter Bagehot (1826–77) warned. For the King or Queen's New Zealand representative, the Governor-General, that
Queen Elizabeth II became New Zealand's monarch on 6 February 1952. In 2012 she celebrated her Diamond (60th) Jubilee, which was marked by various events around the Commonwealth.
Page 2 – The Queen’s constitutional and public ceremonial roles
The Queen is New Zealand’s head of state. Her title was confirmed by Royal Titles Acts of 1953 and 1974, the latter entitling her ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God
Page 3 – Royal tours
About three out of every four New Zealanders saw the Queen as she visited 46 centres and attended 110 functions in 1953-54
Page 4 – Māori and the Queen
Māori ‘were primarily concerned to express their loyalty to the Crown and to win acceptance as New Zealand citizens.’ They were just as enthusiastic about the tour as other New
Page 5 – Changing attitudes to monarchy
The brief postwar social consensus started to fray from the 1960s. More frequent visits by the Queen and other members of her family probably reduced some of the mystique. At
From Henry Sewell in 1856 to Bill English in 2016, New Zealand has had 39 prime ministers and premiers. Read biographies of the men and women who have held the top job, discover more about the role's political origins, and explore fascinating prime ministerial facts and trivia.
- Page 2 - Political originsOverview of the influence of the British political system in New Zealand and our move toward self-government in the 19th
The 1920s was the decade that modern New Zealand came of age. Despite political and economic uncertainty, the country shrugged off the gloom of war to embrace the Jazz Age - an era of speed, power and glamour. Explore an overview of the decade and a year-by-year breakdown of key events.
- Page 3 - 1920 - key eventsA selection of key New Zealand events from
New Zealand has had a governor or (from 1917) a Governor-General since 1840. The work of these men and women has reflected the constitutional and political history of New Zealand in many ways.
- Page 6 - RegalisedThe constitutional arrangements of the British Empire changed greatly between the creation of the Imperial War Cabinet in 1917 and the passing of the Statute of Westminster in
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