Wessex Film and Sound Archive (WFSA) holds a wealth of historic film and sound material from across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. A large proportion of the film content that we hold was produced by amateurs and a Royal visit could present the perfect opportunity for amateur filmmakers to get their cameras out – some were more successful than others at capturing Royal visitors! WFSA is part of the archive service at Hampshire Record Office, and we also hold material in more traditional formats, both paper documents and photographs, that record Royal visits.
This Coronation weekend we are sharing a selection of film clips, photographs and documents from the archive, that captures the then Prince Charles.
An Island Visit
In 1982 Prince Charles flew in by helicopter to open the freshly restored Old Needles Battery on the Isle of Wight. The Royal visit, on a fine clear June (and in the event, swelteringly hot) day, was captured by National Trust cameras. The Prince of Wales then travelled on to Newport to the unveiling of the the Mountbatten memorial.
Reproduced by kind permission of the National Trust. (AV404/4, 9 June 1982)
Watch the film on our YouTube channel: AV404 4
Immortalised in Paper
Not so much a visit in person, but this colourful 1960s footage captured by Whitchurch filmmaker Ron Eastman for Portals papermakers, sees the skilful rendering of both HM Queen Elizabeth II and young Charles III as paper watermarks.
(AV949/2 A Royal Visit, 15 Jun 1962, Ron Eastman)
Watch the film on our YouTube channel: HM The Queen visits Laverstoke Mill | 15 June 1962 | AV949/2
A Hampshire filmmaker on his travels
Jim Mills was a Lymington filmmaker who worked as chauffeur to Wellworthys’ proprietor Mr John Howlett. His collection of films spans the 1930s through to the 1950s and records Lymington and New Forest life as well as capturing insights at the local engineering firm. The firm employed in excess of 1,800 people in Lymington and had many more staff across sites in the wider region (St Barbe Museum figures). Read more about Wellworthys here.
Here, Jim Mills captures the young Charles III on a trip to the Highland Games, Braemar.
(AV1151/11 Jim Mills films: Braemar Games, 4 September 1958)
Watch the film on our YouTube channel: AV1151 11 mp4
A Jubilee Visit to Winchester
This 1977 film captured by the Allen family recalls celebrations during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year.
Streets bedecked in bunting and quirky window displays in Winchester and Alresford celebrations sit amongst footage of Clovelly, Falmouth, St Michaels Mount and Land’s End. In this clip you can see Prince Charles and Lord Mountbatten in Andover Road, Winchester, opening the British Legion Flats.
(AV1412/7, 1977, Allen family films)
Watch the film on our YouTube channel: AV1412 7 mp4
A programme for the opening of the Royal British Legion’s Mountbatten Court was preserved among the papers of the (6th) Earl of Malmesbury, the then Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire (68M91/16).
Charles also features in a selection of BBC TV South footage that we hold, including this 1991 episode of Southern Eye. The episode entitled ‘Green and Pleasant Land’, presented by Martin Pailthorpe, visits pilot schemes in the Test Valley where the Government was rolling out an initiative to incentivise farmers to reduce their output and protect the environment.
(AV18/265, SOUTHERN EYE: GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND, 11 Apr 1991, BBC South)
Reproduced by permission from BBC South.
Watch the film on our YouTube channel: AV18 265
Prince Charles and Princess Anne depart from Portsmouth
This charming 1954 film charts various activities, including the Royal party’s departure from Portsmouth aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia on 14 April 1954. Unfortunately for us and the filmmaker, it is possible to make out figures on the deck of the yacht, but little else!
This colour film shot on 8mm also features the Queen Elizabeth liner returning to London from an overseas tour on 15 May 1954; shots outside Buckingham Palace and a Pakistan vs Hampshire cricket match held on 31 May 1954.
(AV238/3, 1954, Patterson films)
Watch the film on our YouTube channel: AV238 3 mp4
The Mary Rose
The former Prince of Wales has a long-standing relationship with Portsmouth, and more specifically with the Mary Rose Trust. WFSA holds a wealth of material from the Trust that chronicles the Prince’s involvement – from his presence on the waves as the ship was carefully raised, to inspecting the excavated remains on dry land.
The AV533 collection can be viewed on site at Hampshire Record Office. The original 16mm reels will be digitised within the next few years at which time we hope to be able to share them more widely.
King Charles continues in his role as President of the Mary Rose Trust to this day.
Visiting Portsmouth and Southampton
In 1979 the then Prince of Wales visited Portsmouth, in order to attend the recommissioning of HMS Bulwark at the Royal Naval Dockyard and to receive the Freedom of the City. An administrative programme of approximately 50 pages was drawn up for the visit to the Guildhall (68M91/18).
Another of the future King’s visits to Portsmouth, in 1980, was for a civic banquet; a detailed timetable for the visit was preserved by Lord Malmesbury (68M91/19).
Earlier in the day, the Prince had visited the Shipbuilding Industry Training Board’s Industrial Training Centre at Woolston, Southampton, to open the centre’s new buildings (68M91/19).
Some of the then Prince of Wales’ most recent visits to Hampshire have centred on Winchester. In 1998 HRH visited Winchester Cathedral (photographs by Peter Titmuss; courtesy of Peter Titmuss and the Dean and Chapter of Winchester Cathedral: DC/L4/1/4).
The Prince of Wales returned to Winchester in March 2022, where he viewed the statue of Licoricia, a medieval Jewish businesswoman and Winchester resident, and formally opened The Arc, a newly refurbished cultural hub including Winchester’s main public library (photographs courtesy of Gilbert Yates/Hampshire County Council). This building has the unusual distinction of having been visited by both the future King Charles III and Queen Camilla: the latter opened the Discovery Centre, as it was then known, in 2008.
Have you taken any photographs or films of visits to Hampshire by the future King and Queen? We should be delighted if you would like to offer them to us for the archive collections. We are also hoping to collect material relating to the 2023 Coronation. You can contact us via the special form at https://bit.ly/3AY0mPy (please follow the link near the foot of the page), or via this blog.
Zoe Viney, Film Curator, and David Rymill, Archivist