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50 cents 2000 - Royal Visit

By CAA    |   Friday, 15 December 2023

50 cents 2000 Royal Visit

On the eve of the Queen's 13th visit to Australia in early 2000, a different portrait on the obverse on this coin, by Vladimir Gottwald, had Royal permission to be used exclusively for this issue. The reverse shows an Australian flag and the Royal crown.

The very first Royal visitor to Australia was Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria's second son, and later Duke of Edinburgh. A captain in the Royal Navy, he visited Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in 1867-68 during a world tour on board HMS Galatea.

In 1901, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary) visited Melbourne to open the first Federal Parliament. Edward, the Prince of Wales arrived in Victoria on 2 April 1920 representing his father, King George V. His mission was to thank Australians for the part they played in World War I.

In 1927, George VI toured Australia and New Zealand while Elizabeth remained in Britain since her father thought she was too young (~ 1 year old) to undertake public tours. Arriving at Sydney Harbour they attracted a crowd of over a million. Elizabeth II and her parents made the first royal transatlantic telephone call on May 18, 1927.

When her father died in February 1952, Elizabeth became queen of Commonwealth countries: United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (known today as Sri Lanka). Shortly after, she, with her husband, set out for a royal tour of Australia and New Zealand by way of the British colony of Kenya.

When the Queen visits Australia, she speaks and acts as Queen of Australia, and not as Queen of the United Kingdom. As a constitutional monarch, The Queen acts entirely on the advice of Australian Government Ministers who are responsible to Parliament.

- The Royal Household

During the 1953 tour, crowds were immense. It was estimated that three-quarters of the population of Australia were estimated to have seen her. She was known for meeting ordinary members of the public.

The first visit to Australia by a reigning monarch took place in 1954. The Queen opened Parliament in Canberra for the first time, wearing the gown she had worn for her Coronation the previous year.

The advent of air travel has made more frequent visits possible, although for many of them the Queen based herself on the Royal Yacht Britannia to travel around the country.

Queen Elizabeth II Brisbane 1982

  • During her 1963 visit, The Queen made a unique broadcast to people in remote communities over the Flying Doctor network in Alice Springs.
  • In 1970 The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh joined in the celebrations marking Lieutenant James Cook's discovery of Australia 200 years earlier. They were accompanied on this occasion by Princess Anne and, for part of the time, by The Prince of Wales.
  • In 1973, The Queen opened the landmark Sydney Opera House, an event which attracted world-wide attention.
  • Australia also figured prominently in the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977, in which she visited every state during a three-week tour.
  • The Queen and The Duke toured Australia again in 1980 and 1981, to coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Melbourne.
  • In 1982 they attended the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
  • In 1988 The Queen took part in Australia's bicentenary celebrations, travelling extensively across the nation, and opening the new Parliament House in Canberra. The same year also saw a tour by The Prince and Princess of Wales during January and February, and a visit by The Princess Royal.
  • In 2003, the Queen acknowledged the huge debt owed to Australian servicemen and women in two world wars by opening the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London.

The Queen has visited Australia on 16 occasions. Elizabeth's 11-day visit to Australia in October 2011 was her 16th and last visit to the country (1954, 1963, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2011.).

In 16 visits, The Queen has celebrated all aspects of Australian culture and life, from sheep farms to natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, and from the triumph of Olympic and Commonwealth sporting meetings to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and tradition.

- The Royal Household

Specifications

  • Artist: Vladimir Gottwald
  • Composition: 75% copper, 25% nickel
  • Edge: Plain
  • Diameter: 31.5 mm
  • Weight: 15.55 g
  • Mint: Canberra
  • Mintage: 5,100,000

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