BULAWAYO MEMORIES

1947 - Royal Visit 7th April 1947 Bulawayo & Salisbury


1947 Royal Visit 7th April 1947

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In 1947 the British Royal Family embarked upon a world tour. It included an excursion to Union of South Africa, Southern Rhodesia and Bechuanaland Protectorate. The Royal Tour was made by their Majesties King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and their two daughters, Their Royal Highnesses the Princess Elizabeth (now the reigning monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) and Princess Margaret, all staying at the Falls Hotel, which was reserved entirely for their use.

Bulawayo on 14th April the King received some survivors of the Pioneer Column, veterans of the Matabele War, and next day, 15 April, held an Indaba for Rhodesian chiefs in the Matopo Hills. Then the Royal Family made a pilgrimage to the bald hill-top, strewn with enormous granite boulders, which has been set aside as the burial ground of those who have deserved well of their country. At the top they stood for some time in silent reverence in memory of Cecil John Rhodes, admiring the dignity of the spot which the Founder chose as his last resting place.

For their extensive tour South African Railways again provided a newly built 'White Train', which was made available for the Rhodesian section of the tour. The Garratt locomotives were painted royal blue. The Royal Party flew from South Africa to Salisbury, where they travelled, by Royal Train, to Bulawayo. The family made the journey from Pretoria to Salisbury by air on the morning of Easter Monday, and before noon that day the King ceremonially opened the Legislative Assembly.

The King met veterans of the Matabele War, and next day, 15 April, held an Indaba for Rhodesian chiefs in the Matopo Hills. Then the Royal Family made a pilgrimage to the bald hill-top, strewn with enormous granite boulders, which has been set aside as the burial ground of those who have deserved well of their country. At the top they stood for some time in silent reverence in memory of Cecil John Rhodes, admiring the dignity of the spot which the Founder chose as his last resting place.

On 16 April 1947 the Royal Family left Rhodesia.

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 Bulawayo - Ceremony Metcalf Square (Rhodesia Railways) including inspection and parade of nurses
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 Que Que




 Salisbury
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 Victoria Falls Room
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 Railways Museum
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