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The Queen in Newcastle, NSW, 1977: photo-essay

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Newcastle, NSW on March 11, 1977 to open the city’s new art gallery. It was the epitome of a “flying visit”, with the couple arriving at Williamtown RAAF base in the morning, being driven to Newcastle for the opening, and then departing in the evening on the Royal Yacht Britannia, which had arrived in the Port of Newcastle that morning, escorted by HMAS Vampire.

Britannia arriving in the Port of Newcastle on March 11, 1977. The small boat in the foreground is a police launch.

People line the Stockton shore to watch the royal yacht arrive.

Naval cadets helped tie up the ship at Lee Wharf.

Britannia’s crew headed off for a game of cricket at the University of Newcastle.

The Royal couple arrived by Royal Australian Air Force jet at Williamtown fighter base.

Civilians wait for a chance to see the Queen at Williamtown.

Leaving the base.

Crowds in Hunter Street, Newcastle.

And at the intersection of Hunter and Newcomen Streets.

Later that day protesters took the chance to express their anger at Australian Prime Minister Malcom Fraser, with some posters calling the Queen “the world’s No. 1 dole bludger”.

Prime Minister Fraser runs the gauntlet of some unhappy protesters. His was a harsh government, and his role – along with that of the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr – in the downfall of the Whitlam Labor Government had not been forgotten.

The Queen arrives at Laman Street for the opening of the art gallery.

Crowds in Civic Park, hoping for a glimpse of the popular monarch. The city’s relatively new administration building dominates the background.

Stopping for a chat to fans in Laman Street.

Unveiling the plaque.

Giving the speech.

Signing the book.

Admiring a painting by William Dobell.

Prince Philip contemplates the art.

A cheeky moment on the steps from Laman Street into Civic Park. Fears that birds in the fig trees might have disgraced themselves and embarrassed the Crown and city happily proved unfounded and the trees were allowed some more decades of growth.

Prince Philip meets some young Novocastrians in the park.

The Queen exchanges words with some nuns.

More admirers.

Time to leave: departing King Street.

Boarding the Britannia.

More admiring crowds at the send-off.

A wave goodbye.

The Britannia gets on its way in Newcastle Harbour.

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