Film ID:
YFA 1924



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On 8th June, 1961, the Duke of Kent married Katherine Worsley at the York Minster Cathedral. This film is a documents the events of that day and includes footage taken inside York Minster and at the Duchess' home in Hovingham.

Title | British Board of Film Censors
3, Soho Square W.I.
Secretary John Trevelyan OBE
This is to certify that White Rose Wedding has been passed for general exhibition
Signed - Morrison of Lambeth

Title | The Rank Organisation Presents
White Rose Wedding

Title | Written by Wynford Vaughan-Thomas
Narrated by Tom Naisby
Production Manager - Edward Candy
Editor - Roy Drew
Produced by G Grafton Green

The film opens with a long shot of York Minster and the bells may be heard ringing out. It then jumps to Hovingham Hall, where the Edward, Duke of Kent and Katherine Worsley stand on the front steps to pose for their engagement photographs. Alongside them are Sir William and Lady Worsley, as well as the Duchess of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

The next passage shows the Duke and other dignitaries on official royal duty in Sierra Leone, before being waved off onto an aeroplane. Back in London, a large crowd has assembled to meet the Duke in his full regimental uniform, including the Lord Mayor of London and his bride-to-be. There is a brief shot of a banquet held inside a grandiose hall.

The following part of the film focuses on the couple's respective upbringings - first in the village of Iver in Buckinghamshire where the Duke was raised. Buildings shown include The Bull Inn, The swan Hotel, and Coppins, the house in which the Duke lived.

The following segment takes us to Hovingham, with shots of the beck that runs through the village, the parish church and the Worsley Arms Hotel. At Hovingham Hall, Sir William Worsley walks towards the camera with his dog in tow.

At Hovingham churchyard, Katherine and the Duke walk up the path for the wedding of a local couple. The bride arrives in a white dress and enters the church.

Months later, Katherine Worsley herself is leaving Hovingham Hall in a car for her wedding. A large crowd has gathered outside to see her off.

At York Minster, the trumpeters of the Duke of Kent's regiment - the Royal Scots Greys - play a fanfare as a line of gentlemen-at-arms file into the Cathedral. There are shots of the stone sculptures on the walls of the Minster depicting the old kings of England, including Edward III.

Guests begin to arrive at the Minster, starting with Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, Antony Armstrong-Jones. Following are the Queen Mother and Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain, the Duchess of Kent and Princess Alexandra. The groom arrives in full military dress alongside his brother and best man Prince Michael of Kent. Next, Queen Elizabeth II gets out of the car and the large crowd outside the Minster cheer and wave. She enters the cathedral alongside the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales, who is "wearing an enormous carnation". The guests stand and the Queen is led to her seat by the Archbishop of York Michael Ramsey.

The bride then arrives at the West Door of the Minster in a Rolls Royce automobile. She gets out of her car in a gossamer dress and wears a tiara over her veil. As she makes her way up the knave everybody stands to admire her outrageously long train and the Duke comes out to meet her. As the groom passes the monarch, it appears that the Duke of Edinburgh makes a comment to him that he is then admonished for by the Queen.

The Archbishop and the Dean of York, Eric Milner-White, begin to conduct the ceremony. The two bridesmaids are identified as Princess Anne and Sandra Butter, god-daughter of the Queen, the former of which takes the bouquet of white roses from the bride so that the ceremony can begin in earnest.

The vows are said and the couple then walk up to the altar where they kneel to pray. Prince Charles appears to have nodded off as the final blessings are given by the Archbishop. The married couple then go to the quire to sign the register and there are shots of the choirboys in the pews, as well as views of the page boys and maids of honour.

A fanfare is played as the Duke and Duchess leave the Minster, bowing to the Queen on the way out. An arch of swords is held by the Duke's fellow officers for the pair to walk underneath, and a large crowd is gathered to greet them by a sign that reads: "Jacksons Stops and Staff". They then get into a car and drive through Monkbar, the streets lined with well-wishers waving Union Jacks.

Back at Hovingham there are more crowds and the Duchess is helped out of the car by her attendants. The Duchess waves to the crowd as she and the Duke enter the Hall, before leaving once again for their honeymoon in Scotland and the film comes to an end.