Monday, June 18, 2012

Duke & Duchess visit to Buckland Park

Friday 12 July, 1901

The visit to Australia by the Duke of York in 1901 was the first by a British heir apparent, and it was the occasion of a frenzy of social activity.  During their tour the Duke and Duchess decided to escape the city bustle and attend a shooting excursion to Buckland Park at Virginia.  Buckland Park was once a 22,000 acre estate, a picturesque property that was well known for organised hunts.
The Duke travelled to Buckland Park by a specially decorated train, to Salisbury station, where half the countryside had gathered to catch a glimpse of the Duke. The remainder of the journey was by buggy. The Duchess followed the same route two hours later.  An arch was erected from the Virginia Post Office across the road to the hotel to commemorate the Royal couples arrival.
Once at Buckland Park, the future King and his entourage set about their reason for being there shooting ducks, peacock and peahens.  By special request of the Duke and Duchess, seven peahens shot by his Royal Highness at Buckland Park were sent as a gift to the Adelaide Children's Hospital.

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