At 8:30am, the Gothic made its way around Bradleys Head to anchor in Athol Bay, prompting a thunderous roar from boats big and small on the water.
“A mighty hosanna of cheers and sirens, foghorns and whistles and an echo overhead as six RAAF Mustangs and six Vampire jet fighters gave a Royal salute to their Supreme Commander,” Britain’s News Chronicle reported, “she was here at last”.
“There were thousands of sightseers at Taronga,” Dolly Baverstock reported in the Australian Women’s Weekly, “and even the animals were excited by the crowds streaming in.”
“Spectators stretched all the way from the Harbour Bridge to the zoo, where a disused monkey pit provided a prime view of the regal visitors,” she said.
At 10:25am, after receiving Prime Minister Robert Menzies and NSW Premier John Cahill, The Queen gave the nation the moment they’d been waiting for. Wearing a white organza dress patterned with pale yellow wattle, she stepped onto the Royal Barge, bound for Farm Cove and a city hysterical with excitement.