Sound: the Queen's welcome in Christchurch, 1954

Listen to the Queen’s welcome in Christchurch, 1954.


… through the mountains to Christchurch, to a welcome in the Square [loud cheering].

All the royal emblems are up here on the buildings, in places of honour for Her Majesty the Queen – I see St George’s Cross there, the lion’s cross and banners bearing the flags of New Zealand and the merchant navy, the fleur de lis, the cross we associate with the Order of the British Empire, the thistle, the badge of the heir apparent, all round the Square these royal emblems are placed up, but the key note I think in the welcome in the Square is one of flowers, particularly those two tramway shelter offices which are flanking the Godley statue and those four magnificent lime trees there – they’ve been built up pagoda-fashion floating towards the top and the whole has been cloaked with a mat – a soft, firm mat of pine and fir cuts – and then from the corners of that mat, up towards the top, the centrepiece, marigolds in great swathes going up there towards a great cushion of red dahlias, and on top of that cushion – and this goes for both of those things – great crowns in flowers.

And now, as a climax to all those emblems, the emblem of all, the Royal Standard, has entered the Cathedral Square, and as Her Majesty does come into this Cathedral Square, the Garden City, a welcome of flowers and bells [sounds of bells tolling].

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