Royal Visit to France (Paris) July 1938 – 11 Official Press Photos (all with butter-paper tags, inscriptions, photo bureau stamps etc to rear) of the visit to Paris of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) July 1938, and one photo of the coffin of King George VI lying in State in Westminster Hall 11th February 1952

British Royal Family


Place Published: b&w photos
Date Published: 1938/1952
Illustrator: b&w photos

11 original official press photos of the historic visit to Paris of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in July 1938; all photos eventive; all with descriptive text typewritten on butter-paper (3 on thin brown paper) tags adhered to rear, stamps of relevant press bureau (Kosmos Press, Sport and General Press Agency, Fox Photos, Planet News Ltd – all London), text typewritten direct to rear of each photo stating ‘Royal Visit To France July 1938’, 3 photos with handwritten pencil notation stating dimensions etc, 2 with contemporary pink printed Block Order tags stating date, serial number, title, size, and ‘sent to process’ and ‘required by’ details all inscribed in pencil; photos show a military review (with numerous tanks in procession) at Versailles, the King’s tribute to the French Unknown Soldier at the Arc d’ Triomphe, the Queen’s visit to the British Hospital at Levallois, The Royal Couple at a reception in Hotel de Ville, the Queen in crinoline gown at Versailles luncheon, the King signing the Golden book at the Arc d’ Triomphe, an aerial shot of the Royal Couple’s motorcar along the royal route surrounded by armed guards on horseback, French schoolchildren in national costume waving Union Jacks, the Queen chatting with a guest at the garden party at Bagatelle, The Royal Couple leaving the Dover Railway Station to embark on the Admiralty yacht, and the King greeting General Billotte (on horseback); finally one later photo of King George VI lying in state (in closed coffin) in Westminster Hall guarded by the King’s Bodyguard (11/2/52); this collection of photos provides a unique record of an event of capital importance, the Royal Visit of July 1938 being set against the background of Hitler’s expansionist intentions towards Czechoslovakia (a French ally) and imminent war in Europe – the visit was thus designed (despite stated British policy of appeasement) to strengthen military relations between Britain and France and to contrast democracy against dictatorship, Sir Eric Phipps the British Ambassador to France stating thus “Externally it seems clear that the visit would produce a most healthy effect upon Hitler, Mussolini and Co.” [quoted from Martyn Cornick ‘War, Culture and the British Royal Visit to Paris, July 1938’]; it was the Royal Couple’s first overseas trip; George VI had become (a reluctant) King after the abdication of his brother Edward VIII to marry Wallis Simpson, his treatment for a chronic speech impediment being later dramatised in the movie ‘The King’s Speech’; the visit to Paris had been postponed to July after the death of Queen Elizabeth’s mother Lady Strathmore, and as the Queen could not appear in Black (mourning) in Paris, fashion designer Norman Hartnell created an all-white trousseau, examples of which can be seen in three of the photos here; after the King’s death Queen Elizabeth became known as ‘Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’ to avoid confusion with Elizabeth II; as The Duke and Duchess of York the couple officially opened Parliament House in Canberra in 1927; 7 of the photos with white borders, the remainder cropped; all photos rubbed to a certain extent, some with foxing and mild creases, borders mildly curled, one photo with loss top lh corner, photo of King lying in state heavily ragged to lower egde.

ID: 22520 Category: