The 1959 Australian visit by Princess Alexandra (pictured) was cause for Sydney’s three TV channels to jointly cover some of the official events during her brief stay in Canberra.
Covering events from the national capital was a considerable technical exercise for ABC in setting up local outside broadcast facilities and getting pictures sent direct from Canberra to Sydney for transmission.
Among the Princess’ tour diary on 17 August 1959 was visiting an assembly of schoolchildren at Canberra’s Manuka Oval, and that evening attending an official State Ball at (the old) Parliament House. ABC covered the events and made its coverage available to commercial channels ATN7 and TCN9.
Princess Alexandra, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II who was often called on to attend royal duties on the Queen’s behalf, was primarily in Australia to attend the Queensland centenary celebrations. After leaving Canberra, the Princess headed to Queensland, where she toured Brisbane and regional centres for three weeks to a huge public response.
The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane was named in her honour following the 1959 visit.
Coverage of the 1959 royal visit to Canberra features in the latest batch of additions to Classic TV Guides.
- Saturday 27 June 1959 — SYDNEY Live telecast of the play They Were Big, They Were Blue, They Were Beautiful, starring Stewart Ginn, June Salter, Gordon Glenwright, Fifi Banvard, Diana Davidson and Kevin Brennan.
- Monday 17 August 1959 — SYDNEY Princess Alexandra’s visit to Canberra
- Thursday 10 September 1963 — BRISBANE
- Sunday 1 August 1971 — SYDNEY Coverage of the Apollo 15 mission
- Sunday 20 January 1980 — SOUTH AUSTRALIA Arcade debuts on SAS10
- Wednesday 18 June 1980 — WESTERN AUSTRALIA The Last Tasmanian airs on TVW7
- Monday 16 August 1982 — NEW SOUTH WALES
- Sunday 25 December 1983 — VICTORIA
- Sunday 29 July 1984 — ADELAIDE Opening Ceremony of the Games Of The XXIII Olympiad in Los Angeles
- Monday 21 January 1985 — MELBOURNE The XIX Superbowl, live from California