Michael Foote, 73, with his 57 year old flag that he took to the Queen’s 1954 visit to Brisbane.
Michael Foote, 73, with his 57 year old flag that he took to the Queen’s 1954 visit to Brisbane. Sarah Harvey

Michael's wait to see Her Majesty

IT HAS been 57 years, but Ipswich resident Michael Foote is just as keen to celebrate the Queen's visit this year as he was in 1954.

Mr Foote, now aged 73, was 16 years old when he first saw The Queen in Brisbane.

The Collingwood Park retiree will take a special memento into South Bank to greet the Queen on Monday - the same flag that he waved to celebrate the 1954 royal tour.

Mr Foote discovered the 57-year-old flag in a box left to him by his late Uncle Jimmy.

"I picked up this little wooden box that my grandfather made, and there were lots of little treasures in it," Mr Foote said.

"I found the flag and realised my grandmother must have put it away, and then, later, the box would've passed on to Jimmy.

"I wish that the Queen could hear the story of this flag."

Mr Foote is looking forward to seeing the Queen a second time, and recalls her 1954 visit fondly.

"Back in 1954, I was in my second year of high school, and we went in to my grandparent's house in Milton the morning of the visit," Mr Foote said.

"All the family, my aunts and I, were going to see the Queen on her way to Government House.

"We went down and stood near the old Marist College in the morning, waiting for the car to appear.

"I can remember the crowds when she came around the corner, you just couldn't move.

"We were about two miles from Government House, and even that far away there was still only enough room for the car to squeeze through."

Mr Foote said spirits were high on the day.

"It was very special, it was her first visit and she'd been married only a little while ago."

The Queen's 1954 national tour ran for two months, and she visited Brisbane from March 9 to 18.

Her Majesty's tour was the first royal tour of a reigning monarch in Australia.

Mr Foote said he was still a strong royal supporter - he has even adjusted his music tastes to match his monarchist views.

"I've stopped listening to John Williamson since he spoke up about changing the flag," Mr Foote said.

"I used to like him, but now I've turned him off."

Mr Foote said he had noticed a move away from the monarchy in recent years.

"In those days (1954), there wouldn't have been anyone who didn't support and respect her (The Queen)," Mr Foote said.

"I suppose there's a lot more idiots around now," Mr Foote said, by way of explaining increasingly poor etiquette towards royalty.

Mr Foote said The Queen was still an important Head of State, and deserved respect.

Interestingly, Prime Minister Gillard elected to bow rather than curtsy when she met The Queen in Canberra on Wednesday.

This greeting marked a controversial breach of royal etiquette.

 

WHERE TO SEE HRH

11.30am: Brisbane River Cruise. Best vantage points: Bretts Wharf to Breakfast Creek, Bulimba Riverside Park and nearby anchorage points, and Eagle Street Pier to South Bank

12.20pm: South Bank Public Walk. Best viewing opportunities at Cultural Forecourt, Wheel of Brisbane, Rainforest Green and Rain Bank.



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