On Tuesday, 22 February, 2011, the two great Royal ocean liners, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth sat at the Heads waiting to make their spectacular entry into Sydney Harbour.
They processed majestically to their rendezvous at that ancient defender to the city, Fort Denison, with horns blaring and water cannons spraying, as thousands watched from sea and land.
On an unusually cold and windy summer morning, Queen Mary 2 berthed at Garden Island and Queen Elizabeth at the International Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay. The video clip below is from Australia's leading news channel, SkyTV News.
…an earlier rendezvous…
Older Australians can still recall the earlier Royal Rendezvous of the great liners' namesakes during those dark days of the Second World War.
This was a time when our way of life was under threat and Great Britain, Australia and the Commonwealth, united around their beloved King and Queen, were almost alone as the Axis sought world domination.
They have no doubt told their children and their grand children — as well as those new to this country – about those dark days.
Those great liners were converted in Australia into troop carriers, and brought thousands of Australians New Zealanders and other allied soldiers to distant battlegrounds.
Too fast for the U-boats, the Nazi fuehrer is said to have offered a ransom for their destruction.
He failed in that as he failed in his evil agenda of world domination.
As we have wondered on recent similar occasions, would there today be the sort of facilities in Australia to do this now, or whether our republican politicians and the carpetbaggers who surround them have abandoned that capability too?
On Tuesday, those there and those watching on television once again experienced the magic which only the irresistible combination of monarchy and heritage can radiate, as the city and the nation joining in welcoming the great Royal liners .