1950s Brisbane: Chermside and a visit from the Queen

1950s Brisbane: Chermside and a visit from the Queen
Seven Network
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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit Brisbane in 1954, just two years after Elizabeth became Queen of England and the Commonwealth.

The introduction of dramatised first-hand accounts from people in the crowd that day feels jarring when there is already a voice-over in place in addition sync sound from the footage.

Footage of the Queen and Prince Philip in an open-topped vehicle driving past huge crowds conveys the excitement of the day and evokes another era.

The Queen’s 1954 visit was documented in the first colour feature made in Australia, The Queen in Australia (1954), produced by the Australian National Film Board.

The second part of this clip covers the opening of Chermside Drive-in Shopping Centre (now Westfield Chermside) on 31 May 1957 by Queensland Premier Vince Gair.

The edit transitions on the year intertitles date the special, and the brevity of each segment can be unsatisfying, leaving the viewer wanting more information.

The strength of the clip is its juxtaposition of carefully chosen archival footage and commentary to create a sense that a lot has changed but some things remain the same – such as the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and Australia’s addiction to shopping centres.

This excerpt comes from the Seven News Brisbane special Queensland: Flashback 150 Years, broadcast on 30 May 2009. It was produced for the 150th anniversary of the state of Queensland. Queensland formally separated from New South Wales on 6 June 1859.

For more about Queen Elizabeth II's connection with Australia see our curated collections on The Queen in Australia and The Royal Family in Australia.

Notes by Beth Taylor