This lovely tinted blue glass commemorative Plate was made for the royal tour of King George VI in March 1949, a tour that was cancelled due to his ill health. The plate has a diameter of 10 1/4" and is in perfect condition. The Royal Tour was to be the first time a reigning monarch had set foot in New Zealand.
Previous royal visitors had either been sons or brothers of the monarch - Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh in 1869, Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York in 1901, Prince of Wales in 1920, Duke and Duchess of York in 1927, Duke of Gloucester in 1934-35.
Hopes for a visit by the monarch had been raised during the 1940's including a visit by George VI in 1940, but World War Two prevented it. A shortened tour was planned for May 1952, and when the king again fell ill it was decided Princess Elizabeth would come instead. However, at the first stop on this tour, in Africa, the young princess learned of her father's death and she returned home.
Queen Elizabeth's coronation in June 1953 heightened New Zealander's interest in royalty with a hugely popular tour taking place in 1953-54.