Royal Tours

An audio-visual collection of Royal Tours past.

The first royal tour to New Zealand was in 1869, when the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred – the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – made the first of several visits as captain of HMS Galatea.

The first visit by a reigning monarch was when Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh came in 1953-54.
Listen to the audio below to hear some of the radio coverage from the time.
There is more information about the 1953-54 royal visit on the NZ History website.

Since then various members of the royal family have come to New Zealand at different times, and both the public reception they have received – and the ways the visits have been covered – provide interesting glimpses into how New Zealand society, and radio broadcasting, have changed over time.

Our pick from this collection is the Royal Report April 1983. Prince Charles is fantastically droll, while in places the broadcast presentation style could easily be from the 1950s.

Royal Tour film from NZ on Screen

Collection items

Royal New Zealand Air Force royal tour fanfare trumpeters Crown Studios Collection Alexander Turnbull Library FL
Royal New Zealand Air Force, royal tour fanfare trumpeters, 1953.
From the Crown Studios Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library.



Radio NZ News coverage of the Royal Tour 2014

Royal Tour 2014 photo gallery

Logo of Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Photo: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Archival Audio from: Sound Archives Ngā Taonga

Images from:

National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa

Archives New Zealand, Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

Film from: NZ on Screen

Royal Tour Fleet of Cars from Archives NZ
Fleet of Daimler cars in Wellington, royal tour 1953. Image from Archives NZ

Princess Diana Prince Charles and Robert Muldoon on the stairs at the Beehive Wellington April Alexander Turnbull Library crop

Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, Prince Charles and Princess Diana attending a state banquet at the Beehive in Wellington.
Photograph: Evening Post 22 April 1983. Alexander Turnbull Library Ref: EP/1983/1446/30-F

Queen Elizabeth II arriving at Parliament Buildings Wellington
Queen Elizabeth II arriving at Parliament Buildings, Wellington, for the ceremonial opening of Parliament, Royal Tour 1953-1954 Crown Studios Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library Ref: 1/4-106756-F