March 12

Royal Family always with us

The Commonwealth Parliament was opened on 9 May 1901 in Melbourne by the Duke of York, subsequently King George V. The only building in Melbourne large enough to house the 14,000 guests was the Royal Exhibition Building. After that the Parliament met in the magnificent Parliament House, Melbourne, which it borrowed from the Parliament of Victoria.

The Victorian Parliament  then moved to the Royal Exhibition Building.

On 9 May 1927 the Commonwealth Parliament moved to the new national capital at Canberra, where it met in what is now called Old Parliament House.  This was meant to be temporary, but which housed the Parliament for more than 60 years. It was opened by the next Duke of York, subsequently King George V.

In what had become a Royal tradition, the present Parliament House was opened on 9 May 1988 by the Queen of Australia, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

…visit to Australia not delayed… 

When Queen Victoria died the planned visit by the Duke of York, later King, to open the Australian Parliament was to be delayed in the light of the bereavement and the King Edward and Queen Alexandra’s’ close attachment to their only surviving son, recounts Simon Heffer in his fascinating study, Power and Place, The Political Consequences of King Edward VIII, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London 1998.

However it soon became clear that this would be a disappointment to Australians. Australia had already assumed considerable importance in the thinking of the Royal Family. The visit went ahead.

The book also demonstrates the significant role The King played in public life and world affairs.
Should you wish to acquire this book, you may order it from the London based Book Depository at an excellent price and free of VTA tax and postage. Follow the links for either a hardback copy at $32.69, or a paperback copy at $21.23.


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