1038 THE ROYAL VISIT OF 1947: POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCES
Andrew Lamprecht, senior lecturer, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town
In 1947 King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, the Princesses Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret and their retinue toured southern Africa. Transported via a specially-commissioned royal train and attended by a large party of staff, they were the subject of much media attention. It was the eve of the partition of India and a year before the Nationalist Party victory at the polls. Opposition to the tour included both right-wing Afrikaners and progressive black political bodies, yet unprecedented numbers of locals came out to see ‘the royals’.
This course will focus on how visual representations, newspaper accounts, souvenirs and personal memorialisation associated with the contested tour served to construct an idealised, modernising royal family for the post-war (soon to be post-empire) Commonweath and United Kingdom.