When the SS Gothic docked in Auckland on 23 December 1953 with the Queen and Prince Philip on board, New Zealand went completely mental.
When she reached Christchurch on 18 January 1954, by train from Greymouth, the scene was something like this:
According to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage's wonderful NZ History Online pages, among the madder things that happened were re-sealing the road from Hokitika to Greymouth - but only the left hand side along which the Queen would travel - while advice appeared in gardening columns as to how to ensure your blue lobelias, red salvias and white begonias would all flower simultaneously. 10,000 people watched the Queen speed through Tirau - a town with a resident poulation of under 500.
The Queen has come back to New Zealand nine more times since 1954, but the frenzied patriotism of this first visit has never been re-captured.
We congratulate the Queen on not putting a foot wrong in her 60 years of public service.