On 3 May 1951 King George opened The Festival of Britain at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank.
The festival was coordinated to commemorate the centenary of the Great Exhibition of 1851. It exhibited Britain’s c past, present, and future contributions to society through the arts, science technology and industrial design.
Crowds gathered as the Royal Family made their way from Buckingham Palace to St Paul’s.
The Royal procession stopped at Temple Bar for the traditional ceremony where the King was presented the Pearl Sword of the City.
The Lord Mayor of London, who enjoys precedence “of every subject” within the boundaries of the City of London, surrendered his sword, thus indicating the precedence of the Sovereign. The King then returned the sword and the Lord Mayor led the procession on to St Paul’s, reported The BBC.
The Tower of London and Hyde Park then fired a 41 gun salute.
The King, Queen Elizabeth, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret and other Royal family member attended a special service where afterwards, His Majesty pronounced the festival opening in a broadcast from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The King and Queen later in the day were present at the dedication service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Royal Festival Hall.