Royal Road

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.

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  • Release year - 1941
  • Production company - British Movietone News
  • Screenplay - Gerald Sanger
  • Narration - Leslie Mitchell
  • Editor - Raymond Perrin
  • Running time (minutes) - 10 mins 41 secs

Original description

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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