The 1963 Tour
On 6 February 1963, the anniversary of her accession to the Throne and also the one hundred and twenty-third anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, returned to New Zealand. They arrived at the Bay of Islands in the Royal Yacht Britannia, escorted by HMNZS Otago, and on the following day, after attending the Waitangi celebrations, they sailed for Auckland. After a two-day stay at Auckland Britannia sailed with the Royal visitors for Mount Maunganui and thence to Napier for a brief visit to Hawke's Bay. A feature of the stay in Wellington, the next port of call, was the opening of Parliament and a special meeting of the Privy Council. Whilst in Wellington Her Majesty presented a silver chalice and paten to St. Paul's Cathedral – these had been used by her grandparents during their tour in 1901.
From Wellington the Queen and Duke sailed for Nelson, whence the Duke visited the Outward Bound School at Anakiwa before joining Her Majesty at Blenheim. The next stage of the tour lay via Picton to Port Chalmers and Dunedin, and finally to Christchurch. On 18 February the Queen and Duke flew to Canberra to commence their tour of Australia.
Among the notable measures to commemorate this Royal occasion were the establishment of the Queen Elizabeth the Second National Arts Council and the Queen Elizabeth the Second Post-graduate Fellowship which provides an annual fellowship under the administration of the Maori Education Foundation.
Because of ill health, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was forced at the last moment to cancel her proposed visit to Australia and New Zealand which was planned for early 1964. In November 1965, however, it was announced that the Queen Mother's tour would take place in April-May 1966.
by Judith Sidney Hornabrook, M.A., National Archives, Wellington.