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King George and Queen Elizabeth, followed by Princess Margaret, leave the Drury Lane Theatre on the eve of the Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh’s departure on the Commonwealth tour that had been due to be made by the sovereigns. The Duke of Edinburgh is seen behind the King, Princess Elizabeth being not seen in the picture. The Royal Family went to see a performance of “South Pacific”.

King George, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret arrive at Heathrow Airport on 31st January 1952 to bid farewell to Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh who were about to embark on their five-month Commonwealth tour of Africa and Australia. Cameras and reporters captured the Royal Family’s departure from Buckingham Palace and their arrival at the airport, as the tour was seen as a state event.

On the picture above, HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and heiress presumptive to the British throne waves farewell to the Royal Family and on the ground Queen Elizabeth does the same, while Princess Margaret and the King turn around to leave the spot. Below, the whole party bids farewell as the plane prepares to leave.

Historic picture also made at Heathrow Airport as the plane left British soil. As the King, the Queen and other members of the royal party look on, below, behind the window, the Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, the war hereo, looks at the same scene. He would be the last Prime Minister of King George VI and the first of Queen Elizabeth II.

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