Haris Vuckic had edged the home side in front on 77 minutes in a largely uninspiring contest but it proved to be another false dawn as substitute Smith poked home the equaliser.
After months of turmoil there is a new sense of optimism around Ibrox due to boardroom changes, reflected in a healthy crowd of 35,018 which included two Ibrox greats in the directors box – John Greig and Walter Smith.
But the fresh broom off the pitch could not disguise the amount of work still required on it if the club are to secure their ultimate target of promotion this season.
There was an early chance for the home side when Nicky Law set up Nicky Clark who drilled a first-time effort just wide from 18 yards.
Rangers continued to force the pace with Lee McCulloch threatening and then Lee Wallace saw his goal attempt blocked by Queens’ captain Chris Higgins.
The excellent Vuckic saw his 25-yard effort fumbled by Alexander Clark in the Queens goal but Jon Daly scooped over the rebound from six yards.
Action then swung down the other end and Gavin Reilly set up Michael Paton who curled his shot off the outside of the post with the Rangers goalkeeper stranded.
Another Vuckic shot flew over the top before the break and Daly was the next to threaten shortly after with a header that drifted wide. Rangers threw on youngster Tom Walsh, who was to liven up proceeedings with some direct running.
Queens, who continued to hold their own, finally succumbed when Vuckic and Clark both challenged for the ball and when it broke loose the on-loan Newcastle man stabbed home (77).
But the visitors were to have the last word as Danny Carmichael foraged with intent before firing in a cross and although Lee Robinson parried, Paton’s shot 17-year-old Smith was on hand to bundle in from close range to cap a memorable first league appearance.