About this record
This black-and-white photograph shows Prime Minister Joseph Lyons and his wife Enid standing on either side of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester. The photograph was taken on 24 October 1934 outside an entrance to The Lodge, the Prime Minister's residence in Canberra. All three are dressed formally, Enid Lyons with hat and gloves. An unidentified man is in the background. The photograph is marked '6590' and stamped 'COMMONWEALTH COPYRIGHT OFFICE 22 NOV 1934'. At the bottom it is signed 'A Collingridge Canberra'.
- Joseph Lyons (1879–1939) was the major figure in Australian federal politics in the 1930s. The tenth Australian prime minister, Lyons was the first to win three successive terms – winning elections in 1931, 1934 and 1937 – and the first to live in The Lodge with his family. He was Prime Minister from January 1932 until his death, from a heart attack while still in office, on 7 April 1939. Lyons was one of the longest-serving prime ministers to that time.
- In 1934 Enid Lyons (1897–1981) was a well-known national political figure, contributing much to her husband's success and having stood for the Tasmanian parliament in 1925. After her husband's death she stood for federal parliament, in 1943 becoming the first woman elected to the House of Representatives, and later the first woman in federal Cabinet. The marriage of Enid and Joseph Lyons is perhaps the best known marriage in the history of Australian politics.
- The royal visit of Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900–74), was a highlight of 1934. He was the third son of King George V and came to Australia to take part in celebrations for the centenary of the establishment of Victoria. He also unveiled and dedicated Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance and the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney. The Duke of Gloucester remained in Australia from 4 October to 11 December 1934.
- At the time of the photograph Australia was in the grip of the Great Depression (1929–35), which had contributed to Lyons becoming Prime Minister. In 1930 he was Acting Treasurer in the Scullin Labor government but conflict over financial policy to deal with the Great Depression led Lyons to defect from the Australian Labor Party. He became parliamentary leader of the new United Australia Party, which he then led into government in the election of December 1931.
- A photograph of Prime Minister Lyons and Enid Lyons with the royal visitor was certain to be well received by the Australian public and so it was potentially valuable, able to be sold directly to the public as a postcard. Accordingly, the well-known Canberra photographer Alexander Collingridge took action to protect his artistic copyright by submitting an application and a copy of the photograph to the Commonwealth Copyright Office. This is the copy he submitted.