Star Item
  • Description

    Selected originals (offcuts, selected scenes, out-takes, rushes) for story "The King Opens Festival" - 51/37.


    King George VI on dais at entrance of St. Paul's Cathedral reading the opening speech of the Exhibition - Festival of Britain (natural sound). He talks about Queen Victoria opening similar great festival hundred hears ago, than talks about greatness of the exhibition, peace, wealth, creation, etc. He continues about great past and bright future. Some closer shots of the King as he speaks. Picture disappears at moments but the sound continues. As the King talks, camera pans to show dignitaries present at the ceremony. On King's right side are the members of the royal family and aristocracy and on the left are the politicians and military men and women. Several shots of the Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother), Queen Mary, Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), Princess Margaret, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Marina Duchess of Kent, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Lord and Lady Mountbatten with daughter Pamela and many other dignitaries. Pan back to the King speaking. Pan to the other side showing politicians and cabinet ministers, Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee and Herbert Morrison are some of the men seen. King continues to speak about bright future.

    Various shots of the politicians and royals arriving to St. Paul's and mounting stairs - sound of bells is heard. Mr and Mrs Attlee are seen arriving. Mr and Mrs Churchill arriving. Royal car arriving with Queen Mary. Queen Mary and escort mountain steps to enter St. Paul's. More shots of the dignitaries - politicians, royals and military men and women arriving to St. Paul's Cathedral.

    Several shots of the King's coach moving along packed streets towards St. Paul's.

    Note - Transcript of the King's speech found in the old record. Here it is:

    "100 years ago Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. Its creators were farsighted men who looked forward to a world in which the advances of art and science would uplift civilisation to enduring peace and prosperity. This Festival of Britain has been planned like its great predecessor as a visible sign of national achievement and confidence. All of us can paint the contrast between the calm security of the Victorian age and hard experience of our own. Peace has not endured and much of the wealth which our forebears created has been dissipated in fire and slaughter. With the spirit of ancestors renewed in us, we can, under God's providence, restore and expand the prosperity of which they laid the foundations. We can draw inspiration from their staunch example and confidence of the modern achievement of our own industry. We have not proved unworthy of our past and we can do better in the years ahead. In this Festival, then, we look back with pride and forward with resolution. In celebration of Britain's rich and vivid past, we have gathered together, not only in London, but throughout the land, in England, in Scotland, in Wales, in Northern Ireland, in the towns and in the villages a record of our national character and its history. There have been combined all those varied elements of local pride and skill which contribute so much to our strength and flexibility as the many featured but united, land. A wealth of talent, initiative and imagination have gone to the making of this nation wide event. I have been told of the pageants and displays which have been prepared in our ancient cities and throughout the countryside and I congratulate most warmly all those who will help to make our history live before us and thus to send us forward with faith in our future. Many of these activities and displays will be of lasting value; they will maintain the prestige of our arts and industries abroad by proof of their world renowned skill in design and craftsmanship and they will also show how vital a part is played in industry by scientific imagination and research. Let us then give humble thanks to Almighty God for the beauty and knowledge which he has bestowed on us and for the greatness of our nation inheritance. And let us pray that by God's good grace the vast range of modern knowledge which is here shown may be turned from destructive to peaceful ends, so that all people, as they century goes on, may be lifted to greater happiness. I declare the Festival of Britain open and wish it universal success."

  • Tags

  • Data

    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:47:16:00 / 01:54:50:00
    51/37 E (Selected Originals)
    Sort Number:
    51/037 E
  • Appears in...

    Historical Figures & Celebrities
    George VI Speeches Temporary Workspaces: 23.2.2011 09:51 Festival of Britain festival of Britain Tokyo
  • Stills

    0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment