Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh

The second son of Queen Victoria, Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh visited Adelaide in 1867 during his ‘round the world’ voyage.

On 31 October 1867, Prince Alfred’s ship Galatea arrived at Glenelg where he came ashore and set out for Adelaide, where an official reception was held at the Town Hall.

The City was bustling with excitement for the first royal visit; triumphal arches were erected in the south-west corner of the city and at King William Street and Victoria Square, decorated with flags, bunting and flower garlands. Shop owners along the route had adorned their shops with flags, bunting, lamps and flowers for the occasion.

When the Prince arrived at the Town Hall he was greeted by an assembly of well-wishers and a gigantic 25 feet star, lit by gas.

Mayor Henry Robert Fuller said ‘Though separated from Great Britain by many thousands of miles, we have lost none of our attachment to the mother country.’

A few days after the arrival of the Duke of Edinburgh a ball was held at Town Hall to celebrate the royal visit.

The Brisbane Courier described the event:

‘There were nearly eight hundred persons at the Subscription Ball last night, at the Town Hall.

Prince Alfred arrived at 10 o'clock, and opened the ball with Mrs.  Hamley; later in evening, by the orders of His Royal Highness, his piper entered the room and played a Scotch reel, the Prince dancing with Mrs. Smile; as this was unexpected, it caused great enthusiasm. His Royal Highness took down Mrs. Souttar to supper, and, before leaving, proposed, in eulogistic forms, the health of his Excellency Sir Dominic Daly, who was absent through indisposition.

The supper and ante-rooms were beautifully decorated; and, altogether the ball was a marked success. The Town Hall, Government buildings, Post-office, thevExchange, and several of the banks were illuminated.’

A painting by James Shaw depicts the ball and hangs in the Adelaide Town Hall Foyer.

Image from the State Library of South Australia - [B 57356/22]