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Stereoscopic card of HRH the Prince of Wales to Australia

Date: 1920
Overall: 178 x 106 x 2 mm
Medium: Photograph on card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Macksville and District History Group
Object Name: Stereoscope card
Object No: 00046578

User Terms

    HistoryHRH Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII, 20 Jan to 11 Dec 1936) was the eldest son of King George V and undertook 16 Royal Tours on behalf of his father to various parts of the British Empire between 1919 and 1935. In doing so he became the 1920s version of a modern day movie celebrity.

    His first tour was to Australia - a reaffirmation of ties of service and loyalty, conveying a grateful king's thanks to his subjects and allies. The tour started in Barbados, continued through the Panama Canal to California where in San Diego the Prince became the first British Royal to visit the west coast of America, on to Honolulu, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Acapulco, the West Indies, and finally Bermuda. In Australia the tour started in late May and concluded in mid-July with the Prince visiting every state. Public holidays were declared, receptions and balls held, foundation stones laid, memorials unveiled and thousands of hands shaked.

    The Royal Yacht chosen to convey the Prince on this journey was in fact a battlecruiser, HMS RENOWN. In 1927 she also carried the Duke and Duchess of York on their cruise to Australian and New Zealand.

    During 1923-1924 the British ship HMS HOOD was flagship of the Special Service Squadron, a world tour that stopped at many countries who fought and held allegiance with Britain in World War I. The tour started on 27 November 1923 and lasted until 28 September 1924. The public relations exercise was an attempt to express Britain's world sea power, particularly relevant in the aftermath of World War I.

    HMS HOOD was launched in 1920 and prior to the outbreak of World War II was considered to be the most powerful and significant ship of the Royal Navy. A highlight in HOOD's career was its role as flagship in the Royal Navy's world tour in 1923-1924. HOOD, HMS REPULSE and six light cruisers made up the Special Service Squadron which visited many countries including Australia and the United States.

    HOOD was sunk on 24 May 1941 after taking German gunfire from the BISMARCK during the Battle of Denmark Strait. The ship went down with 1,415 crew on board, in what became one of the greatest maritime tragedies of the Royal Navy. In 2001 the wreck of both the BISMARCK and HOOD were located by David Mearns.

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