The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

London’s May Queen
London’s May Queen

London’s May Queen 1916


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


London’s May Queen 1916

United Kingdom

The All-England May Queen festival was first held at Hayes Common, Bromley, in 1913, organised by a Dulwich folklore enthusiast. This film from 1916 shows that year’s May Queen, Miss Cecily Smith, sitting in a decorated cart pulled by children, preceded by other children carrying banners. She carries a sceptre, and like many of the girls is wearing white and garlands of flowers. Children gawp at the camera as they pass, before Smith receives her crown on the common.

Selected by London's Screen Archives From the BFI National Archive




Local customs Beauty contests Galas


1916 on Film




United Kingdom



Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

The map


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later