First Royal Command Performance


History on 23rd November

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First Royal Command Performance

Windsor, Berkshire The 23rd of November 1897 AD

Although the event at Windsor Castle on November 23 was not what we would now call a Royal Command Film Performance, being a private showing for Queen Victoria and members of her family and entourage, it was a historic occasion, the first time the monarch had seen 'moving pictures' in action.
The subject of the film presented to the Queen was - the Queen, filmed at Balmoral at the beginning of October that year, along with various royal grandchildren and for some scenes the ill-fated Czar Nicholas II and his Czarina. Victoria is seen for a time using her famous pony cart.
The pioneering cinematographic firm W&D Downey shot that film, and it was Downeys who presented it, with various other short features, to the royal family on November 23 1896 in the Red Drawing Room at Windsor Castle .
From her subsequent diary note on the showing the ageing Queen was very impressed by the whole thing, calling it "A very wonderful process." The royal family has had a love-hate relationship with the moving image ever since, torn between the polar opposites of propaganda and privacy.

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From Alec duncan on 26th January 2013
Hello, I have been trying to find out more about King Edwards Royal Command Performance of 1902 because my two grand uncles performed in it billed as the Happy Dustmen their names were Seth & Albert GEE aka Burnell. Kind regards Alec Duncan

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