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Aug 27, 2013

Her Majesty's Birthday Parade in Singapore

What's the biggest event at The Padang in Singapore on 10 June, 1954?  Did you notice the professional heavy-duty antique cameras used by the photographers from the newspapers and other mass media?

Touched with splendour, Singapore's traditional birthday parade under British colonial rules was a gallant tribute to Her Majesty it was the biggest and most colourful Queen Elizabeth II's birthday party ceremony ever seen in the colony.

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was the ceremony in which the newly ascended monarch, Elizabeth II, was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ceylon, and Pakistan, as well as taking on the role of Head of the Commonwealth. Elizabeth, then aged 25, ascended the thrones of these countries upon the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952, and was proclaimed queen by her various privy and executive councils shortly afterwards. The coronation was held more than a year after the accession, on 2 June 1953.

Source:  The Singapore Free Press, June 10, 1954  (Courtesy of NewspaperSG)

In brilliant sunshine at the Padang this morning, Singapore saw the most colourful Queen's Birthday Parade ever.

The splendid ceremonial uniforms of the Malay soldiers - scarlet sarongs and white bajus - blended with the jungle green of the Gurkhas, the white of the Royal Navy and khaki of the airmen, among the 3,000-odd strong Parade force.

And thousands of Singapore's citizens cheered as the Governor, Sir John Nicoll, took the salute when the contigents marched smartly by in review order.

For the benefit of those who could not see the parade because of crowds, the Parade marched up to Raffles Quay and round Raffles Place.

Later, the Governor sent loyal greetings to the Queen from Colony subjects wishing that: "Her Majesty's reign will be long, peaceful and prosperous".


A Sikh man remains seated while guests stand up for the national anthem during parade at padang on the occasion of the Queen's birthday.  The spectators stood in attention to sing "God Save The Queen".

Her Majesty's Birthday Parade -  Flypast

Her Majesty's Birthday Parade - Marchpast

 Ships and boats decorated with flags at the waterfront

The archived photos with "For online reference viewing only" watermark are posted on this blog for educational research purposes only.  Photo credit:  National Archives of Singapore with thanks and acknowledgement.



Blogger imprimatur said...

Many thanks for this. I was born in Singapore but in June 1954 I was six years old and living in KL, so didn't see this parade. Looking at the photos of this grand colonial spectacle (3,000 personnel!) it is strange to think that only nine years earlier, WW2 and the Japanese occupation had ended. And just five years later Singapore would achieve self-government with Lee Kuan Yew as prime minister.

August 27, 2016 at 5:07 PM  

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