Because of their ages, our ages and the frequency with which each of us visits the other’s country, we thought this could be our last chance.
Hopeful spectators lined the Victoria Bridge.
Not being amongst those people who arrived hours early to stake themselves a spot, we parked ourselves on the river bank, rather precariously, with our legs dangling down on the rocks. We were some distance from where the Queen’s boat would arrive, but still closer than these people on the bridge.
Meanwhile, these people had secured themselves a vantage spot on a balcony on this building on the opposite side of the river.
The Queen and Prince Philip were taken on a cruise from Brett’s Wharf up the Brisbane River to Southbank, to see some areas which had been inundated by the January floods.
We thought she would be on this spick and span ferry flying the red ensign – but we were wrong.
Police boats whizzed around officiously.
I think this one was showing off a bit.
Finally, along came the fancy boat the Queen was actually on.
Here come the Queen! Prince Philip is behind her, carrying his panama hat.
Buckingham Palace described her dress as “pistachio”.
The Queen steps off the gangplank onto the wharf. Prince Philip is behind the post.
This is my best picture of both the Queen and the Duke.
Anna Bligh, in red, is behind the Queen, while the lady in the pink jacket had the job of taking all the flowers given to the Queen.
Anna Bligh peeps out from under red roses.
The Queen waves, while watching her step.
The Duke keeps an attentive eye as the Queen negotiates the ramp. Anna Bligh and her husband follow.
Up the ramp they go. Is the Duke admiring the jacarandas?
After the official party goes up the ramp, we can’t see them any more, so we watch on a screen as the Queen and Duke (who has put his hat on now), along with Anna Bligh and her husband, walk through the crowd .
The Queen accepts dozens of bouquets and cards, and hands them on to the pink-jacketed lady, who in turn hands them on to someone else.
The young man from Brisbane Boys’ College, in the straw boater, executed the most delightful bow after presenting his flowers to the Queen.
After her walk through the crowd, the Queen and Duke attended a reception for people affected by the summer disasters, then the Queen opened Rain Bank, a Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Project for South Bank. They then had lunch, hosted by the Queensland Governor, then flew back to Canberra. A whirlwind visit.
While the Queen and Duke were lunching with the Governor, Bob and I had lunch at the Coffee Club, and watched the people streaming back over Victoria Bridge. There was a great deal of happiness and goodwill in the crowd, and I felt lucky to have been a part of it.