'Royal Proclamation of Inauguration Day, 17 September 1900 (UK)'

'Royal Proclamation of Inauguration Day, 17 September 1900 (UK)'

This proclamation, signed by Queen Victoria on 17 September 1900, set the date on which the Commonwealth of Australia was to be inaugurated – 1 January 1901.

When the Queen granted her assent to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act in July 1900, the people of Western Australia had yet to vote on whether they wished to join the federation. Section 3 of the Act therefore required that a date for the new nation's birth be proclaimed within a year of the Act's passing, once the Western Australian decision was known.

Pictured: Royal Proclamation of Inauguration Day, 17 September 1900 (UK), handwritten on parchment. Attached, is the silver skippet containing Queen Victoria's royal seal.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017