From Ngaire’s journal, 19th January, 1954
TODAY WE SAW THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND
“We arose at 5am, breakfasted and left Akaroa at 6.45am arriving in Christchurch at 8.30am. I had packed sandwiches and pies on Monday evening and filled Thermos flasks with hot tea tea this morning so we were well prepared…
At 11.45 we all had lunch and settled down to wait. Carol and I did a lot of knitting. I am afraid the men folk were very bored.
At 2.45pm everyone became excited, and 5 minutes later, preceded by police and other cars, the Queen and the Duke passed by in their black Daimler car. It was all so sudden, they went by in a moment, that we were rather disappointed and settled down to wait for another 1 ½ hours.
At 4.10 pm cheers were heard again and along came the Queen and the Duke again, this time more slowly so that we had a better look. The Queen was beautiful and the Duke handsome. They were followed by cinema cars taking movies. It was all over and we had seen Royalty.
We had some “Thermos” tea and sandwiches on some lawn beside the footpath and then journeyed 53 miles back to Akaroa. Carol and Warwick had bacon, eggs and tomatoes as they were hungry. We all retired to bed, extremely tired but very happy, because for about 1 ½ minutes we had set our eyes on the Queen and the Duke.”