Royal Journey
Film poster
Directed byDavid Bairstow
Gudrun Parker
Roger Blais
Written byLeslie McFarlane
Produced byTom Daly
Don Mulholland (exec.)
StarringThe Princess Elizabeth
Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Narrated byElwood Glover
CinematographyOsmond Borradaile
Grant McLean
Edited byRonald Dick
Victor Jobin
Betty Brunke
Music byLouis Applebaum
Release date
  • December 21, 1951 (1951-12-21) (Ottawa)
Running time
54 mins.

Royal Journey is a 1951 National Film Board of Canada documentary chronicling a five-week Royal visit by The Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and her husband, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, to Canada and the United States in the fall of 1951.[1]

Directed by David Bairstow, Gudrun Parker and Roger Blais and produced by Tom Daly,[2] it won the 1953 BAFTA Award for Best Documentary,[3] and the Best Feature-Length Documentary award at the 1952 Canadian Film Awards. It is also notable for being the first commercial feature film in Eastmancolor.[4][2]

Royal Journey features sequences from Quebec City, the National War Memorial in Ottawa, CFB Trenton and a performance of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, as well as sequences in Toronto, Regina, Saskatchewan, Calgary, and Edmonton.[2][3]

The film also shows the couple crossing the Rocky Mountains by rail and making stops in several towns. In Vancouver, they board HMCS Crusader then attend native dances in Victoria's Thunderbird Park. The action then briefly shifts to the U.S., where they are welcomed by President Harry S. Truman. The remainder of the journey includes visits to Montreal, the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown, a steel mill in Sydney and, finally. Portugal Cove, Newfoundland.[2][3]

In 1953, the NFB released Highlights from Royal Journey, a 22-minute reel of highlights from the film.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Royal Journey". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d Crowther, Bosley (29 February 1952). "THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; Documentary of 'Royal Journey' to Canada and United States Last Fall at the Embassy Guild". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Royal Journey". Collection. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  4. ^ Chronology of Motion Picture Films: 1940–1959 Archived 13 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Kodak.
  5. ^ "Highlights from Royal Journey". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 1 March 2023.