This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: IWM 843).


The world tour by Edward, Prince of Wales, on board HMS Renown, 1920.

(Reel 1) The Prince, wearing his naval uniform, comes on board HMS Renown at Portsmouth harbour on 14th March, shaking hands with Rear-Admiral Sir Lionel Halsey and Captain Dudley B N North. With the Prince as travelling companions are Lord Louis Mountbatten and Colonel Grigg (who do not really appear in the film until the final reel). An animated map shows the ship's progress. It visits first Barbados where the Prince inspects a detachment of the West Indies Regiment, and the governor holds a garden party. While the Renown passes through the Panama Canal the Prince inspects the local US Army garrison, and President Belisario Porras comes on board. At San Diego the Prince addresses the people of the USA. As everywhere on the visit, there are numerous journalists and cameramen. At Honolulu in the Hawaiian islands the Prince meets US troops and British expatriates. (Reel 2) At Suva, capital of Fiji, the Prince is given a welcome ceremony and Kava is brewed. The Renown goes on to Auckland harbour, New Zealand, where the Prince inspects the local regiment. Schoolchildren in formation spell out WELCOME in a stadium. At Rotorua the Prince talks with Maoris who served in France in the First World War, while Prime Minister W F Massey and Minister of Militia Sir Joseph Cook watch. The Prince visits the Maori villages of Chinemutu, near sulphur springs, and Whakarewarewa, (Reel 3) where he gives a speech and watches Hakka and Poi dances. Back on the ship the junior officers perform a 'Hakka' of their own. Geysers and mud pots are shown. The ship goes on to Wellington, and the Prince visits the "Southern Alps". On to Australia. In a stadium in Melbourne children give a physical fitness demonstration and maypole dance. (Reel 4) The Renown arrives at Sydney and a military escort takes the Prince to Centennial Park. It is the Prince's birthday, 23rd June. The ship continues on to Western Australia. The Prince visits Perth and goes further inland, seeing Australian fauna such as kangaroos, water buffalo and flamingoes ("native wild fowl"). Loggers are seen at work in a jarrah forest. A view of Mundaring Reservoir. The train journey from Perth to Adelaide includes views of local aborigines, (Reel 5) and a "typical" outback railway halt. In Adelaide the Prince unveils a statue of Edward VII. For the remainder of the voyage HMAS Australia escorts the Renown, which visits Hobart, Tasmania. On board the Renown on the way back to Britain are various "ship's mascots" for zoos: a cockatoo, two rare lizards, emu chicks, a Dominican tortoise, opossums, parrots, and a wallaby. On arrival in Samoa the locals pay homage to the Prince. (Reel 6) The film jumps back to 17th April, the first occasion on which the Renown crossed the equator. The full crossing the line ceremony involves the Prince, Mountbatten and Grigg all being ducked, and Halsey receiving "the Order of the Old Sea Dog". The cruise continues, with practice for the 15-inch guns. The ship calls at Port of Spain, Trinidad, and then at Bermuda, before returning to Portsmouth. The Prince says goodbye to the ship's company and boards the train for London.


Cameraman: "Captain" Barker is actually the early silent film producer Will Barker, who had retired from the film industry in 1918 but was persuaded by William Jeapes of the Topical Film Company to record the Prince of Wales on his Empire tour.

Series continuity: there is no film held under the numbers IWM 844 - IWM 858 inclusive.




Technical Data

Running Time:
103 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
5592 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Barker, Will (Captain)
Production company
Film Booking Offices (distributor)
Production company
Topical Film Company