In 1954, the year following her succession to the throne, Queen Elizabeth II embarked on the first official royal tour of Australia by a reigning monarch. The royal party stayed for two months, visiting 57 cities and country towns across all states and territories, besides the Northern Territory. Interest was so great that an estimated 75% of the population turned out to see the Queen in person .The Queen travelled 10,000 miles by air, making approximately 33 flights, 2000 miles by road. The tour had been built up by the arch-royalist Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, into what one historian has described as ‘the most elaborate and most publicised sequence of official events’ the country had ever known. The visit played an important role politically and economically, consolidating Australia’s scientific, military and diplomatic links with the United Kingdom.