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King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were joined by Princess Margaret, the Duchess of Gloucester, Earl Mountbatten and Lord and Lady Brabourne as they said goodbye to Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh as they left Britain on this day in 1952 (70 years ago), to embark on a massive Commonwealth Tour, starting in Kenya and then going to Australia and New Zealand by the way of Ceylon, before their planned return to Britain in the Summer. It was the last time the King saw his daughter before his death a few days later, and the Princess returned to Britain as Queen. The Queen and Duke eventually undertook a 6-month Commonwealth Tour in 1953-54, after the Coronation.
Princess Elizabeth and the Duke had completed their extensive Tour of Canada in the Autumn, following a busy Summer, with the Opening of the Festival of Britain, the Danish State Visit, the Norwegian State Visit, as the Princess and the Duke, who had given up his Naval Career, became full-time working Royals in the last few months of King George VI’s life, spending Christmas at Sandringham and then embarking on this major Commonwealth Tour on behalf of the King and Queen.
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