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A Royal Visit

My earliest memory dates back to 18 April 1947, the date of the royal family visit to Kimberley, in the Union of South Africa.

My family were all very pro-British, my ancestors on my paternal grandfather's side coming from Scotland, and my paternal grandmother's from England. There was quite the hubbub in the household when this momentous occasion was first announced. The front stoep (veranda) was polished with red to a mirror shine; the Union Jack (English flag) was unfolded and hauled up to the top of the flagpole in the garden, and the wrought- iron railings in the front fence were newly painted. 

King George Vl, along with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two daughters (Elizabeth and Margaret) were to visit the Big Hole. They would surely pass my Gran's house which was just across the road, and my family was intent on seeing them. [At that time, the Kimberley Big Hole was the largest man-made hole in the world, and the most famous diamond mine.]

On the appointed day, at the appointed time, we all lined the inside of our front fence. My dad stood holding our British Bulldog (Bulla was his name), that had a Union Jack covering his back, atop the square brick gate post. I was allowed to stand on the low wall which supported the railings, with my Gran and aunt behind me. I don't remember anyone else being there - remember, this took place 70 years ago.

The royal family did indeed pass our house, chauffeured in their black, convertible Daimler. We all cheered and waved madly, and were much gratified when they smiled and waved back. The queen and her daughters all looked pretty with their big hats that matched their outfits.

Naturally, the royal visit was a great talking point in our home for weeks to come. This had been the first time that the king had taken his family with him on a visit to a country outside of Briton. The visit to South Africa lasted three months.

This is not my most cherished memory, but certainly my earliest.

I am attaching a photo of me with Bulla, taken in 1947. The other one is just to show the wrought-iron railings. There I am with my beloved Auntie and Gran.



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Geeze...had a very hard time signing in! I don't know how I missed this memory...simply wonderful!

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