In 1954, Florence Mary Harnett, wife of Maurice Franks, was one of sixteen members of the Burnie's Country Women's Association assigned to prepare lunch for Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in addition to an entourage of a hundred. The royal party had travelled the 120 mile drive along the Tasmanian northwest coast and every little town they travelled through had its arch with signs such as Long Live Our Lovely Queen and Good Bye and God Bless You. Mostly the arches were adorned with flowers, sometimes a little wobbly in their set up.
Crystals and silver had been loaned by various local businesses and some cutlery and crockery were transported from the Parliament House in Hobart. Eight members of the local Girl Guides were trained to wait upon the royal party to be held at the Burnie Court House.
The women of the Country Women's Association served a simple meal of cold meats and salads, as well as fruit salads and pavlova. The Perth Western Mail reported of the lunch served, "in the excellence of its cooking and the loving care of its preparation, it couldn't have been exceeded by the world's best chefs." On the day after the royal lunch, 3,000 people visited the room of the Burnie Court House to view the setting in which the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh ate their lunch. No doubt Florrie had something to talk about for many days to come.
Top photo: Crowds line the street at Wynyard, waiting for the Queen (Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO) AB713-1-2785
Photo above: Street decorations for the royal visit at Burnie (Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office (TAHO) AB713-1-2791