The Last Journey: Funeral Of King George VI (1952) | British Pathé (2023)

Introduction

King George VI's coffin is led in an enormous funeral procession to St. George's Chapel accompanied by the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Royal and Princess Margaret along with many others as Britain mourns.

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Guard of Honour in Palace Yard pan to coffin being carried from Westminster Hall by Grenadier Guard Pallbearers. Pallbearers placing coffin on gun carriage - Crown, Sceptre and Orb on coffin. Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Mother and Princess Margaret in deep mourning, walking from Hall and into carriage, and past Lord Louis Mountbatten, etc. Gun carriage being drawn by naval ratings through gates of Palace Yard. Coffin past. Cortege moving towards Whitehall past Houses of Parliament. Queen's coach and Dukes just out of gates. Pan, four Dukes, Edinburgh, Gloucester, Windsor (formerly Prince of Wales, King Edward VIII), Kent. Cenotaph. Elevated, foreign representatives saluting as they pass Cenotaph. Procession making way up Whitehall. Tableau on Guards Memorial. Towards, Guards marching across Horseguards Parade, with arms reversed. Crowd. Coffin being pulled across Horseguards. Sailors turn corner. Gun carriage starts to turn corner. Sailors lining route with arms reversed and heads bowed. Towards, Queen's carriage turning from Horseguards followed by and pan with Dukes of Windsor, Edinburgh (Prince Philip), Gloucester and Kent. pan back to Kings Frederik of Denmark, Paul of Greece and Gustav Adolf of Sweden, and President Auriol of France, and other foreign heads of state including President Ribar of Yugoslavia, King Feisal of Iraq and President Bayar of Turkey. BBC Commentator.

Gun carriage being drawn past Citadel. Elevated, procession marching through Hyde Park. Crowd at Hyde Park. (Marble Arch). Troops marching through gates at Marble Arch. Mounted policemen. Procession approaching and going through gates at Marble Arch. Crowd. Gun carriage being drawn through gates at Marble Arch.

Funeral Procession of King George VI turning down Edgeware Road. Coffin being pulled along Paddington Station platform. Coffin being hauled along platform. Coffin being hauled along platform. Dignitaries waiting to entrain. Gentlemen-at-Arms taking places by side of train. Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Mother and Princess Margaret watching coffin being carried to train. Coffin being carried towards train. People looking on. Train pulling out - guard of honour in foreground.

Windsor Castle. Guards band marching towards Castle. Scots Pipe band marching towards Castle (not playing). Queen Victoria Statue. Gun carriage on route to Castle. Procession and cortege approaching Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle - flag at half-mast. Procession passing Castle. Woman. Pipers playing. Pipers feet pan up to pipers. Piper, and bass drum. Cortege passing Castle. Guardsman. Coffin on gun carriage. Four Dukes of Windsor, Edinburgh (Prince Philip), Gloucester and Kent past. Gun carriage being pulled under arch. Sailors pulling gun carriage emerging from arch. Coffin coming through arch. Gun carriage being drawn towards St. George's Chapel. It stops, Cortege party step one pace forward. Sailors doffing hats. Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and others waiting on steps of Chapel. Pall bearers taking coffin from carriage. Bosuns playing pipes. Sailors with bowed heads, and coffin being taken from carriage.

Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

SV. Sailors with bowed heads. MV. Pall bearers holding coffin for funeral of King George VI. Gun carriage being pulled away. SV. Pall bearers moving off with coffin. Angle shot, St. George's Chapel. LV. Coffin being carried up steps. SV. Four Dukes of Windsor, Edinburgh (Prince Philip), Gloucester and Kent looking on - Kent hatless. SV. Most Rev and Right Hon C. F. Garbett, Archbishop of Canterbury and Dr G. Fisher, Archbishop of York waiting on steps. SV. Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Royal and Princess Margaret, walking from coach up steps. GV. Coffin nearing top of steps followed by Queens, Princess Royal and Princess Margaret. SV. Back view, coffin going into Chapel. GV. Coffin going into Chapel followed by mourners. SV. St. George's Chapel, through trees. Pan down to wreathes. CU. Wreath. SV. Mass of wreaths. CU. Wreath. SV. Queen shaking hands with Dean of Windsor, Rt Rev E. C. K. Hamilton, and then embraces Princess Margaret. Prince Philip then embraces Princess Royal. Queen and Philip walk to car. SV. Queen Mother talking to Chapel Official. Angle shot. Through archway of St. George's Chapel.

Content

From the great hall in the palace of westminster, they bear george vi.

As the hour sounds for his last journey.

In three days, three hundred thousand of his people have made their pilgrimage.

Now britain buries her king and the nations come to pay their homage on his coffin.

Are the emblems of majesty the crown the cross-mounted orb symbol of christianity over the world and the scepter ensign of kingly power and justice, and with them his wife's wreath of lilies of the valley and orchids tragic in somber black.

The ladies of his house follow the queen, the queen mother and princess margaret together in their grief out of palace yard, for the last time passes.

George vi, whom history will name the good behind the queen's coach walk the four royal dukes edinburgh, gloucester windsor, and kent along whitehall representatives of foreign states also remember those other dead who died for britain here each year on horse guards parade the guards honored their sovereign.

On his birthday.

Now they march with arms reversed in mourning, in the great pageantry of death march soldier, sailor, airman and civilian, the great and the unknown, and the waiting people mourn behind the dukes walk.

The kings of denmark, greece and sweden, and the president of france elsewhere are the kings of norway and iraq and the queen of holland.

So do the living great honor one who is great among them and the world listens as history is broadcast, oh through hyde park and towards mabela and along the three and a half mile route, 10 000 men who had taken the oath to guard their king rest on their arms reversed, among them the glorious gloucesters, past tyburn and along the edgeware road and so at length.

As far as paddington and the waiting train, the gentleman at arms bodyguard to the sovereign mount guard as the queens and princess watch, the royal coffin is brought to the train and the king leaves london no more to return to royal windsor home of kings for 900 years.

He comes home through the old town and on towards the castle.

The procession heads journey's end is near as they pass the statue of queen victoria, his great-grandmother, the flag, hangs low over the castle, where the king, with his family, found happiness and rest from the many cares of state which he made his own.

Now the pipes take up the lament the king passes, dex, as at his crowning with the panoply of state.

The man we knew lies buried in our hearts and with him ends the rule of the house of windsor.

Behind him he leaves two brothers one of them.

We knew for a while, as the uncrowned edward and so to the resting place of kings.

The beautiful chapels and george built of cotswold stone and surrey oak 400 years ago, okay, the archbishops of canterbury and york wait to receive the king and the navy pipes, the admiral over the side bob, so the queen gives place to the queen mother and, with her sister, follows behind her father's coffin.

At this moment, life is still and there is silence in all the lands he held united in our commonwealth.

George vi passes into the keeping of the church from sandringham to windsor.

The sad journey has run its course within the chapel.

The last rites draw to their end, while without regal in their splendor lie, mute tributes to the man so simple in his tastes, the king is laid to rest and the majesty of death ends with a family beginning its life anew.

A young queen, takes over the burden of monarchy to the queen mother, in this hour of sorrow, goes the deep sympathy of all who honor the man now at rest.

In the chapel of saint george at windsor, you.

FAQs

What was the funeral procession of King George 6? ›

After Lying in State at Westminster Hall, the King's funeral was held at St George's Chapel in Windsor on February 15, 1952. A formal procession carried the coffin from New Palace Yard to Paddington Station, so that it could be taken to Windsor by train.

Why was a stick broken at a King's funeral? ›

On ceremonial occasions, the Lord Chamberlain carries a white staff and a gold key, the symbols of his office. Tradition dictates that the Lord Chamberlain breaks the white staff over the sovereign's grave – a symbolic gesture marking the death of the sovereign he serves.

Did the Queen attend George VI funeral? ›

February 15, 1952

The new Queen Elizabeth II shook hands with Eric Hamilton, Dean of Windsor at her father's funeral. With her were Prince Philip, The Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and the Duke of Windsor.

What was the statement on the death of King George VI? ›

He shared to the end of his reign all the hardships and austerities which evil days imposed on the brave British people. In return he received from the people of the whole Commonwealth a love and devotion which went beyond the usual relationship of a King and his subjects.

What were King George V last words? ›

Dawson's private diary, unearthed after his death and made public in 1986, reveals that George's last words, a mumbled "God damn you!", were addressed to his nurse, Catherine Black, when she gave him a sedative that night.

Did George walk in the procession? ›

Touching scenes at Westminster Abbey saw Prince George, nine, and Princess Charlotte, seven, walk between the Prince and Princess of Wales. It had been planned for the royal children to walk behind their parents in the procession, however there was a change last minute.

Who breaks the stick at the Queen's funeral? ›

“At the end of the final Hymn, The King will place The Queen's Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on Her Majesty's Coffin. At the same time, The Lord Chamberlain will "break" his Wand of Office and place it on the Coffin. The burial will only take place this evening, following the funeral.

What was the stick placed on Queen Elizabeth's casket? ›

A thin, white stick was broken by the senior-most official of the royal household and placed on Queen Elizabeth's coffin before it was lowered into the royal vault. The 'Wand of Office' is a ceremonial tool of the Lord Chamberlain, once used to 'discipline' people in the monarch's court.

What is the breaking of the wand at a funeral? ›

A broken wand ceremony is a ritual performed at or shortly before the funeral of a magician, in which a wand – either the wand which the magician used in performances, or a ceremonial one – is broken, indicating that with the magician's death, the wand has lost its magic.

Why did George not wear black to the Queen's funeral? ›

While some royal fans might be wondering why George was wearing a dark blue outfit instead of the traditional black, funeral etiquette states that wearing dark colours to a funeral, including navy, is considered a sign of respect for the deceased.

Was King George embalmed at home? ›

In his role as chief embalmer for J. H. Kenyon Ltd, Henley carried out the embalming of King George VI at Sandringham House in 1952, that of Queen Mary at Marlborough House in 1953, and that of Sir Winston Churchill at the latter's London home at 28 Hyde Park Gate in 1965.

Did Queen Mary bow to Queen Elizabeth? ›

2) Queen Mary bows to her new sovereign.

Mere days after the death of King George VI, Elizabeth is already being treated as the new monarch. When Queen Mary (George's mother) arrives for the funeral in full mourning garb, she bows before her shellshocked granddaughter.

Did the queen cry when her father died? ›

Managing a stoic, subdued smile and a wave to the crowds, Elizabeth boarded the plane quickly, with none of the usual pomp and ceremony. It was on this flight, according to Nicholas Best, biographer of Eric Sherbrooke Walker — the founder of Treetops — that the monarch finally wept.

Why was King George VI so loved? ›

Despite criticisms at the beginning of the war, King George VI proved to be one of the most popular monarchs of the 20th century, not only because of his image as a loving father but also as a war hero. He was a man of principle as he tried to modernise the royal family at a time of shifting attitudes.

Why didn t Truman attend King George VI funeral? ›

US President Harry S. Truman did not attend the funeral upon agreement with Secretary of State Dean Acheson, who had planned his trip to London for meetings on issues pertaining to Germany one week before the king died.

Who was in the funeral procession with King Charles? ›

As thousands of mourners lined the route, Charles was joined by his sons, William and Harry, brothers Andrew and Edward and sister, Anne, and other members of the royal family and the military.

What music was played at King George VI funeral? ›

Queen Elizabeth II's father King George VI's funeral included the hymn 'The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done'.

Who was the procession behind Queen Elizabeth's coffin? ›

Walking immediately behind the coffin were the Queen's four children, King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. Immediately behind King Charles was Prince William, the next in line to the throne.

What was the royal funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth? ›

On 12 September the Queen's coffin was carried up the Royal Mile to St Giles' Cathedral, in a procession that included King Charles, Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, the Bearer Party from the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Royal Company of Archers.

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