Royal Visit 1947

The British Royal Family, His Majesty King George VI, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, visited South Africa in the year 1947. At the time South Africa was known as the Union of South Africa and was a member of the Royal Commonwealth. After a turbulent Second World War had just ended, countries celebrated, looking for new futures filled with positivity and excitement. It was with this spirit in mind that the South African Government engaged in discussions with the British Government.

One does not normally associate Bloemfontein with Royalty, but Bloemfontein, located in the centre of the country (and despite its Boer republican history), was always on the itinerary for that cluster of 20th century British Royal tours. It was included in the series of Royal perambulation around South Africa in 1925 (the Prince of Wales), 1934 (Prince George, later Duke of Kent) and 1947 (King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and their family).

The recent discovery in the cellar of a home in Saxonwold, Johannesburg of an old discoloured, brass plaque is a heritage opportunity and opens space for reviewing the motives and outcomes of the Royal Visit to South Africa in 1947.

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