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At 11:00 local time on 11 November 1965, during the traditional two minutes’ silence to remember the fallen of the two World Wars, Smith declared Rhodesia independent and signed the proclamation document, with Dupont and the other 10 ministers of the Cabinet following.

Signing the document were Prime Minister: Ian Smith, Deputy Prime Minister: Clifford Dupont, Ministers: William Harper, Montrose, Phillip van Heerden, Jack Howman, Jack Mussett, John Wrathall, Desmond Lardner-Burke, George Rudland, Ian McLean and Arthur Philip Smith. Four junior members of the Cabinet—Lance Smith, Ian Dillon, Andrew Dunlop and P.K. van der Byl—did not sign, but were included in the official photograph.

The timing was intended to emphasise the sacrifices Rhodesia had made for Britain in wartime. Queen Elizabeth II’s official portrait hung prominently behind Ian Smith and his ministers as they signed, and the Cabinet still pledged allegiance to her; the declaration even ended “God Save The Queen”.

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