• Short Summary

    Polish Princess works as a level crossing keeper while her mother fights for her right to a royal fortune.

  • Description

    Fade into a painting of a Princess sitting on a throne as commentator says "Once upon a time there was a Princess... and she lived in a castle on top of a hill", as we see a painting of a castle on a hill.

    Back in reality we see M/S of Her Royal Highness Princess Madelein von Dembinska coming out of a house and walking to the gate of a level crossing where she puts her lamp in place in a container. She is descended from Polish royalty, and does look quite Polish in her black cossack-style hat. We are told that here, at Long Melford in Suffolk, we have found probably the only Princess in the world who works on a railway.

    A bell starts to ring and the Princess walks to a small hut to answer a telephone; she talks into it, smiles and hangs up. M/Ss of her pushing open the level crossing gates as commentator says "For the past three years in her capacity as level crossing keeper, the Princess is on duty from the first train (before 6 am), until the last (after 9 at night).... six days a week". We then see her walk to the signal levers; C/U of the levers as she pushes back number 2 (Gate Locks Locked - Unlocked) and pulls number 3 (Up Distant) forward.

    M/S from the track as a two carriage electric train passes through; the Princess pulls more levers and walks to the gates to open them; two toffs on horses and a car are waiting to cross the line. Commentator says since 1918 the Princess' mother "has been fighting to prove her legal right to a huge fortune which includes land and properties on the Continent". The Princess waves to the people on horseback as they cross the line.

    Note: The level crossing seen is at Rodbridge. On file is a copy of British Railways Magazine from November 1960, where an article about the Princess appeared in the 'Meeting My Colleagues' section. See out takes on *PM0129* CP 319 OUT TAKES .

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Colour pictorials
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:57:25:00 / 01:58:46:00
    CP 319

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