This film is part of Free

Royal Visit to Leith

Colourful commemoration of Royal Yacht Britannia's majestic visit to Leith in 1956, courtesy of Messrs Joseph and J Arthur Rank.

Documentary 1956 13 mins


A wonderful sense of occasion imbues this colourful record of the Queen's visit to Leith in 1956 in the Royal Yacht Britannia. Officials and dignitaries from the Port of Leith stand nervously on the quayside of the Caledonia Flour Mills awaiting her Majesty's arrival. Breaking the solemnity are some charming glimpses of the young princesses peeping over the deck of Britannia at the proceedings below.

Following her retirement as a working vessel, and some 50 years after the making of this film, the Royal Yacht Britannia returned to Leith, this time to become a permanent visitor attraction. As well as having many Royal associations, Leith also has close connections with the Methodist flour-millers and industrialists Messrs Joseph Rank and J Arthur Rank, who are credited at the end of this film. Their company was largely responsible for the regeneration of the port of Leith through the construction of the new Caledonia Flour Mills, which opened in 1956. J Arthur Rank, the son of Joseph Rank, is, of course, even better known as a filmmaker and founder of British film giant the Rank Organisation.