Never-before seen footage from 1953 showing a young Queen Elizabeth II enjoying downtime with New Zealand Governor-General at the time, Sir Willoughby Norrie, and his family, has surfaced.
The incredible footage was shot by Norrie's wife, Patricia, as the British royals enjoyed Christmas Day at the Governor-General's private home, lounging by the pool.
The newly surfaced footage will be featured in a highly anticipated documentary about the monarch, titled The Queen Unseen. The documentary is due to air on the Queen's 95th birthday in the UK, but details of a New Zealand release date have not been confirmed.
The newly crowned Queen had been on a gruelling seven-month Commonwealth tour at the time and the chance to enjoy some fun in the sun would have been much needed. Other footage, captured at the time and compiled by NZ on Screen, gives some insight into the Queen's visit to NZ in late 1953-54 and her exhausting number of appearances.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
In the intimate new footage, a young Queen can be seen wearing a simple summer dress with yellow stripes, her brown hair curled and pinned back neatly, wearing stylish gold rimmed sunglasses and holding a Cine Camera.
The Queen herself doesn't don her swimsuit to join in the poolside antics, but Prince Phillip has no such reservations, sporting a black Speedo. One screenshot from the home movie shows a young and fit Phillip talking to Sarah Norrie (now Stevenson), the daughter of Patricia and Sir Willoughby Norrie, and he seems to be trying to steal her pool flotation device.
Stevenson, who was 10 at the time, recalls the visit from the royal family fondly, telling the Daily Mail that is was "terribly exciting" and sharing details of the Christmas gifts that were exchanged, including those given by the Governor-General to the royal couple – a dog lead for the Queen and an ashtray for Phillip, which had an image of the Queen's head on it.
Other home movie footage will be featured in the documentary, including the first colour images taken of the Queen and her first trip to a communist country to meet with then President Tito in Belgrade in 1972. The documentary hopes to paint a clearer picture of the Queen, who has managed to remain elusive throughout her life, in spite of being one of the most recognisable people in the world.