Sound: Nelson girl giving the Queen flowers, 1954

Hear a young girl describe presenting flowers to Queen at Nelson.


One of the happiest and luckiest children in Nelson was Rosalie Merritt of Hampden Street School. She was chosen to present the Queen's bouquet.

Interviewer: Rosalie, how did it all happen?

Rosalie: I was picked to go with the party from Hampden Street School down to the park, on the day that the Queen was coming.

Interviewer: And did you know then that you were to present the bouquet?

Rosalie: Well no, I wasn’t told till about 10 minutes before the Queen came, and I was very excited.

Interviewer: I should think you were, too. And you were stationed in Trafalgar Park, in good position to see the car coming around, were you?

Rosalie: Yes, I was over by the grandstand with the Boy Scouts. And when I saw the Queen’s car coming round the corner I went out in front of it - I wasn’t sure whether it was going to stop or not though, but to my relief I saw that it did. I went up to the Queen and said to her, ‘Please your Majesty, will you accept this bouquet?’. She took it and said to me, ‘Thank you, my dear’.

Interviewer: And that was a wonderful honour, wasn’t it?

Rosalie: Yes.

Interviewer: And how many children were there in the park at the time, Rosalie?

Rosalie: Oh, there must have been over a thousand.

Interviewer: Now, apart from presenting the bouquet to the Queen, what other incident will you always remember in connection with the royal tour?

Rosalie: Well on Sunday morning, a beautiful day, I was up on the church steps, and when we saw the Queen coming down from church we were cheering like mad. When she walked past us she seemed to give everyone a lovely smile, and we saw her walk right down to her hotel. She was in a white dress with black spots and a little wee bolero.

Interviewer: And was that the last you saw of the Queen?

Rosalie: No, I saw her at the aerodrome when she went.

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