1910 – Royal Visit of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught

Royal Visit of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught

31 October – 26 December, 1910

In 1910, the Duke Arthur William Patrick Albert and Duchess Louise Margaret of Connaught began a royal tour of Africa, accompanied by Princess Patricia. The Royal couple represented King George V due to his recent ascension to the throne on the death of King Edward VII. On 10 November, 1911 he was appointed a Counsellor of State, performing royal functions during periods of the King’s absence abroad. The purpose of the trip was to open the first South African Union Parliament in Cape Town on 4 November.

The travelled to Africa on the Union-Castle Line ship, Balmoral. Their itinerary was as follows:

  • 31 October – Cape Town
  • 8 November – Bloemfontein
  • 14 November – Livingstone
  • 17 November – Salisbury
  • 21 November – Bulawayo
  • 26 November – Pretoria
  • 2 December – Durban
  • 26 December – Portsmouth

As part of their visit to Rhodesia, they travelled in the first Royal Train to the Victoria Falls although they did not stay at the Victoria Falls Hotel, but instead spent for four nights at Livingstone on their train, which they also used to make the short trip to the Falls for sightseeing.

A pilot train ran ahead of the Royal Train and an emergency train followed 30 minutes behind. A feature of the Royal Train was the haulage of a bogie truck carrying four cows to supply fresh milk each day.


While in Bulawayo, the Royal couple officially opened the Rhodesia Museum. The Government House is Salisbury was specially constructed for the occasion.

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