A few weeks ago, we threw back to when the Queen came to town.
Well we’ve stumbled across a few more things in the archive, and thought we’d share what we found. Turns out Princess Anne was really into the game and couldn’t quite get enough of the rough and tumble.
10 Facts from a Royal Day at the VFL.
- The Royal Family arrived for the second half, but Princess Anne had been listening intently to the game via the radio on the way to the game.
- Princess Anne was very keen to see more of the punch-ups that happened in the second quarter, asking numerous players if she would.
- Billy Barrot had not known what to say to Princess Anne’s remarks about whether she’d see more punch ups.
“What could I say? I couldn’t very well say, “Sure there will be Princess, they’re (Fitzroy) hitting us with everything bar the Member’s stand!””
What he really said, “I just said that the first half had been reasonably interesting with any luck, the Royal Family might see some action”.
- Princess Anne was impressed by the size of the players, and made a side note to one the official AFL escorts that the Royal Family were ‘dwarfs’ by comparison.
- Princess Anne told Fitzroy Coach Billy Stephens that, “they had to say good luck to both sides and weren’t allowed to take sides, but that she always supported the under-dog”.
- Billy Stephens described the Royal Occasion and the win as, “our greatest football moment since I have been with the Club.”
- Players had been told to be on their best behavior for the Royal occasion, and told to shower and wear their false teeth.
- Players were under strict instruction to wash the resin from their hands (after putting their false teeth in), one player remembered the resin but forgot the mud!
- The Queen and Prince Philip were fascinated in the quick scoring game, constantly asking questions about the rules, the game itself and the umpires decisions while watching.
- A Royal Watcher, Rev. J. R. Brown was so excited to see the Royal family when the toured Melbourne, that he waved to the Queen on the Gorge Bridge, then raced up to Paterson Street to get a second look at the Queen. The Queen had been walking along and waving to hundreds of people, but she instantly recognized Mr Brown. She went straight up to him and said, “Good heavens didn’t I see you waving on the Gorge Bridge?” Mr Brown, still panting, assured the Queen that he had, but that he’d run over to get another glimpse.