It was April 1954 and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Phillip were visiting Ceylon for the first time as part of the Commonwealth Tour. Vernon had recently married Monica de Silva, a teacher of Uva College, Badulla in February that year. The couple came down to Colombo from Badulla to witness the Royal visit and stayed in the vicarage of St. Paul’s Church, Milagiriya. Vernon’s father, the Reverend Canon Ivan Corea was Vicar of St. Paul’s Church, Milagiriya in 1954. Canon Corea and his sons Vernon Corea and his wife Monica and brother Ernest stood outside the vicarage as the Royal motorcade went past St. Paul’s Church, Milagiriya. Thousands of people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.
Vernon’s uncle, Sir Claude Corea and Lady Corea were introduced to Her Majesty the Queen during that visit in 1954. The Governor-General of Ceylon was Sir Oliver Goonetilleke and the Prime Minister of Ceylon in 1954 was Sir John Kotelawala.
Years later, Vernon met with the Queen’s eldest son, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales at a reception in Buckingham Palace in London in the early 1980s when Vernon was the BBC’s first ever Ethnic Minorities Advisor. His Royal Highness, Prince Charles has also met both of Vernon’s sons – Ivan and Vernon. Ivan has also been introduced to Her Majesty the Queen on several occasions.
See some historic footage of the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Phillip visiting Ceylon in April 1954.
Review of the Year – 1954:
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip visit Ceylon in 1954:
Queen Elizabeth II in Kandy – Royal visit of 1954:
Queen Elizabeth in the Hill Capital of Ceylon – Kandy in 1954:
During her visit to Sri Lanka, Her Royal Highness Highness made a historic broadcast from Radio Ceylon in Colombo in 1954. Two years later, Vernon Corea joined Radio Ceylon as a Relief Announcer in 1956.