The Diamond Jubilee of the Queen of New Zealand will feature at the Government House Wellington Open Days this weekend (17 & 18 March).
To mark the Diamond Jubilee a special display of photographs, memorabilia, newspapers and documents related to the reign of Queen Elizabeth II will be on display as well as a video of the 1953-54 Royal Tour provided by Archives New Zealand.
A special find was the discovery of a number of documents related to the death of King George VI and the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. They include the telegram sent by the Queen from Nairobi to Governor-General Sir Bernard Freyberg informing him that her planned tour of New Zealand would have to be cancelled due to the death of her father, and another thanking the people of New Zealand for their message of sympathy. Also on display will be the New Zealand Gazette notice read by Sir Bernard Freyberg proclaiming her as Queen and a London Gazette notice of the Queen’s declaration at her first meeting of the Privy Council on 8 February 1952.
There will also be a book where members of the public can write a message to the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
The Open Days (17 & 18 March, 10am-4pm - last entry to House) will give the public a rare insight into the working of Government House which plays an important part in the Governor-General’s constitutional, ceremonial and community leadership roles. It is a venue for many ceremonies, including investitures, State Welcomes and State Dinners for visiting Heads of State, credentials ceremonies for new ambassadors to New Zealand, and the swearing in of Cabinet Ministers.
The last Open Days were held in April last year and were very popular. They followed the reopening of Government House on 24 March 2011 after the successful completion of the Conservation Project, which saw the heritage building close for major strengthening and refurbishment in late 2008.
For more information on the Government House Open Days, please visit http://gg.govt.nz/content/open-days
For more information contact Antony Paltridge, Government House Public Affairs Manager on 04 382 0827 or 021 470 583