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Queen in Chicago

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Film Identifier: F.2012-03-0475
Run Time
0h 26m 31s
Date Produced
Silent and sound newsreel outtakes from Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Chicago on July 6, 1959. The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, were on a 15,000-mile, 45-day tour along the St. Lawrence Seaway visiting all Canadian provinces and four of the Great Lakes, including a 14-hour stop in Chicago. This was their only American stop and was the first visit of a reigning British monarch to the Windy City.
The first ten minutes are silent. Film begins with a motorcade procession down Michigan Avenue, with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Illinois Governor William Stratton and Mayor Richard J. Daley riding together in the backseat. Confetti falls from apartment windows, with thousands of people lining the streets to get a look at the Royal couple. Shot from various angles and distances, the motorcade drives past Buckingham Fountain and onto Lakeshore Drive, eventually stopping at Navy Pier to visit the Chicago International Trade Fair. 

Now with sound, the film jumps to earlier in the day (outtakes have been assembled out of order). A large crowd greets the duo at Queen's Landing off of Lake Michigan as a band plays. Upon her arrival, Queen Elizabeth is greeted by Mayor Daley and Eleanor "Sis" Daley, Governor Stratton and Shirley Stratton, and 12 ambassadors representing the British Commonwealth nations. Ceremonial cannons are blasted as the Star Spangled Banner is played. In Grant Park, Mayor Daley gives a speech welcoming the Queen and Prince, and introduces Governor Stratton. Queen Elizabeth reads a speech, declaring “We have looked forward for a long time to coming to Chicago and to the state of Illinois, and to meeting our American friends from the middle of your country."

Now silent again, many of the previous events are presented again from different angles. Many shots of small ships on Lake Michigan with the Queen's yacht HMY Britannia at a distance. We also see exterior views of the Drake Hotel, and the Queen arriving for lunch at the Ambassador Hotel.
Main Credits
Koza, Frank (is filmmaker)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain (is participant)
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (is participant)
Daley, Richard J. (is participant)
Stratton, William (is participant)
Related Place
Chicago (represents)