Royal Honeymoons often occur where you least expect them, as the British Pathe archive demonstrates…
Everyone is speculating over where Prince William and Catherine Middleton (Wales), now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are spending their honeymoon. In solving a royal honeymoon riddle it is important to think outside the royal box – and perhaps footage from the British Pathe archive can help us:
A lot of Londoners suspect Will and Kate to have borrowed a home (or indeed an island) off one of their high flying friends. Just glancing at the wedding guests, Elton John, Richard Branson, David Beckham, – a whole host of people who own luxury homes and mini resorts abroad. But what if Will and Kate pulled the ultimate red herring and took a helicopter ride out into the deepest English countryside…
In this great British Pathe reel below we see crowds and press gather around Princess Elizabeth (The Queen) and Prince Philip as they leave Romsey Abbey to depart together on their honeymoon.
In the clip the narrator declares “At the 1000 year old abbey 10,000 people stood on chairs and climbed churchyard trees to get a glimpse of the princess and the duke. Penned-in by well-wishers the royal car had great difficulty in getting back to Broadlands the honeymoon retreat of the royal pair”
The clip shows Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip roaming around Broadlands, the Home of Earl and Countess Mountbatten, where they spent the first section of their honeymoon. Princess Elizabeth is depicted flicking through the first photos of the wedding whilst Prince Philip gives Pathé the first official flash of his wedding ring.
Watch the clip here: ROYAL HONEYMOONERS IN HAMPSHIRE
We were surprised to learn that the couple had to attend morning service at Romsey Abbey directly following the Royal Wedding day! Quite a different world to the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton at which Prince Harry allegedly made bacon and cheese sandwiches for guests who partied until 6am, and after which the happy couple left in a helicopter! Clearly the austerity wedding of 1947 had a tighter belt than the recession wedding of 2011.
Even in the 1940s the Royal Family had become aware of the media’s gaze, as the Pathé narrator tells us – “The second part of their honeymoon will be spent in Scotland and so for a while Pathé News will respect their desire for the seclusion they have so well earned”
It’s interesting how stately homes in and around the UK were popular as a royal honeymoon destination. Here the Duke of Kent, Prince George is videoed on his honeymoon with Princess Marina at Himley Hall in Worcestershire:
HONEYMOON HALL (1934)
Princess Margaret was one of the first high-profile Royals to have an exotic honeymoon that was televised. In 1960 she chose to tour the Caribbean on the Royal Yacht with Anthony Armstrong-Jones. Pathé went along too and captured the trail of their honeymoon on camera:
PATH OF THE PRINCESS (1960)
Did you know: The Japanese Prince Takamatsu took his honeymoon in England in 1930? Here is the Pathé newsreel of it, called BANZAI !
Broadlands House is currently undergoing a major electrical refurbishment but should be open to the public again in time for the Olympics next summer: http://www.broadlandsestates.co.uk/