• Short Summary

    QUEEN ELIZABETH II CAME TO THE THRONE ON FEBRUARY 6TH, 1952, AT THE AGE OF 25.

  • Description

    QUEEN ELIZABETH II CAME TO THE THRONE ON FEBRUARY 6TH, 1952, AT THE AGE OF 25. SHE IS HEAD OF THE STATE OF ELEVEN OTHER COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES BESIDE THE UNITED KINGDOM, AND RECOGNISED AS HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH BY SIXTEEN MORE WHICH HAVE THEIR OWN SOVEREIGNS OR PRESIDENTS.

    SHE WAS BORN ON 21ST APRIL 1926, THE ELDER OF THE TWO DAUGHTERS OF THE SECOND SON OF THE BRITISH KING GEORGE V. AS SUCH, SHE DID NOT THEN SEEM VERY LIKELY EVER TO COME TO THE THRONE. BUT IN ONE YEAR, 1936, HER GRANDFATHER, KING GEORGE V, DIED, AND HIS ELDEST SON, KING EDWARD THE VIII, ABDICATED. PRINCESS ELIZABETH'S FATHER BECAME KING GEORGE VI, AND AS HE HAD NO SON, THE PRINCESS BECAME NEXT LINE TO SUCCEED HIM.

    THE PRINCESS AND HER YOUNGER SISTER, PRINCESS MARGARET, GREW UP IN WARTIME IN ENGLAND, SPENDING MOST OF THEIR TIME IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. THEIR MOTHER, THE QUEEN, TURNED DOWN SUGGESTION THAT THEY MIGHT BE SENT OVERSEAS FOR GREATER SAFETY. TOWARDS THE END OF THE WAR, WHEN SHE WAS EIGHTEEN, THE PRINCESS JOINED THE WOMEN'S SERVICES, AND BECAME A QUALIFIED ARMY DRIVER.

    ON HER 21ST BIRTHDAY SHE WAS IN SOUTH AFRICA, ON A VISIT WITH THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY; AND FROM THERE SHE MADE A BROADCAST DEDICATING HERSELF TO THE SERVICE OF COMMONWEALTH. FILM INCLUDES AN EXTRACT FROM THIS BROADCAST; TEXT IS INCLUDED IN COMMENTARY.

    SHE HAD NOT BEEN HOME LONG, FROM SOUTH AFRICA, WHEN HER ENGAGEMENT WAS ANNOUNCED, TO LIEUTENANT PHILIP MOUNTBATTEN, WHO WAS BORN A GREEK PRINCE, BUT HAD TAKEN BRITISH NATIONALITY AND WAS SERVING WITH THE ROYAL NAVY. THEY WERE MARRIED IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY IN LONDON ON 20TH NOVEMBER 1947, AND ON HIS MARRIAGE THE KING GAVE LT. MOUNTBATTEN THE TITLE OF DUKE OF EDINBURGH.

    FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS, THE DUKE CONTINUED HIS ACTIVE NAVAL CAREER, SERVING IN MALTA, WHERE THE PRINCESS WENT OUT TO JOIN HIM FOR SEVERAL VISITS. BUT KING GEORGE'S HEALTH WAS FAILING, AND THE YOUNG COUPLE TOOK OVER MANY OF HIS MORE STRENUOUS DUTIES. EARLY IN 1952, THEY SET OUT ON A LONG COMMONWEALTH TOUR THAT HE HAD BEEN HOPING TO MAKE. THEY HAD ONLY GOT AS FAR AS KENYA, THE FIRST STAGE OF THEIR JOURNEY, WHEN THEY HEARD THAT THE KING WAS DEAD, AND PRINCESS ELIZABETH WAS NOW QUEEN. THEY IMMEDIATELY CUT SHORT THEY TOUR AND FLEW BACK TO LONDON.

    THE QUEEN'S CORONATION TOOK PLACE IN LONDON ON JUNE 2ND, 1953. THE CEREMONY IS ONE OF GREAT ANTIQUITY AND SPLENDID PAGEANTRY; AND REPRESENTATIVES OF MORE THAN EIGHTY COUNTRIES WERE PRESENT IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY.

    MUCH OF THE QUEEN'S TIME IN BRITAIN IS TAKEN UP WITH CEREMONIAL STATE OCCASIONS. THESE INCLUDE THE "TROOPING THE COLOUR" A MILITARY PARADE HELD EVERY YEAR ON HER OFFICIAL BIRTHDAY, AND THE STATE OPENING OF THE NEW SESSION OF PARLIAMENT. "THE QUEEN IN PARLIAMENT" IS LEGALLY THE SOVEREIGN POWER IN BRITAIN, AND THE GOVERNMENT IS CARRIED ON IN HER NAME. SHE TAKES NO PART IN THE FORMULATION OF GOVERNMENT POLICY, BUT IS KEPT FULLY INFORMED BY REGULAR AND DETAILED REPORTS FROM THE PRIME MINISTER AND OTHERS, AND HAS CERTAIN RATHER UNDEFINED POWERS OF GIVING ADVICE.

    NEARLY EVERY YEAR SHE AND PRINCE PHILIP (THE TITLE OF PRINCE WAS GRANTED TO THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH BY THE QUEEN IN 1957) MAKE AT LEAST ONE STATE VISIT ABROAD - OFTEN MORE. SOME OF THESE LAST ONLY A FEW DAYS; OTHERS, PARTICULARLY THEIR COMMONWEALTH TOURS, MAY LAST MANY WEEKS. USUALLY, THEY GET A WARM AND FRIENDLY RECEPTION, BUT THERE HAS RECENTLY BEEN SOME CRITICISM, PARTICULARLY IN AUSTRALIA, THAT THE PROGRAMMES ARRANGED FOR THEM ARE TOO FORMAL. AND THERE WERE SOME DEMONSTRATIONS BY QUEBEC SEPARATISTS WHILE THEY WERE IN CANADA IN 1964; AIMED, IT WAS EXPLAINED NOT AT THEM PERSONALLY, BUT AT THE POLITICAL USE WHICH THE FRENCH CANADIANS FELT THAT THE OTTAWA GOVERNMENT WAS MAKING OF THE VISIT.

    FOR RELAXATION, ONE OF THE QUEEN'S CHIEF PLEASURES IS RACING. SHE IS A SUCCESSFUL RACE-HORSE OWNER, AND IS SAID TO BE VERY KNOWLEDGABLE ABOUT THE SPORT.

    SHE AND PRINCE PHILIP HAVE FOUR CHILDREN. THE ELDER TWO, PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS ANNE, WERE BORNE BEFORE SHE CAME TO THE THRONE; AND THERE ARE TWO YOUNGER BOYS, PRINCE ANDREW AND PRINCE EDWARD. PRINCE CHARLES WAS CEREMONIALLY INSTALLED AS PRINCE OF WALES, THE TRADITIONAL TITLE OF THE MONARCH'S ELDEST SON, AT CAERNARVON CASTLE IN WALES IN 1969.

    SYNOPSIS: QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND: HEAD OF STATE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM AND ELEVEN OTHER COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES AND RECOGNISED AS HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH BY SIXTEEN MORE WHICH HAVE THEIR OWN SOVEREIGNS OR PRESIDENTS.

    IN 1936, WHEN SHE WAS TEN YEARS OLD SHE SUDDENLY BECAME HEIRESS TO THE THRONE, FOR HER PARENTS WERE NOW THE KING AND QUEEN.

    KING GEORGE THE SIXTH HAD SUCCEEDED BECAUSE IN ONE YEAR HIS FATHER HAD DIED AND HIS ELDER BROTHER, KING EDWARD THE EIGHT, HAD ABDICATED.

    THE SECOND WORLD WAR BROKE OUT TWO YEARS LATER. BEFORE IT ENDED, THE PRINCESS, TURNED 18, PERSUADED HER FATHER TO ALLOW HER TO JOIN THE WOMEN'S SERVICES. SHE ENTERED AS AN OFFICER, BUT OTHERWISE WENT THROUGH THE NORMAL TRAINING AND BECAME A FULLY QUALIFIED ARMY DRIVER.

    AND WHEN IT WAS ALL OVER, SHE JOINED HER PARENTS AND WINSTON CHURCHILL IN THE CELEBRATIONS IN LONDON.

    SHE WAS IN SOUTH AFRICA WITH HER FAMILY ON HER TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY. THAT DAY, SHE BROADCAST TO THE PEOPLES OF THE COMMONWEALTH:
    THE ROYAL FAMILY HAD NOT BEEN HOME LONG WHEN THE PRINCESS'S ENGAGEMENT WAS ANNOUNCED - TO LIEUTENANT PHILIP MOUNTBATTEN, WHO WAS BORN A GREEK PRINCE, BUT WAS NOW SERVING WITH THE BRITISH NAVY. THEY WERE MARRIED ON 20TH NOVEMBER, 1947, AT A CEREMONY THAT BROUGHT CLITTERING PAGEANTRY BACK TO THE POST-WAR AUSTERITY OF LONDON. THE DAY BEFORE, THE KING HAD GIVEN THE BRIDEGROOM THE TITLE OF DUKE OF EDINBURGH.

    KING GEORGE'S HEALTH WAS FAILING, AND THE YOUNG COUPLE TOOK OVER MANY OF HIS MORE STRENUOUS DUTIES. THEY LEFT LONDON ON A COMMONWEALTH TOUR IN 1952 AND NEVER SAW HIM ALIVE AGAIN.

    THEY HAD ONLY REACHED KENYA, ON A TOUR WHICH WAS TO HAVE TAKEN THEM ON TO CEYLON, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND, WHEN THEY GOT THE NEWS THAT THE KING HAD DIED.

    THEY IMMEDIATELY FLEW BACK TO LONDON. DRESSED ALL IN BLACK, QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND LEFT THE AIRCRAFT, TO BE GREETED AS THE NEW REIGNING SOVEREIGN BY THE MEMBERS OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT, HEADED BY MR. CHURCHILL. SHE WAS 25 YEARS OLD.

    THE CORONATION TOOK PLACE THE FOLLOWING YEAR. TROOPS FROM ALL PARTS OF THE COMMONWEALTH ESCORTED THE STATE COACH TO WESTMINSTER ABBEY. AND WAITING INSIDE WERE REPRESENTATIVES OF MORE THAN EIGHTY COUNTRIES.

    OUTSIDE, IT WAS THE PEOPLE'S TURN TO GREET THE NEWLY CROWNED QUEEN. IT WAS A DAMP, COOL DAY, AND MANY OF THEM HAD WAITED TWENTY-FOUR HOURS TO SEE THE PROCESSION TAKE A LONG ROUTE THROUGH THE STREETS OF CENTRAL LONDON BACK TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE. THOUSANDS MORE WERE WAITING THERE FOR THE QUEEN TO MAKE THE TRADITIONAL APPEARANCE ON THE PALACE BALCONY.

    HER LIFE AS QUEEN INCLUDES A GREAT DEAL OF CEREMONIAL: SUCH AS THE "TROOPING THE COLOUR" CARRIED OUT BY ONE OF THE GUARDS REGIMENTS EVERY YEAR ON HER OFFICIAL BIRTHDAY.

    HER HIGHEST CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY IS SYMBOLISED BY THE STATE OPENING OF PARLIAMENT - FILMED AND SHOWN TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 1958. THE QUEEN IN PARLIAMENT IS IN LAW THE SOVEREIGN POWER IN BRITAIN, THOUGH IN PRACTICE THE QUEEN DOES NOT TAKE PART IN SHAPING GOVERNMENT POLICY. BUT THE GOVERNMENT IS CARRIED ON IN HER NAME, AND EACH PARLIAMENTARY SESSION IS OPENED BY READING THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS. THIS IS PREPARED FOR HER BY HER MINISTERS, AND CONTAINS THEIR PROGRAMME FOR THE YEAR AHEAD.

    FOR RELAXATION, ONE OF THE THINGS THE QUEEN MOST ENJOYS IS RACING. SHE AND HER MOTHER - ALSO AN ENTHUSIAST - OFTEN GO QUITE INFORMALLY TO THE SMALLER RACE MEETINGS, AS WELL AS ATTENDING LEADING EVENTS LIKE ROYAL ASCOT.

    THE QUEEN IS HERSELF A SUCCESSFUL RACE-HORSE OWNER, AND IS SAID TO BE EXTREMELY KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE SPORT. BUT SHE HAS NEVER YET WON BRITAIN'S MOST IMPORTANT RACE, THE DERBY.

    THE QUEEN WITH THE EMPEROR OF ETHIOPIA, ON A VISIT SHE MADE TO ADDIS ABABA IN 1965. THIS WAS ONE OF TWENTY-FIVE STATE VISITS AND OVERSEAS TOURS THE QUEEN HAS UNDERTAKEN IN THE FIRST EIGHTEEN YEARS OF HER REIGN - SOME LASTING ONLY A FEW DAYS, OTHERS MANY WEEKS AND TAKING IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES.

    USUALLY THE ROYAL VISITORS GET A WARM AND FRIENDLY RECEPTION; BUT THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, AS IN QUEBEC, WHERE FRENCH CANADIANS FELT THE QUEEN WAS BEING USED BY THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT FOR POLITICAL ENDS. A FEW SHOWED IT MILITANTLY. MANY MORE MERELY BOYCOTTED THE VISIT.

    AND AS THE IMAGE OF MONARCHY CHANGES, CRITICISM IS SOMETIMES HEARD - PARTICULARLY IN AUSTRALIA THAT THE PROGRAMMES ARRANGED FOR ROYAL TOURS ARE STILL TOO ELABORATE AND FORMAL.

    THE QUEEN'S VISIT TO WEST BERLIN IN 1966 HAD OBVIOUS POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE - TO SHOW THE PEOPLE AS PRESIDENT KENNEDY AND PRESIDENT DE GAULLE HAD ALREADY DONE - THAT THEY STILL HAD THE SUPPORT OF THE WESTERN POWERS IN THEIR ISOLATED POSITION.

    HERR WILLY BRANDT, THEN MAYOR OF WEST BERLIN, AND NOW CHANCELLOR OF WEST GERMANY, ESCORTED HIS GUESTS THROUGH VAST CHEERING CROWDS. THE WHOLE VISIT TO WEST GERMANY WAS ALSO SEEN AS THE SEAL OF RECONCILIATION AFTER TWO GREAT WARS; FOR NO REIGNING BRITISH MONARCH HAD BEEN TO GERMANY SINCE 1913.

    BACK HOME, THE QUEEN'S YOUNG FAMILY WERE GROWING UP. SHE AND PRINCE PHILIP HAVE FOUR CHILDREN. PRINCE CHARLES AND PRINCESS ANNE WERE BORN BEFORE SHE CAME TO THE THRONE; AND THERE ARE TWO YOUNGER BOYS, PRINCE ANDREW AND PRINCE EDWARD.

    ANY HEAD OF STATE WHO VISITS BRITAIN CAN EXPECT TO BE INVITED TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE - AS PRESIDENT NIXON WAS DURING HIS RAPID TOUR OF WESTERN EUROPE JUST AFTER HE TOOK OFFICE. BUT IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THE PUBLIC HAD BEEN ABLE TO SEE THE MEETING, INSIDE THE QUEEN'S HOME, LIVE ON TELEVISION. A FILM HAS ALSO BEEN MADE OF THE ROYAL FAMILY AT HOME. THIS GROWING PUBLICITY HAS BEEN GENERALLY POPULAR IN BRITAIN, BUT IS NOT WITHOUT ITS CRITICS.

    BUT THE CHIEF APPEAL OF MONARCHY TO THE BRITISH PEOPLE STILL LIES IN PAGEANTRY - GIVEN FULL SCOPE IN 1969 WITH THE INVESTITURE IF THE QUEEN'S ELDEST SON, PRINCE CHARLES WITH HIS HISTORIC TITLE OF PRINCE OF WALES. THE CEREMONY TOOK PLACE IN SEVEN-HUNDRED YEAR OLD CAERNORVON CASTLE.

    THE PRINCE, A 20-YEAR-OLD STUDENT AT CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY, TOOK THE ANCIENT OATH OF LOYALTY.

    THE QUEEN'S ANCESTRY OF BRITISH MONARCHS GOES BACK MORE THAN A THOUSAND YEARS. SHE AND HER SON FACE THE PROBLEM OF FITTING ITS TRADITIONS INTO THE CHANGING WORLD OF TODAY.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA48W8M2IJ1F9WDV67O5H45ERMY
    Media URN:
    VLVA48W8M2IJ1F9WDV67O5H45ERMY
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    05/03/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:09:35:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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