Film ID:
YFA 3377



Visitor Tabs


Made by members of the Mercury Movie Makers, this film documents the opening of a new wing at St. Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds, 30th March, 1982 by the Prince and Princess of Wales (HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana.)  The film includes a commentary describing the events of that day.     

The film opens outside St. Gemma’s with a large crowd of people gathered behind barriers.  The commentary notes that St. Gemma’s became a hospice in 1978.  The Royal couple arrive by car, and as they drive down the streets, the crowd cheers and many wave Union Jack flags.  The Royal couple exit the car at the hospice entrance where they are greeted by the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk. They speak with some of the members of staff before entering the building.  

Inside the hall at St. Gemma’s, the Bishop of Leeds greets them together with the Lord Lieutenant, Professor Wilkes and the Mayor.  In a speech the Bishop highlights how important the hospice is and the invaluable work which is carried out there.  The Prince of Wales makes his way to the small stage and gives a lengthy speech that is intercut with footage of the hospital wards.  The Prince remarks that it is a great honour to be invited to open the new ward.  (The commentary notes that the original foundation stone was laid by Royal Highness Princess Alexandra - see "A Royal Visit" (YFA3378)).  As the Prince continues his speech, talking about the great compassion he feels for the patients and of the work of the hospice, Princess Diana can be seen in a ward sitting at the bedside of one of the patients, holding her hand.  

The Prince of Wales then unveils the new plaque and proceeds to talk to the patients individually before signing the visitor’s book.  They leave the building with the Reverend Mother and others.  Outside a large group of children have gathered, and as the Royals leave the hospice, each child gives the Princess a bouquet of flowers.  The Princess is soon over laden with them, and she passes on a large panda to someone to look after.  The staff line up along the pathway outside St. Gemma’s.  The commentary states that there is a ratio of one member of staff to every patient, and that the hospice relies heavily on volunteers to keep this ratio up (90 all together.)  

Following this, Princess Diana is surrounded by more children.  The couple then shake hands with more of the people gathered for the visit before they are driven away in a car.  Crowds still line the streets and people continue to wave flags.  The commentary states that the Princess of Wales is returning to London whilst Prince Charles boards a helicopter at Roundhay Park that will take him to another engagement in York. 

Credits: Commentary by George Duncan.   Cameras and sound: Ron Broadbent, John Copp, George Duncan, Myer Gorwits, Ken Leckenby, Reg White.  Edited and Directed by John Copp.