Ancestors of Kate Middleton Found On Film

Sir Charles Lupton (Kate's great-great-great uncle) leads a group of men, including Kate's great-great-grandfather, in reviewing troops in Leeds, 1915.
Sir Charles Lupton (Kate’s great-great-great uncle) leads a group of men, including Kate’s great-great-grandfather, in reviewing troops in Leeds, 1915.

Several of the Duchess of Cambridge’s ancestors have been discovered on newsreels within the British Pathé film library.

The earliest film (you can find them all here) dates back to 1915 and shows Kate Middleton’s great-great-great uncle, the Lord Mayor of Leeds Sir Charles Lupton paying a visit to the Leeds Pals Battalion in a camp near Colsterdale in the Yorkshire Dales. Sir Charles Lupton is being accompanied by his three brothers, one of which is the Duchess’ great-great grandfather, Francis Lupton. Francis and his other two brothers, Arthur and Hugh (who became Lord Mayor of Leeds in 1926) are the Duchess’ other great-great-great uncles and they were all Aldermen of the City of Leeds.

Princess Mary climbs into her car after meeting the Lord Mayor (left) and Lord Mayoress (right) of Leeds. These are Kate Middleton's great-great-great aunt and uncle.
Princess Mary climbs into her car after meeting the Lord Mayor (left, holding his top hat) and Lady Mayoress (right) of Leeds. These are Kate Middleton’s great-great-great aunt and uncle.

Another film called ‘Princess Mary’ is from 1927 and it shows Kate Middleton’s great-great-great uncle the Lord Mayor of Leeds Hugh Lupton and his wife Lady Mayoress Isabella Lupton greeting Princess Mary who had arrived in Leeds to inaugurate the Girls Week Campaign of Hunslet Young Women’s Christian Association. Princess Mary was King George VI’s sister and therefore is Prince William’s great-great- Aunt. 

Isabella Lupton (centre), the great-great-great aunt of the Duchess of Cambridge.
Isabella Lupton (centre), the great-great-great aunt of the Duchess of Cambridge.

We often get contacted by visitors to our website who are thrilled to find films of their ancestors, their close family or even themselves as youngsters. We knew we had many films of Prince William’s family, but it was a real surprise to find that we also have the Duchess of Cambridge’s ancestors and that they were meeting Royalty.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL THREE FILMS OF THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE’S ANCESTORS.

Our thanks to historian Michael Reed who uncovered the footage.

Prince Charles Guest-Edits Countryfile

Last night, the BBC aired a special edition of its popular Countryfile series, guest-edited by Prince Charles. Reviews today have been good and it seems there is agreement that the Prince came out of the programme very well. Do watch the episode on iPlayer if you get a chance (link).

If you saw the programme, you’ll remember that Prince Charles was shown some archive footage of his time at Balmoral in his youth to stir up some memories.

BALMORAL_HOLIDAY_1501_23_1

The footage was from a British Pathé film, “Balmoral Holiday” (1957), which can be viewed in full here. Some additional clips shown to the Prince came from these cuts from a 1955 piece “Royal Family On Holiday”. The completed film can be seen too, here.

The “delightfully informal” footage shows Charles and his family enjoying the countryside, feeding the animals, and spending some time with each other away from their tiresome ceremonial duties.

www.britishpathe.com

Annus Horribilis: 20 Years On

Believe it or not, it has been twenty years since the Queen had her annus horribilis – that terrible year, 1992. Specifically, 20th November marks the anniversary of the Windsor Castle fire. It is interesting in the year of her Diamond Jubilee and blue sapphire wedding anniversary to look back on that difficult time for the Queen and the British monarchy in general.

Simpler times – the Royal Family at Windsor – before the divorces, scandals, and the “Annus Horribilis”.

“1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an Annus Horribilis.” This is what the Queen said in November 1992 after the Duke and Duchess of York separated, Princess Anne got divorced, and Windsor Castle went up in flames. And that was not even the end of it, for in December, the announcement was made by John Major to the House of Commons that Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, were separating too.

Although these events occurred decades after the final British Pathé newsreel was released (see this blog post), they are succinctly summarised in the BBC/British Pathé co-production, A Day That Shook The World. The relevant episodes, narrated by John Humphrys, are: British Royal Family in Crisis, Windsor Castle Damaged by Fire, and The Prince and Princess Separate. Click the links to view the films.

Things would not improve for the Queen in the following few years. With the death of Diana, the monarchy’s popularity declined. Again, these tragic events are covered in A Day That Shook The World episodes, on the car accident in Paris and the funeral.

And yet, in 2012, the monarchy is incredibly popular. The Queen had her Diamond Jubilee this year and the entire country came out in support and celebration. Popularity ebbs and flows.

And the Queen’s personal life must be happier too. Prince William and Kate are a popular couple, Charles and Camilla are married and, by and large, accepted by the public, and the 20th November marks her 65th (blue sapphire) wedding anniversary – the same day as the devastating Windsor Castle fire. Their marriage has been a successful and supportive one. We offer our congratulations.

A happy marriage.
The Wedding Day in 1947.

On the occasion of the Queen and Prince Philip’s wedding anniversary, you can view the announcement of their engagement and the coverage of their wedding on the British Pathé website.

www.britishpathe.com

Prince Philip’s 90th Birthday

To celebrate the 90th birthday of Prince Philip we’ve ploughed through our hundreds of reels that feature the Duke to pick out some favourites, click on the links to watch them:

Prince Philip a biography  

This beautifully made 1950s Pathé biography of Prince Philip includes shots of the Duke as a baby, as captain of the Gordonstoun cricket team and starring in Macbeth. The piece follows Prince Philip through his formative years, and contains a speech in which The Queen first mentions her “future husband”

Duke Lauds Atom Power

Prince Philip has long been a firm supporter of technological advances and scientific discovery. This 1963 newsreel shows Prince Philip inspecting the control room of Berkeley nuclear power station in Gloucestershire and is a good example of British Pathé’s many reels that followed the Duke on what seems to be a lifetime of official tours and inspections. There’s even a video of Prince Philip touring a cigarette factory in the archive.

The Duke Visits The Pacific Isles

Prince Philip is carried along the beach on a ceremonial chair! Whether it be onboard the royal yacht HMS Britannia or inside a fortified dinghy, Prince Philip feels an affinity with the high seas. British Pathé cameramen accompanied the Duke on his comprehensive world tour.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is still a vibrant and popular pursuit for young people today. Here we see the prince presenting awards and also visiting various activities clubs around Britain.

Royal Family on Holiday

In a different media age the Royal Family were more comfortable with inviting cameramen to film their private lives and family affairs. Here Pathé spent the afternoon filming The Queen and Prince Philip enjoying a traditional English picnic with their children. The reel includes footage of Prince Philip holding Prince Edward as a baby.

All of these clips feature in a larger Prince Philip collection with over 50 newsreels that focus on his life and achievements. You can watch all of those reels in the British Pathe archive for free here: Prince Philip – The Duke of Edinburgh