Queen Elizabeth II
HM Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022): A life through the lens.
Queen Elizabeth II was Britain's longest-serving sovereign, and the first to live her entire life through the lens of moving image cameras: she was the first true media-age monarch. Her birth in 1926 was heralded by the newsreels, highlights from her wedding in 1947 were screened on BBC television, and her coronation six years later effectively launched the mass television era. As Queen, she migrated the Christmas Message from radio to television in 1957, where it became a permanent fixture in the Christmas Day schedule.
Unlike her predecessors, in the less deferent age that marked her reign she had to get used to being the subject of numerous fictional portraits: in comic or satirical sketches, in sitcoms, in drama and in feature films. She has been incarnated by some of Britain's greatest acting talent, including Claire Foy, Barbara Flynn, Julie Walters, Diana Quick, Emma Thompson, Olivia Coleman and Helen Mirren. Gamely, she even broke new ground for a monarch by playing herself, alongside Daniel Craig's James Bond in an eye-opening filmed segment for the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, and more recently hosting Paddington Bear for tea at Buckingham Palace to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.
Produced by British Movietone for “Her Majesty’s Central Office of Information”, Royal Destiny traces Queen Elizabeth II’s young life up to her ascension to the throne.
Amateur film19532 minsSilent Location: Stormont
An unforgettable day for Lady Wakehurst as the glamorous new monarch delights the crowds at Stormont
Amateur film196511 mins Location: Bearsden
The Queen and Prince Philip enjoy a day out in the Glasgow suburbs in this sumptuous 1960s amateur film, complete with pipe band, flag-waving schoolchildren and very big hats.
Non-Fiction195511 minsSilent Location: Stranraer
Visit Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, with a Royal accompaniment as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visit in 1955, enjoying an agricultural show and pageant along the way.
Amateur film19531 minsSilent Location: Belfast
Balmoral show grounds bulge with a frenzy of excited youths. Join them in their pursuit the royal car if you too are eager to get a glimpse of the new monarch.
The Queen’s seven day tour of Turkey in October 1971 was the first British royal visit to the country since King Edward VIII visited the region in September 1936, three months before he abdicated.
Documentary196228 mins Location: Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton's 'day to remember' is 24 May 1962 when enthusiastic crowds line the streets to greet Queen Elizabeth II.
The loneliness of the long distance ruler is one of the themes of this film which illustratrates the Queen’s life of travel and official duties across the Commonwealth.
Industry sponsored film196217 mins Location: Llanwern
The most modern, integrated steel works in Europe are at Llanwern, Newport, and they are opened on this “great day” (26/10/1962) by the Queen who is visiting with Prince Philip.
Documentary196910 minsSilent Location: Kingston upon Hull
The official opening of Queen Elizabeth Dock, Hull, by HRH Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Amateur film19653 minsSilent Location: Leith
The Queen and Prince Philip arrive in style on the splendid Royal Yacht Britannia to open the 10th Edinburgh International Festival in a glorious amateur film from the 1960s.
Amateur film19534 minsSilent Location: Coleraine
Delight in this rare colour footage of the Queen as she tours the scenic north coast on the Royal Train.
Amateur film195320 minsSilent Location: Llanelli
The streets are crowded, windows are occupied, and walls are sat on in the beautifully decorated town, as everyone tries to catch a glimpse of the newly crowned Queen.
Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip MountbattenWedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten
Royal nuptials at Westminster Abbey, attended by the great and good including King George VI and Winston Churchill
Documentary19568 mins Location: Wilton
Pure chemistry for the first visit of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to the gigantic industrial plant at ICI Wilton
The Royal Visit in July 1965 of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh to the Borough of Higham FerrersThe Royal Visit in July 1965 of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh to the Borough of Higham Ferrers
Amateur film196511 minsSilent Location: Higham Ferrers
A major day in the history of the small Northamptonshire market town of Higham Ferrers: a visit by Queen Elizabeth II.
2-6 March 1961 saw the Queen and Prince Philip make their first and only state visit to Iran. Their host was Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (1919-80), the Shah of Iran, who had already made an official visit to Britain in 1959.
Amateur film19532 minsSilent Location: Green Park
Bunting-clad streets and regal decorations highlight the intricate artistry that went into decorating the iconic Coronation route.
Documentary195629 mins Location: Stockton-on-Tees
Beautiful documentary record of the royal visit to Teesside in 1956, shot in gorgeous Kodachrome.
Amateur film19513 minsSilent Location: Norwich
Gaeity and pageantry galore in this amateur footage capturing Princess Elizabeth's visit to Norwich during the Festival of Britain celebrations.
Amateur film19776 minsSilent Location: South Shields
One big happy family on the streets of South Shields for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee visit.
In the middle of a six-week tour of the Indian sub-continent between January and March 1961, the Queen and Prince Philip visited Pakistan and East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
Queens Visit to Newcastle 1954: FA Cup Returns 1955Queens Visit to Newcastle 1954: FA Cup Returns 1955
Home movie19545 minsSilent Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Thousands cheer for the Magpies in the 50s when the FA Cup returns to Newcastle … and a new queen pays Tyneside a visit.
Home movie19576 minsSilent Location: Oldbury
The Queen makes a brief visit to the Black Country industrial town of Oldbury and stays just long enough to receive a souvenir.
Home movie195313 minsSilent Location: King's Heath
The 'New Elizabethans': children of King's Heath in Birmingham take to the streets to celebrate a new era with flags and fancy dress.
Amateur film198617 mins Location: Chichester
Beefeaters herald the arrival of the Queen at Chichester Cathedral, where she will distribute the Royal Maundy Money.
Documentary195613 mins Location: Leith
Colourful commemoration of Royal Yacht Britannia's majestic visit to Leith in 1956, courtesy of Messrs Joseph and J Arthur Rank.
Southgate Celebrates The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Southgate (1953)Southgate Celebrates The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Southgate (1953)
Non-Fiction195324 mins Location: Southgate
Cowboys, chess and carnival queens in this wonderful colour film made to mark the “new Elizabethan age” in Southgate’s Coronation celebrations in 1953.
Amateur film19535 minsSilent Location: Royston
Every inch the town, a sea of red, white and blue, as flags and bunting adorn one Hertfordshire town to celebrate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Amateur film197712 mins Location: Washington Village
Washington locals get up close and personal with U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the Queen in the year of the Silver Jubilee.
In October 1971 Emperor Hirohito and his wife arrived in Britain for “their historic three day state visit”.
This colourful record of the President of India’s visit to Britain was made on behalf of the Commonwealth Relations Office for showing to audiences overseas.
The visit to Britain of the President of Pakistan, General Ayub Khan, began on 17th November 1966 and lasted for 12 days.
Sponsored film197719 mins Location: Ipswich
Flag-waving and fanfare in the warm July sunshine for the Silver Jubilee visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to Ipswich and Felixstowe.
Amateur film19772 minsSilent Location: Westminster
Wonderful, colourful scenes of pomp and ceremony as a family enjoy the Queen's Silver Jubilee celebrations on the Mall.
Coronation Day Parade in Newcastle; Trams and TrolleybusesCoronation Day Parade in Newcastle; Trams and Trolleybuses
Amateur film194513 minsSilent Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
A splash of colour in a big Coronation Day parade in Newcastle and an evocative phantom ride through the city after World War Two.
Documentary19532 minsSilent Location: Woodford
A great parade in celebration of the day of Elizabeth II's coronation, complete with a guest appearance from the Prime Minister!
Amateur film20123 minsSilent Location: York
Queen Elizabeth II is greeted in York by thousands of enthusiastic men, women, and children in this depiction of a 21st Century royal family.
Departure of Her Majesty the Queen from Ledsham StationDeparture of Her Majesty the Queen from Ledsham Station
Amateur film195710 minsSilent Location: Ledsham
H.M. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh depart from Ledsham station after the royal visit to Ellesmere Port.
Home movie19773 minsSilent Location: Whitley Bay
Children of Ocean View in Whitley Bay gather for a feast at a patriotic street party for the Queen's Silver Jubilee.
Amateur film19868 minsSilent Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
The Queen visits a magnificent maritime spectacle on the Tyne as Newcastle hosts the Cutty Sark Tall Ships regatta.
Non-Fiction19534 minsSilent Location: Norwich
Local firms took part in Norwich's Coronation parade in 1953. One of the highlights being Laurence Scott's replica of HMS Britannia as it 'cruised' the city streets.
Princess Elizabeth Thoroughly Enjoys Herself at the Royal TournamentPrincess Elizabeth Thoroughly Enjoys Herself at the Royal Tournament
Fit for a princess: the future Queen Elizabeth II accompanies her parents to the military tattoo at Olympia, Kensington
Amateur film19776 mins Location: Harrow
Pomp and pageantry reign and St George is resurrected for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in this colourful newsreel from 1977