Title ID 5757Collection ID720
Title[Brabourne Family Celebrations; Christening]
Date[1946?]; [1947?]; [26 June 1950?]
CollectionThe Victor Don Film Collection
Genre/TypeAmateurIndependent AmateurNon-fictionCelebration
ThemeFamily life
KeywordsAnimals Children Domestic Gardens Family Religious Buildings Royalty
LocalMersham-le-Hatch Westminster Barnby Moor
RegionalKent Greater London Nottinghamshire
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionDr. Victor Don
CameraDr. Victor Don
ParticipantsMr. and Mrs. Brabourne: The Honourable Patricia Mountbatten; John Ulick Knatchbull, 7th Baron of Brabourne; HRH Prince Philip; Michael-John Ulick Knatchbull; HRH Princess Elizabeth; HRH Prince Charles;
Format16mm Colour Silent
Duration11 min. 11 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Scenes filmed after the christenings of the eldest two children of The Honourable Patricia Mountbatten and John Ulick Knatchbull, 7th Baron of Brabourne, in 1947 and 1950. Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip are seen in attendance. The film also includes home movie footage, taken by the film-maker Victor Don, family doctor to the Knatchbulls.


Guests to the christening of Norton Louis Philip Knatchbull, 8th Baron Brabourne (b. 8th October 1947) [?], walk towards the Church past a crowd of photographers. The Honourable Patricia Mountbatten, elder daughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl of Burma, wears a fur hat and coat. She holds the baby, swaddled in lace, at the entrance to the church. A crowd of photographers gathers to photograph the family, which includes Patricia's husband, John Ulick Knatchbull, 7th Baron of Brabourne, who she married in 1946. Prince Philip, Patricia's first cousin and Norton's godfather, is seen walking with other guests away from the church. Panning views of a Westminster Abbey follow, the statue of George V (1910 - 1936) is foregrounded.

A priest walks with a group of women past schoolchildren sitting on a wall. Some of the children wave union jack flags. The Christening is for Hon. Michael-John Ulick Knatchbull (b. 24 May 1950), the second child of John Ulick Knatchbull and his wife, Patricia Mountbatten. The christening took place on 26th June 1950 at St. John the Baptist Church, Mersham-le-Hatch, near Ashford, Kent. Patricia and John walk with their baby and a young boy. Princess Elizabeth walks with John. Her hat blows back in the wind and she holds it to her head as she turns past the camera. The choir and bishop follow behind. The camera pans across the children, sitting on the stone wall beside the church. Elizabeth emerges from the church, holding the baby. Family members gather in front of the entrance. The baby is seen in close up. The young Prince Charles is seen climbing into his toy pedal car (Austin J40). Further footage of guests and the choir walking in the church grounds follows.

Two women walk in a garden, where flower beds are in full bloom. A baby smiles and laughs in a pram, playing with a rattle. The child is seen lying on the grass, pushing itself up and pulling strands of grass from the lawn. Ye Olde Bell Hotel in the village of Barnby Moor near Retford in Nottinghamshire, and a church are seen in panning footage. Views of a house follows. A black cat catches morsels of food in a garden. Family members, including two girls in blue dresses, gather in the garden, calling to the cat to join them. They inspect the roses in the garden. A badger runs across a patio floor. The badger is then seen, kept on a lead, running around on the lawn. Further family pets are seen in the garden and by the pond.


A still from [Brabourne Family Celebrations; Christening] (1946-1950)A still from [Brabourne Family Celebrations; Christening] (1946-1950)A still from [Brabourne Family Celebrations; Christening] (1946-1950)A still from [Brabourne Family Celebrations; Christening] (1946-1950)

Contextual information

This film is part of a collection of Dr. Victor Don's films that were thrown out by the family and found by the BBC in York at a car boot sale. The collection was deposited with Screen Archive South East in 2000. The footage was featured on Inside Out South East in 2008.

Lord Brabourne, John Ulick Knatchbull, who appears in this film, was patron of Screen Archive South East from 1996 until his death in 2005, aged 80. He was involved in a number of our activities in Maidstone with the County Council. As a television producer and Academy-award nominated film producer, his filmography includes Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, A Passage to India, Sink the Bismarck!, and Little Dorrit.