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-se given to violence and extremes. The Festival is a great united effort, not confined to exhibitions, an effort in which every feature of our national life is displayed to the fullest extent. May I suggest to you that if you buy a well-chosen souvenir and keep it safely, it will give your descendants of the year 2051 a chance to see what our workmanship and ideas were like in 1951. Let us hope and pray that in 2051 it will be said that the Great Exhibition of 1951 commenced an era of lasting peace and prosperity throughout the world.”


Sir Gerald Barry's

SIR GERALD BARRY, director-general of the Festival of Britain, thanked the Princess for opening the Exhibition and Leeds City Council for “the magnificent co-operation” the Festival authorities had received from the city. “I thank the Leeds Festival Committee for the distinguished, full and varied programme of events it has arranged. I know by now something of the hard and devoted work that the organisation of a programme of this standard must have entailed. The way this fine site has been placed generously at our disposal and has been prepared and beautified is most gratifying. As a result of your efforts, the contribution of the city of Leeds to the Festival of Britain as a whole promises to be one of the most striking and outstanding in the country. We of the Festival are certainly intensely glad that we invited Leeds to receive our Exhibition. We hope Leeds will like it.”

Leeds Festival Exhibition night lights

The Princess Royal and the Lord Mayor walk to the Exhibition. A Yorkshire Evening News photo.

Men of the Guards Regiments and Household Cavalry in ceremonial uniform. A Yorkshire Evening News photo.


The Princess's tour
of the Exhibition

IN the “People at Home” section the Princess was impressed by a television set built into the wall and a room which lit up by the press of a button. She pressed the button once and then at the request of her lady-in-waiting pressed it again. In the fireplace section the Princess praised old-type fireplaces, “They are still very attractive in design,” she said. In the children’s room she looked at a high bunk and said: “I should be afraid of the children falling out.” A Festival official responded “That’s for the older children.” In the “People at Play” section she pointed to revolving stands of soft toys and said, “They go a little too fast. They ought to be a little slower so that you can see the exhibits.” At the home cinema, the Princess smiled as she watched a film of Prince Charles with his mother and father at the age of eight months. Turning to the party she said: “You would be surprised to see him running about now.” Whilst the Princess missed little in the house section, she spent very little time on the turbine jets and related exhibits. She said that some of the dresses in the fashion display were charming.

Blocked view

AS the Princess was being greeted by the civic heads, crowds at the Leeds end of the road swept across and blocked Woodhouse Lane. One tram, two buses, several vans, cars and other vehicles were brought to a stop blocking the long-distance view which thousands of people on the other side of the road had hoped to get.