Queen opens the Sydney Opera House, 1973

The Queen presided over the Opening of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney on this day in 1973, 50 years ago, in the midst of a week-long Tour of Australia, their first visit since the Captain Cook Bicentenary Tour in 1970.

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and then Premier, Sir Robert Askin, visited Bennelong Point to officially open the new Opera House. Standing in the wind, she congratulated the people of Sydney and Australia for this “remarkable addition to its architecture and to its cultural and community life.”

In the evening, the Queen (wearing the Vladimir Tiara, the Duchess of Gloucester’s Pendant Earrings, and Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Necklace) and Duke of Edinburgh attended the spectcular opening Gala Performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Sydney Opera House. The ceremony included a display of fireworks and a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No 9. Thousands of people celebrated the ceremony along the shoreline and in boats on the harbour, while another 3 million people all over the world viewed the proceedings on television.

Two nights later, there was another spectacular Gala Performance attended by the Queen (wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, King George VI Festoon Necklace and the Greville Diamond Chandelier Earrings) and Duke, which was the Opening Night Performance of The Magic Flute.


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