Rare unseen footage of Queen Victoria discovered at New York’s MoMA

Photo: Royal archives

There are certain subjects when someone mentions never before seen footage, my first thought is that’s not possible. Usually it centers around World War II, the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the moon landing or the Beatles. I think, however, I can pretty much say for certain that if someone mentioned that ‘never-before-see-footage’ of Queen Victoria had been discovered, I would tend to believe them.

Such is that case with the recent discovery in the film archives of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As the story goes, the film was stored for decades and it wasn’t until it was shown to Bryony Dixon, a curator with the British film institute, that the historical significance was realized.

It is completely unique because you can see the Queen’s face for the first time properly since 1900, since this was shown.. …you can see her expressions, you can see her in movement, rather than just as a stiff portrait or a still photograph,” Ms Dixon says.

Taken a year before she died, the high-quality film of Queen Victoria on her last trip to Ireland is considered to be the clearest-ever moving footage and is also believed to be the last time she was filmed before her death.

Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901.

In: Odds & Sods