ARC2004_246_2.jpg New Zealand Royal Visit, New Plymouth (1954). Collection of Puke Ariki (ARC2004-246).

The 2014 Royal Tour of New Zealand saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, visiting the usual suspects of Auckland and Wellington, but Taranaki missed out to the likes of Blenheim and Cambridge this time round. As part of the 1953-1954 Royal tour of New Zealand, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, visited Taranaki over the 8 and 9 January 1954. They were here less than 24 hours, and the Queen and her Duke were kept busy attending several planned ceremonial events, such as a civic reception in Pukekura Park, and a visit to the Bell Block Dairy Factory. This Royal visit seal was one of ten issued by the New Plymouth Junior Chamber of Commerce to commemorate the Royal visit to Taranaki. The seals were sold as part of a perforated booklet, which included a brief history of the scene depicted on each seal. Alongside Mount Egmont, the seals illustrate scenes including the William Bryan arriving at New Plymouth, a modern refrigerated liner being loaded at Port Taranaki, and one of the province’s 76 dairy factories. The JC’s had 10,000 of these souvenir booklets printed which were sold at nine pence each.

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