The Royal House of Windsor is a new Channel Four TV show charting the history of the English family, and it’s revealing secrets as it goes.
On a recent episode, some lovely, rare footage of a young Queen Elizabeth II was screened, showing her playing a game with some officers on board a ship, in a seemingly relaxed and care-free mood.
The footage was taken post World War II, while a 20-year old Princess Elizabeth, who was not yet Queen, and her father King George VI, were on board a ship to South Africa for a royal tour.
(Princess Elizabeth on the left, Princess Margaret on the right)
The commentator speaking over the footage at the time added, “Fine weather continuing to grace the voyage, everyone made the most of it. The princesses for example are here seen enjoying deck games in company of a number of mid-shipman. And when I say enjoying, I mean just that. Well, you can see for yourselves.”
But the historians on the Channel Four show revealed that there was a very specific reason behind the footage being taken, and released, at the time.
Speaking out on why the family had allowed cameras to follow them on their royal trip abroad, they admitted that the images were undoubtedly a PR move. One historian revealed that “The images were designed to convey a close-knit Royal family. Being seen with your family is in many ways just the best thing to be doing.”
It was on this Royal tour that the now Queen also celebrated her 21st birthday – and made perhaps one of her most famous speeches of all time.
She addressed the Commonwealth on the milestone day, and spoke the now-famous words about her devotion to her country, saying, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great Imperial family to which we all belong.”
And 1947 proved to be a pretty big year for the Queen. It was also the year when the King and Queen announced that their daughter was set to marry Prince Philip. The couple even got married in November of the same year, in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.