Rare Footage Released of 1939 Royal Visit to Winnipeg

Rare never-before-seen footage of a Royal visit to Winnipeg in 1939 has been released by the University of Manitoba.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth travelled by train across the country when they arrived on May 24, 1939 to a greeting of an estimated 100,000 people. While staying overnight at Government House, the King also made his longest ever radio broadcast to the British Empire.

Two of the films show people preparing for the Queen and King to drive by, and related festivities. School groups of children are shown, including some from what appear to be Somerset School and Cecil Rhodes School, excitedly waiting to see the Royal couple.

The footage was obtained by the U of M library’s archives and special collections department in 2013 from R.A. Storch, a graduate in civil engineering and a teacher and vice-principal at several Winnipeg schools, including at those of students seen in the crowd. Storch died in 1988 at the age of 84.

“This film had been long forgotten in a warehouse, and it is sheer serendipity to have it surface just in time for the visit of Charles and Camilla,” said U of M archivist Shelley Sweeney.

The U of M also obtained more than 250 historical photographs of Winnipeg and a handful of colour and black and white 16mm films from the same collection.


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