In 1951, Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, went to Canada for a visit representing the ailing King George VI. Their trip took to various Canadian provinces, including Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick.
The National Film Board of Canada documented the soon-to-be queen's five-week journey and released it in December 1951. It would be the commercial feature film in Eastmancolor.
Royal Journey features sequences from Quebec City, the National War Memorial in Ottawa, CFB Trenton and a performance of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, as well as sequences in Toronto, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton.
Royal Journey also shows the royal couple crossing the Rocky Mountains by rail and making stops in several small towns. In Vancouver, they board HMCS Crusader in Vancouver and attend native dances in Thunderbird Park. The action then briefly shifts to the U.S., where they are welcomed by President Harry S. Truman. The remainder of the journey includes visits to Montreal, the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown, a steel mill in Sydney, Nova Scotia and finally Portugal Cove, Newfoundland
Royal Journey was directed by David Bairstow, Gudrun Parker and Roger Blais and produced by Tom Daly for the NFB. It received a Canadian Film Award for best theatrical feature-length documentary and was named best documentary film of 1952 at the British Academy Film Awards.