“Melbourne had the greatest day in its history yesterday’’ – The Age newspaper proclaimed in a front page story published on 25 February 1954.

This was the day after a 27-year-old Queen Elizabeth II landed at Essendon Airport as part of the Australian Royal Tour, the first reigning British monarch to visit Australia.

“Nearly a million people lined the Queen’s Royal road from Essendon Airport to Government House to welcome Her Majesty and the Duke. They gave the Royal couple a joyous welcome; sincere, fervent, and affectionate,’’ The Age went onto report.

For Essendon Airport it was also the most important day in its short history and the crowds gathered in hushed expectancy at the terminal building as the Royal Skymaster touched down exactly on time. The Queen soon emerged from the aircraft with her husband, Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh and was greeted by the Governor of Victoria Sir Dallas Brooks and Victorian Premier Mr Cain.

The crowds’ silence didn’t last long and when the Queen reached the bottom of the landing stairs to thank the greeting party she was met by cheering and the crowd then joined in with the Victorian Navy band to sing God Save the Queen. For staff working at the airport at the time it would be a day they would never forget.

Tell us
your story

We'd love to hear your memories and past experiences of our Airport.

We'll be sharing your stories throughout the centenary year across the Essendon Fields website, social media and other channels.

Submit Your Story