Presbyterian Archives Research Centre

Photo Gallery No 21:

"Radiant Young Queen to Wise Matriarch: The New Elizabethan Age"

In 2012 we mark Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee of her sixty year reign over the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries. The Monarchy has historically been of interest to Presbyterians. It was the tradition of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand to send to the British Monarch an Address of Loyalty each time that it opened its annual meeting. Between the Coronation and the Diamond Jubilee the Queen has visited New Zealand ten times and her progress through New Zealand was reported and shown in the church publication The Outlook. Enthusiasm for reporting on the tours seemed to wane after 1974. By 1985 the Photographic Unit had closed and The Outlook had stopped publication, replaced by new, modern publications. Moderators of the Church were still invited to attend state functions where the Queen was present, and individual Presbyterians remained Royal supporters. However the visits of the Queen were now outside the interests of the Presbyterian publications.

We would value your comments and feedback : We can supply copies of most of the images in this gallery upon request. Please refer to our "Hours & Charges" page.

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Andrew Smith
Assistant Archivist

Queen's Jubilee Hurrah!

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Queen Elizabeth II

Royal Command Portrait Study of Queen Elizabeth II

Shortly after Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne, she sat for a single portrait session with Dorothy Wilding, the first woman to be awarded a Royal Warrant to be an official royal photographer. 

“Across her gown of ivory brocade woven with gold and turquoise thread Her Majesty is wearing the Sash and Star of the Order of the Garter.  The Queen is wearing a diadem made for King George IV in the 1820s and later worn by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.  The Queen wore the diadem when she opened the first Parliament of her reign on 1 November 1952.  The beautiful diamond necklace was a wedding present from the Nizam of Hyderabad.”

[Ref: The New Zealand Free Lance, May 27, 1953 p.3]

New Zealand Celebrating the Coronation of 
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Order of Service prepared by the Church Worship Committee of the Presbyterian Church based on the Service prepared by the Church of Scotland to be used by all Presbyterian parishes throughout New Zealand.  “ This service is one of deep significance … the hymns, and the Prayers … the whole order of service will comprise the worship of some millions of people in Scotland and England … Today we sing and pray with many in the same words, as the sun goes around the world … In one of the prayers we go back to the days of St. Columba, a prayer used for many centuries at all Scottish Coronations.  The Service is to remind us how our roots go down deep into the past and how the bonds of our common faith and our links of loyalty and affection with the Commonwealth bind us to a great Company.”

[Ref:  P19001/1990/90/BG8/7]

Divine Service

Coronation Address



Sermon preached by the Rev. J. Gilman S. Dunn
at Miramar Presbyterian Church 31st May 1953.

Many similar sermons were preached throughout New Zealand and across the world.  The opening paragraphs of J. Gilman S. Dunn’s sermon no doubt summed up the high excitement and growing emotion associated with the forthcoming Coronation of a new Queen.

“It was a very gracious Lady [the Late Queen Mary] who said: ‘Remember that life is made up of loyalty; loyalty of your friends; loyalty to things beautiful and good; loyalty to the Country in which you live; loyalty to your King; and above all for this holds all other loyalties together, loyalty to God.’

“We can hardly help thinking of these words today- when we prepare ourselves in this Service for the Coronation Day of her grand-daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.”

[Ref:  JGS Dunn 94/3037/6]

The Order of Service for the Coronation Celebrated in Dunedin

Programme for Coronation

[Ref. A-S15.61-78]



...And Page Two

Programme for Coronation

[Ref A-S15.61-79]



Coronation Visit 1953-1954

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh worship at St. John’s Rotorua, Sunday, January 3, 1954

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were led by the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt. Rev. J.L. Gray (nearest the camera) and the parish minister the Rev. Alexander Salmond.

The Queen requested the service be conducted by St. John’s own minister, since she regarded her attendance not as a formal “occasion” but as personal worship in a local parish church.

“The Moderator read the Old Testament Lesson (Isaiah 54:17), The Duke of Edinburgh read the New Testament Lesson (Luke 12:13-32).  Prayers included mention of persons bereaved by the Christmas Eve railway disaster [Tangiwai]; and the St. John’s junior choir sang the so-far unpublished carol A New Zealand Christmas by Eileen Duggan with music by Richard Fuchs.”  Ref: Outlook 26 January, 1954 p11)

Distinguished guests were: the Rev. Kihoro te Puawhe and Mrs Kihoro te Puawhe of the Mission House, Te Teko; Sisters May Gardiner and Emily Ross; the Hon. W. Sullivan, MP for the district and a Presbyterian  and Mrs Sullivan; Mr. A. Murray Linton, Mayor of Rotorua and an elder of St. John’s, and Mrs Linton.


The Queen in Rotorua

The Queen leaving St John's Rotorua

Queen Elizabeth with the Rev. Alexander Salmond followed by the Moderator, Rev. Gray and the Duke of Edinburgh leaving the Church.

[Ref: PA.70.47-108]

Crowd saying farewell as Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh board the royal car to continue their visit to Rotorua.

[Ref: PA.70.47-109]

Royal Car in Rotorua

Interior of St John's Rotorua

Interior of St. John’s, Rotorua.

St. John’s Rotorua was built 1896 to seat 150-180 people.  ‘When therefore the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh worshipped there attendance had to be restricted to those local Presbyterians who would have been present in any case had it been a “normal” Sunday plus visiting Presbyterians who had some particular claim to be considered.  The Hall was able to seat a further 100 and in the front rooms and the veranda of the manse a number of aged and infirmed members and adherents and other various visitors had the privilege of hearing the service. 

[Ref: PA.70.48-110]

The Royal Visit to Dunedin

Floral Archway looking down lower Stuart Street to the Railway Station

Was this created to celebrate the Coronation, or for the Queen's visit a year later? Our records give us no clue.


Floral Archway on Stuart Street

Visit to Roslyn Mills

Visit to the Roslyn [Woollen] Mills in Kaikorai Valley Road

On the morning of Wednesday 27 January 1954 the Queen and Duke visited at the Roslyn [Woollen] Mills.

The Queen inspecting the fabric, probably cotton.

Photograph supplied by the Otago Daily Times.

[Ref: Ross 18]

Crowd scene outside the Roslyn Mill as Royal Party leave

[Ref: Ross31]

Leaving Roslyn Mill

Royal Signatures

Signatures of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh  - the Roslyn Mills Visitors Book. 

[(Copy) (Ref: Ross 23a)]

Where Does She Live?

The children’s page in the Outlook, the Presbyterian Church magazine, covered the Royal visit and children were encouraged to write their story about seeing the Queen.  ‘J’ of New Plymouth had a poem accepted which expressed a view of the Queen coming to New Zealand. 

[Ref. Outlook January 1954, p17. ]

Where Does She Live?

Heather Ashford

Heather Ashford

“Most of you saw the Queen and the Duke [standing among the crowds].  But for a few of you she stopped and smiled  and thanked you for the gifts you had been chosen to give her on other people’s behalf.  One of these lucky ones was Heather Ashford of Rakaia Presbyterian Sunday School.  Heather will never forget, however long she lives, that once the greatest Queen in the whole world spoke to her.”

[Ref. The Outlook, 23 February 1954 p.23]

Royal Visit 1963 – Napier – St. Paul’s Napier

The Queen’s visit to St. Paul’s coincided with their 105th parish anniversary

The Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt. Rev. W. Malcolm Wilson preached, his theme 'New Man and a New World'.

[Ref. CS-4.33-1744]


The Queen and Malcolm Wilson



The Queen and Duke in Napier

Royal Visit - 1963 - Hawkes Bay

Photograph taken by local Hastings Photographer Bruce Drummond of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during their visit to Hawkes Bay 1963.

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