Film: 7503

Royalty | 1950 | Silent | Colour


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A film showing the Royal Tour of Tonga and Fiji made by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.

A title appears: "Fiji - Islands of sunshine, colour, and unsurpassed beauty"

There is an opening shot on the coast of the island of Fiji, the whole thing is very idyllic looking, with calm waters off a green and balmy coastline.

"Polynesian girls prepare a dance of welcome for the royal visit"

Young women in grass skirts and flower garlands around their necks dance in formation with one another, on grass, Then the group of women sit on the grass whilst one carries on dancing alone.

"On December 17th, all eyes are turned on Suva Harbour, as the 'Gothic' drops anchor."

There follows a shot of a large liner ship on the sea. There are some Polynesian soldiers in red jackets and white skirts, manning some heavy artillery. They fire the guns and then we are looking on the harbour where we see some Sambuk Junks sailing on the calm waters. A regal looking assemble waits on a jetty to receive the boat of the Queen and Prince Phillip as it arrives.

"The Royal Couple are greeted by the Governor"

The guvnor is all decked out in white, with a white hat and plume sprouting out of the top of it.

"The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Albert Park for Fijian ceremonies of welcome"

There is a large assembly outside a pagoda-type building, on grass, dancing. The royal couple takes a seat inside the pagoda and watches, the Queen wears a yellow summer dress.

"A strange ceremony is the drinking of the Yaqona, which Fijian Chieftains now prepare for the Queen"

Straw is squeezed by the chieftains, into a large pan, whils other men in grass skirts sit around the squeezing chieftain. He manages to extract juice from the straw.

"In a coconut shell, the Yaqona is offered to the royal couple". Phillip in his white naval uniform, drinks first.

"Fijian dances follow - first the Club Meke"

There is a male formation dance, with clubs. Queen and Philli look on.

"Then thr Lakalaka - an action song by men and women"

Women in grass skirts and red tops dance in a line, like troops on parade ground. Phillip looks daring in shades.

"A Spear Meke concludes the Albert Park ceremonies"

We see what are presumably warriors, in shredded white skirts, with spears, dancing in formation. The Queen comes down from her platform, closely followed by Phillip and the governor. Native women line the path that she walks down, either side.

"The Royal Party's drive to Adi Cakobau - a school for Fijian girls"

There is a shot from inside the royal car, of crowds standing outside a building, looking for the royal couple. There is an overhead shot from the car of all the flags of the countries of the world, hanging on lines stretching over the road. The back section of the royal car is open and the Queen holds a white umbrella up to shield her from the sun.

"The headmistress, Miss Charlton - a New Zealander - escorts the Queen"

There is a brief shot of this, with Miss Charlton in a white sleeveless summer dress.

"The schoolgirls give a dancing display"

This is then done, a bit like the 'can-can' and then to accompany, some kind of beat is made by girls knocking two bits of wood on a long length of wood being held by another girl in a seated position. The royal party then goes inside of a wooden building.

"The Queen sees handicrafts being made by the boys of Queen Victoria College"

The 'boys' sit on woven straw mats, weaving straw. (They look more like girls than boys, the narrator is surely mistaken)

Queen and Phillip then shake the hands of their party and get into a black car that is waiting for them outside, and are driven away.

"On December 19th, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visti Queen Salote Tupou in her South Sea kingdom of Tonga"

There is an establishing shot of the coastline of Tonga, looking almost identical to that of Fiji. A placard hanging over the street says, "Loyal Greetings, and Welcome". Schoolgirls stand in line at the side of the road, waving Union Jack flags. The Queen gets out of the car and lays a wreath at a stone memorial and then steps back in contemplation.

"The Royal Tongon feast of Mala'e"

The Queen enters a pagoda type building and sits on the floor at a table, and food, wrapped in green leaves is opened. There is a shot of the food all lying together, including watermelon, pineapple, bananas and a roasted pig.

"The two Queens watch a disply of Tongan dancing"

Tongan women sit cross legged, in beaded clothing, playing pat-a-cake bakersman. We are then treated to a unisex dance with the people knocking sticks together, similar to our morris dancers dancing around the maypole. These dancers wear colourful hats and flower garlands.

There is a final shot of the Tongan coastline, with the royal boat moored in the harbour.

"The End" (A white title on a picture of a Polynesian coastline)

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 7503.