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University College of the West Indies, Installation of H.R.H. Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, as Chancellor (Colonial Cinemagazine 29), 1950-02

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 20/3/1

Scope and Contents

A 16mm, black-and-white cinefilm, with sound, showing newsreel footage of the various ceremonies laid on for the installation of the new Chancellor as detailed below (times are approximate). Princess Alice was officially installed as Chancellor on 16 February 1950 after accepting the office on 10 December 1948.

0 - 13sec. [Leader].
13 - 24sec. Caption reading ‘Colonial Film Unit’.
24 - 31sec. Caption reading ‘Colonial Cinemagazine 29’.
31 - 37sec. Caption reading ‘University College of the West Indies’.
37 - 43sec. Caption reading ‘Installation of H.R.H. Princess Alice Countess of Athlone as Chancellor’.
43 - 1min 3sec. Scenes showing streets lined with people. Accompanied by commentary ‘On the occasion of the installation of Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, as Chancellor of the University College of the West Indies, welcoming crowds throng the route along the streets of Kingston, Jamaica [unintelligible word] by a detachment of the Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers’.
1min 3sec - 1min. 18sec. Scenes showing Princess Alice and her party disembarking their boat at Kingston accompanied by commentary ‘The royal visitors were met by His Excellency the Governor of Jamaica, who presented the Brigadier in charge of the Caribbean area and the Mayor of Kingston’. Followed by music.
1min 18sec - 1min 35sec. Scenes showing a pipe band marching along streets lined with people. Accompanied by commentary ‘The pipe band of the Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers led the procession to the saluting base at the Myrtle[?] Bank’. Followed by pipe playing.
1min 35sec - 1min 45sec. Scene showing people seated on the steps of a building. Many of them appear to be in sailor’s uniforms. Pipe music continues.
1min 45sec - 2min 5sec. Scene showing Princess Alice inspecting soldiers accompanied by commentary ‘The guard of honour provided by the Jamaica regiment was inspected by Princess Alice, who was accompanied by the Governor and the Earl of Athlone’.
2min 5sec - 2min 9sec. Scene showing a band playing, accompanied by commentary ‘The Jamaican military band was in attendance’.
2min 9sec - 2min 37sec. Scenes showing the royal party in gardens greeting people, accompanied by commentary ‘After inspecting the guard of honour, the royal party left for the north summerhouse[?] at the Myrtle Bank Hotel, where a large number of people representing various sections of the community were waiting to be presented to Princess Alice and the Earl of Athlone. His Excellency the Governor and Lady Huggins were present’. Followed by music.
2min 37sec - 2min 43sec. Scene showing buildings in a valley surrounded by mountains accompanied by commentary ‘Overlooked by the Blue Mountains, the University College is housed in temporary structures adjoining the site of the permanent building’.
2min 43sec - 3min 3sec. Scenes showing students in a laboratory accompanied by commentary ‘There are some 70 students in residence, studying science and medicine in well-equipped laboratories’ followed by music.
3min 3sec - 3min 30sec. Scenes showing students in a library accompanied by commentary ‘An arts course is shortly to be included and an excellent library has been organised for research and training purposes. During her visit, the Princess laid the foundation stone of the new permanent library building. The University College has much of which to be proud, particularly the honour bestowed upon it by the visit of Princess Alice to become its Chancellor’.
3min 30sec - 3min 48sec. Scene showing cars of the royal party pulling up to a building accompanied by commentary ‘Preceded by police on motorcycles, Princess Alice and the Earl arrived at the robing room’.
3min 48sec - 4min 39sec. Scenes showing crowds, and the robed staff and students of the University College in a procession through crowds to a platform, where they sit on the chairs provided. Accompanied by commentary ‘From there, undergraduates dressed in their scarlet gowns, patterned on those of the ancient University of Saint Andrews[?] and followed by the academic staff, members of the senate, the council, representatives of other universities, including the Earl of Athlone, Chancellor of London University, walk in procession to the platform. The procession was watched by an admiring crowd of spectators from all branches of the community’.
4min 39sec - 5min 6sec. Scene showing Princess Alice walking to the platform through the crowds accompanied by commentary ‘The arrival of Princess Alice was eagerly awaited. She made her way along the route to the platform where she was received by the Principal of the University College’, followed by music.
5min 6sec - 5min 13sec. Scene showing Princess Alice on the platform accompanied by commentary ‘There, Princess Alice, in a clear voice, took the oath’.
5min 13sec - 5min 15sec. Scene showing crowds clapping accompanied by music.
5min 15 sec - 5min 32sec. Scene as described in the accompanying commentary ‘A magnificent robe of black and gold was placed upon the shoulders of the Royal Chancellor by the Principal of the College’.
5min 32sec - 5min 34sec. Scene showing crowds clapping.
5min 34sec - 6min 11sec. Scenes as described in the accompanying commentary ‘In his address of welcome, the Principal expressed the appreciation at the honour which Her Royal Highness had paid to the College in taking up the role of Chancellor. Congratulatory addresses from representative universities were then handed to Princess Alice’ followed by music.
6min 11sec - 6min 27sec. Scenes showing those on the platform returning to the robing room in a procession, interspersed with crowd scenes and ending with a shot of the University College crest on a flag billowing in the wind. Accompanied by commentary ‘This day will long be remembered as an important occasion marking a significant stage in the growth of the University College as a body corporate’.
6min 27sec - 6min 31sec. Caption reading ‘Installation service in Holy Trinity Cathedral’.
6min 31sec - 6min 47sec. Showing scenes of the exterior of a cathedral with people entering accompanied by commentary ‘To mark the occasion, installation services were held on Sunday February 19th in Holy Trinity Cathedral ...’. The scene then switches to an interior view and accompanying commentary continues ‘... where High Mass was celebrated’.
6min 47sec - 6min 59sec. Scenes as described in the accompanying commentary ‘The ceremony was preceded by a procession of clergy and other church dignitaries’.
6min 59sec - 7min 6sec. Caption reading ‘Installation service in the Cathedral of St. Jago de la Vega’.
7min 6sec - 7min 23sec. Showing scenes of a procession of clergy entering the cathedral accompanied by commentary ‘In the afternoon another installation service was held in the Cathedral of St. Jago de la Vega in the old capital of Spanish Town’.
7min 23sec - 7min 25sec. Showing the spire of the cathedral with accompanying music.
7min 25sec - 7min 52sec. Scenes showing the interior of the cathedral with the congregation, including Princess Alice and the Earl of Athlone, singing or reading, all accompanied by music.
7min 52sec - 8min 33sec. Scenes as described in the accompanying commentary ‘At the conclusion of this service, representatives of the University College in a procession which was composed of the Principal of the University College, visiting academic dignitaries, members of the Council and Senate, representatives of British and foreign universities, and Princess Alice and the Earl of Athlone. So passed a day of solemn dedication of the work of the University College of the West Indies’.
8min 33sec. Caption reading ‘The End’.


  • 1950-02


Conditions Governing Access

With the exception of RCMS 20/3/1, the cinefilms may be viewed online with the University of Cambridge Streaming Media Service at:

For copyright reasons, researchers wishing to view RCMS 20/3/1, (Colonial Cinemagazine 29, Colonial Film Unit, 1950) should make an appointment with the RCS Librarian to view the film in Cambridge University Library. Email:

Biographical / Historical

With the outbreak of World War II, the Ministry of Information took over the General Post Office Film Unit, and amalgamated it with a team of technicians to form both the Crown Film Unit and the Colonial Film Unit. The two units produced between 3,000 and 5,000 35mm films during the war. Some were made especially for the foreign market, those aimed at the United States intended to encourage American entry into the war.

With the end of the war the Ministry of Information was replaced with the Central Office of Information (COI). The Colonial and Crown Film Units continued under their new management until 1952. The two film units made films intended to sell the United Kingdom to the world after 1945. Many of the films produced have never been shown in the United Kingdom.


1 item(s) (1 cinefilm)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Fair condition.

Existence and Location of Originals

Copyright: British Film Institute. Readers wishing to view the cinefilm should contact the Smuts Librarian to make arrangements, email Current staff and students of the University of Cambridge may access the film at the University of Cambridge Streaming Media Service, using their Raven password.




Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Central Office of Information, Colonial Film Unit

Finding aid date

2003-08-26 10:42:07+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.