An excerpt from the British Movietone News which was sold by Kodak for home use, this film shows the 1937 Royal Navy Fleet Review at Spithead. This took place on May 20, 1937 as part of the Coronation. After the small beginnings of naval airpower at the 1912 review, five carriers were present this time. The sole U.S. Navy representative was USS New York, which had brought Admiral Hugh Rodman, the President’s personal representative for the coronation, across the Atlantic. Germany was represented by the new pocket battleship Graf Spee. A fleet review is a traditional gathering of ships from a particular navy to be observed by the reigning monarch or his or her viceroy, a practice allegedly dating back to the 15th century. Such an event is not held at regular intervals and originally only occurred when the fleet was mobilised for war or for a show of strength to discourage potential enemies. However, since the 19th century they have often been held for the coronation or for special royal jubilees. Indeed, since Edward VIII it has been regularly held at each coronation, though the one scheduled in the United Kingdom for Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee was cancelled due to costs. Also, since the 19th century, fleet reviews increasingly often include delegates from other national navies.

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