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Visitors

Numerous dignitaries stayed at Government House as guests of the governor including members of the British and Austrian Royal families, other colonial governors and politicians, and famous artists and singers.

The most distinguished visitors were Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. They – and their entourage of 24 people – stayed for four days as part of The Royal Tour of 1901. The Lamingtons were in residence at Government House at the time and moved out into rooms at Parliament House in order to accommodate the Royal party. The Duke was ‘loud in his praises’ at the tremendous effort entailed in hosting the couple and the programme of social engagements. For the servants the experience of coming face-to-face with true Royalty was overwhelming: when the Duke and Duchess arrived at Government House they all vanished, leaving Lady Lamington to open the door to the illustrious guests.

All guests to Government House were members of the upper class of society, including family and friends of the vice-regal family. To receive an invitation to a social event at the House was a great honour and a sign of one’s high social standing. Some people treasured these elegant invitations so much that they collected them in albums as mementos of their time spent in vice-regal company.