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The British monarchy on screen$
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Mandy Merck

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099564

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099564.001.0001

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Renewing imperial ties: The Queen in Australia

Renewing imperial ties: The Queen in Australia

(p.181) 8 Renewing imperial ties: The Queen in Australia
The British monarchy on screen

Jane Landman

Manchester University Press

Hailed on its reception as an “indication to the world of the unity of the peoples of the Commonwealth,” The Queen in Australia (1954) conjoined documentary film and Cold War politics with the Queen herself to represent the 1953-54 Royal Tour of the Pacific. Reports of the time exhausted superlatives to convey the tour’s magnificence and the cheering crowds” celebration as they assembled in remarkable numbers across the seventy days of Australia’s “royal summer”. Its producer Stanley Hawes, a veteran of the British Documentary Movement, celebrated the renewal of bonds of imperial loyalty, stitching disparate territories of the Commonwealth into the fabric of a unified “free world”. The film put public communication patterns of influence and alliance to the complex task of “rebranding” and repositioning imperial relations after World War Two, a period when white racism was exposed to some measure of global scrutiny. Drawing on the extensive archive of correspondence between key Movement figures, this chapter examines the film’s reordering of Australian racial relations and explores some of the costs of the Queen’s managed encounters with Aboriginal peoples, Torres Strait Islanders and delegations brought from Papua and New Guinea.

Keywords:   The Queen in Australia, Rebranding, British Commonwealth, Royal Tour of the Pacific, Stanley Hawes, Imperialism

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