About the film
Royal Road takes a look at both the public-facing activities of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) during the Second World War, as well as a showing a glimpse of the Royal Family's private life in the gardens at Windsor.
- Release year - 1941
- Production company - British Movietone News
- Screenplay - Gerald Sanger
- Narration - Leslie Mitchell
- Editor - Raymond Perrin
- Running time (minutes) - 10 mins 41 secs
The King among his subjects
'King George VI with his soldiers, sailors and airmen, the leader of an Empire at war. He inspects arsenals, factories and shipyards; he visits the bombed areas. The film includes happy glimpses of the home life of the Royal Family.'
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1942-43)
Did you know?
- Royal Road is a revised version of a 1939 film entitled Royal Review, which was comprised from footage by British Movietone News and made as a silent piece for audiences across the colonial empire. Royal Review showed the various activities of the King pre-war, and included shots of his coronation and his attendance at sporting events.
- When the British Council decided to update the film in 1941, it was decided to make the film more topical - sport being replaced by the war effort. According to contemporary production notes, it was also decided that the film would be “quite inadequate without some new material of Their Majesties.”
- Royal Review was thus shown to the king and queen, who agreed to contribute to a new version by allowing Movietone to film them and the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret in the gardens at Windsor. The notes also state that the king “had taken a considerable personal interest in the film.”
- The brief scene of a family leaving their house around 01:35 mark is not quite what it seems. A relative of the Richards family, who lived in the house, visited one day with a Movietone cameraman in tow and asked them to carry some drawers from the building to make it look like they were salvaging items from a bomb-damaged house. The flag was also hung from the windows for the benefit of the camera.
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