Royal Family in 1954
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May 1954: Queen returns after lengthy tour of Commonwealth

Queen Elizabeth II's reign commenced with her longest ever tour of Commonwealth nations.

Between November 1953 and May 1954, the Royal Family visited 13 countries in the West Indies, Australasia, Asia, and Africa, covering more than 40,000 miles by land, air and sea.

Thousands flocked to the banks of the River Thames to see the Royal Yacht Britannia bringing the Queen home.

Ships' sirens and factory hooters welcomed the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and their two children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

First broadcast 15 May 1954.

  • 04 Apr 2012