On the 9 May 1901, the Duke of Cornwall and York opened Australia’s federal parliament in Melbourne. Spectacular civic celebrations lasted over a week!

Temporary arches were built around the city, and electric lights decorated public buildings, while demonstrations, parades and performances took place during the day.

The Argus newspaper described Melbourne as ‘A new city was created yesterday to welcome the Heir-Apparent and his Royal Consort—a veritable Paris of the South, the city of a faerie dreamland.’ (7 May 1901).

Feast your eyes on our Treasures Gallery slideshow of marvellous Melbourne during the 1901 celebrations.

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The images featured in this slideshow are: 

  1. Queen Victoria Arch, Intersection of Collins and Russell Streets, nla.cat-vn769562
  2. Queen Victoria Arch, Illuminated, nla.cat-vn769601
  3. Government Offices, Spring Street, nla.cat-vn2291918
  4. Government Offices, Spring Street, Illuminated, nla.cat-vn769946
  5. Town Hall, Corner of Collins and Swanston Streets, nla.cat-vn2292270
  6. Town Hall, Illuminated, nla.cat-vn769838
  7. Chinese Arch, Swanston Street, nla.cat-vn3356032 
  8. Approach to Princes Bridge (nla.cat-vn2292068)
  9. Approach to Princes Bridge, Illuminated, nla.cat-vn2292191
  10. Illuminated Arch, Princes Bridge, nla.cat-vn769914
  11. Flinders Street Railway Station, Arch and Fountain Illuminated, nla.cat-vn769762
  12. State School Fête, Exhibition Building, nla.cat-vn2291854
  13. State School Fête, Exhibition Building, nla.cat-vn769429
  14. Exhibition Building, Illuminated, nla.cat-vn2292033
  15. Flemington Racecourse, Horse Parades and Marches, nla.cat-vn769985
  16. Demonstration of Men Exercising, nla.cat-vn770019
  17. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York Viewing the March of Trade Societies and Friendly Societies, nla.cat-vn2292526
  18. Russian Cruiser Gromoboi Lying at Port Melbourne Railway Pier, nla.cat-vn770090
  19. German, Russian, Dutch and American Cruisers at Port Melbourne, nla.cat-vn769724
  20. Stockmen's Procession Passing Along Spring Street, nla.cat-vn770177
  21. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York Driving Along Bourke Street, nla.cat-vn3355464
  22. The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York Proceeding to Open the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, nla.cat-vn3355483