Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Royal Villawood

This modest little house at Villawood has an interesting pedigree.

I was reading a book called History Happened Here: strange but true stories from Australian suburbia, and learned that in February, 1958, the Queen Mother visited this house, for all of twenty minutes!

James Cockington wrote in his book:

"The Chard's new two-bedroom house had been chosen at random.

Despite the temperature, Reg Chard, aged 35, eas wearing his woollen, Sunday-best suit when he greeted Her Highness on the front step. With him were his wife Betty and their two sons, Robert and Garry.

The Queen Mum was wearing a summer frock and hat, teamed with a pair of white elbow-length gloves.

Villawood was, and still is, deep in the heart of the working-class western suburbs, but there was still protocol to follw. Robert Chard, then aged 10, was asked to remove the PK he was chewing by a member of the official party.

And, while hundreds of neighbours lined the footpath, three discreet bodyguards stopped onlookers from approaching closer than the Chard's letterbox.

"It was the most amazing thing," remembered Robert Chard on the occasion of the death of the Queen Mother in 2002. "There was this lovely lady with three strings of pearls around her neck and her skin was just like milk."

The tight royal schedule only allowed for a three minute visit, but she ended up staying for 20. She did a whistlestop tour of thehouse,including the bathroom, commenting on the bright colours of the towels. They offered a cupof tea, but by then time had run out."

Has anyone interesting ever visited your house?


  1. Interesting post, Sally. I like it.

    Abraham Lincoln
    Brookville Daily Photo

  2. belle petite maison, et merci pour l'histoire. beau panoramique de la maison

    beautiful small house, and thank you for the history. beautiful panoramic of the house

  3. That's amaizing how a chance may change someone's life!

    Interesting story, thank you.

  4. Wow - love this story, can't imagine a random house being visited like that now, great photo Sally

  5. I am afraid no one as famous as Queen Mother visited my house, but my mum is the most interesting, loveliest person in the world and she of course has, so the answer to your question is - yes!

  6. What a great story and I love Lilly's comment. Lilly, you're lucky to still have your mum around.

  7. I wonder what royalty who live in such spacious and well-appointed quarters think of this trim but incredibly small (by comparison) dwelling? I don't think that I would be a good candidate for a visit from them, tho. The most interesting people who have visited me are my grandkids!!

  8. Anyone INTERESTING ever visited my house, oh yes, many interesting people! But none famous!

  9. When our house was new we had visitors from Nevada, Nebraska, and France!

  10. I would like a house like this for myself. Greedy b... :)

  11. Hi, my name is Frank Fry and back then I lived at 95 Biloela St. I lived there for 22 years. One of the favorite family stories I grew up on was the day my mother took me (2 years old) down the lane way into Alcomie street to see the Queen Mum. The house chosen was not so random, they put new furniture and curtains into the house the day before the visit and the day after came and took it all back and put the old stuff back in. Villawood was a great place to live back then, facinating and very aussie. Any Villawood ex-pats please write me as I would love to catch up and share my memories of this great place.

  12. Frank, what a great story, and thanks so much for adding your personal connection :-)