Memories of the Queen30 September, 2022
Amana Living residents shared their stories of their encounters with the Queen.
Following the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Amana Living residents shared their memories of a few passing moments during her many visits to Australia.
The Queen recently celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, 70 years on the throne, making her the longest serving British Monarch.
The Queen visited Australia 16 times, including in 1977 when WA was celebrating its 150th anniversary. On Tuesday 29 March 1977, the royal entourage made a day trip to Albany, where Amana Living resident Mary, 92, worked as a cleaner at the Albany Regional Hospital. It was the one and only time she saw the Queen up close.
“I wouldn’t have known much about it if we hadn’t decided to play hooky and sneak out to see it,” Mary mischievously revealed.
Mary said hundreds of people had descended on Albany from surrounding districts to get a glimpse of the Queen. Even the cold and wet weather couldn’t dampen their spirits.
“It was a day we would never forget as you don’t often get things like that in Albany,” Mary said.
“I said to my co-workers, let’s quickly get our work done as quickly as possible so we can see the Queen.”
The women squeezed into Mary’s car and headed to Centennial Oval where the Queen and her husband, Prince Phillip, greeted the crowd.
“She had a great big entourage. There were thousands of people,” Mary remembers.
“The six of us were standing there, and she waved just to us!”
After the Queen departed, the six cleaners had to sneak back into the hospital before their boss noticed they were missing. Mary revealed the only problem was they could not tell anyone their story as they were not supposed to be there.
Amana Living care centre resident Frances, aged 99, said she watched the Queen’s coronation and remembered all the “hoo-ha” when Queen Elizabeth II took the throne.
Frances said she felt Australians had always admired the royal family.
“I always felt sorry for the Queen as she had this great sense of duty and had the old-style where duty comes first,” Frances said.
Amana Living care centre resident Rose-Mary, aged 95, said the Queen was always very conscious about how she presented herself and acknowledged the positive influence Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh had on her.
“He had a way about him that attracted people and it helped her to be who she was.”
Amana Living care centre resident Gloria said she had forgotten a lot of things but as she is also in her nineties, she felt sad to hear the Queen had died.
“When she came to visit Australia, I was excited!”
When discussing the accession of King Charles III, Gloria said she didn’t know a lot about him but agreed he had a hard act to follow.