Royal Variety Performance, 1953

Princess Margaret joined the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Variety Performance held in aid of the Actors Benevolent Fund at the London Coliseum on this day in 1953, for a special Coronation year Performance just before they embarked on their 6-month Commonwealth Tour.

Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret attended the Coronation Year Royal Variety Performance at the Coliseum – the Duke wearing horn-rimmed glasses for the first time in public. Invited to offer a professional opinion for the reason, a leading London oculist suggested, ‘It seems likely that the Duke may be suffering from a very common complaint – slightly short sight.’

The immensely successful production of Guys and Dolls was playing at the Coliseum at the time and several numbers were included in the programme resulted in some delicate changes to aspects of Guys and Dolls’ which it was felt might possibly cause offence in some religious quarters.

There was a memorable finale to this year’s performance. With the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh due to set off shortly on a tour of the Commonwealth, the stage was filled with people from member countries all over the world.

They included Australian tennis players and cricketers, surf lifesavers in Bondi Club costumes, Maoris, servicemen and civilians from New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Bermuda.

The Queen was wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, her Coronation Earrings, and the Nizam of Hyderabad Necklace.

Princess Margaret wore a Diamond Rivière and her Cartier Rose Brooch.


Leave a Reply