For our final Sparkling Spotlight flashback this week, we’re traveling back to October 27, 1952, when Queen Elizabeth II made a glamorous royal film premiere appearance.
On Monday, October 27, 1952, a young Queen Elizabeth II was the spotlight guest at the royal film performance of the musical comedy Because You’re Mine in Leicester Square. She was accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and her sister, Princess Margaret. Here, the royal sisters are escorted at the theater by Reginald Bromhead, chairman of the Cinematograph and Trade Benevolent Fund (now the Film and TV Charity). The Queen wore a black-and-white satin halter gown by Norman Hartnell with a daring, tuxedo-inspired silhouette. The gown, which became known as the “Magpie dress,” inspired numerous copies.
Movie stars from the UK and abroad were present to greet the new monarch at the premiere, including American actor Rock Hudson and British actress Veronica Hurst.
She also met Charlie Chaplin, who was still in London following the premiere of his film Limelight. (Princess Margaret had attended that premiere the week before.) The Queen reportedly admitted to Chaplin that she hadn’t yet seen Limelight, and asked his wife, Oona O’Neill (pictured on the extreme right margin of the photograph), about their children.
The Queen added dazzling diamonds to her iconic Hartnell gown for the film premiere, all of which were gifts from her wedding five years earlier. She wore two pieces from her grandmother, Queen Mary: the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara and the Dorset Bow Brooch. She also wore the Greville Chandelier Earrings, given to her by her parents, and the Edinburgh Wedding Bracelet, given to her by her husband.
And just for fun, here’s a glimpse of Princess Margaret at the premiere. She wore a black tulle gown with pieces from the Persian Turquoise Parure for the film performance.