Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth. Bang Showbiz

Royal lovers raise a cuppa

SERVING 60 years in the top job is always worth a celebration.

And when Queen Elizabeth, the matriarch of the English royal family, marks her Diamond Jubilee this weekend she won't be alone in commemorating her achievement.

Even if Ipswich may be a world away from Buckingham Palace she would find strong support from within the Ipswich community ready to congratulate her.

Not wanting to miss a good opportunity for a party, community group Ipswich 60 and Better is preparing to celebrate the anniversary on Wednesday, which coincides with Queensland Day.

Co-ordinator Anne Bertram said despite all the committee members being born-and-bred Aussies, they were keen to mark the diamond jubilee.

Many of the group remain strong royalists, maintaining the same affection for Her Majesty as they did when she was crowned the Queen of England.

Mary Leach remembered cramming into the pictures to catch the footage of the Queen Elizabeth's coronation all those years ago.

"In those days we didn't have tele, so we had to rely on the news flash at the movies. So we saw it there and I used to read the paper," she said.

"We were looking forward to it. I think the pictures were inundated with people who wanted to get the news."

The royal enthusiast came closest to seeing the Queen as an 18-year-old when the monarch visited Toowoomba.

Mrs Leach was one of many lining the streets and waving flags as she drove by waving to her adoring supporters.

"It was pretty exciting back then. We all got dressed up in our good clothes," she said.

Taking a look at modern-day Australia, Mrs Leach felt the aura which once surrounded the royals was no longer there.

"The young ones don't have the same feeling towards the Queen. We used to sing God Save the Queen but now we have our own national anthem.

"She was the boss. She was the queen of Australia. You had to respect her."

It wasn't Mrs Leach's only time within the Queen's presence.

She saw her at the opening ceremony at the Melbourne Olympics and in Newcastle during another visit in the early 1960s.

Marie Maddox recalled the queen's visit to Brisbane.

She was living in Beaudesert and squeezed into a neighbour's living room to watch her come through the Brisbane streets on television.

To book a ticket for Wednesday's morning tea call Mrs Bertram on 32828644


Right royal party

Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5 in the UK.

Queensland will mark the occasion with a public holiday on June 11.

The Queen's Birthday public holiday is on October 1 this year.

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