HRH Prince Philip's Visit to Rangoon in 1959
This video documents the visit of Britain's Prince Philip to Rangoon over Chinese New Year in 1959. The visit took place under General Ne Win's "Caretaker Government” and Prince Philip is seen being warmly welcomed by General Ne Win upon landing at the airport. The footage of the prince attending a garden party at Government House (beginning at 1:07) offers a glimpse of the now demolished President’s House, a grand old building that was built in 1895 and that became the residence of the British Governor of Burma; the demolition of this historic building (c. 1980) was an act of vandalism on par with the demolition of the haw (palace) of the Saopha of Kengtung a little more than a decade later. The news reel reports that Prince Philip left Burma by boat, sailing to Singapore on the royal yacht HMY Britannia. Scenes of the crowds lining the street to greet the prince in Singapore show no obvious difference in the standard of living between Rangoon and Singapore in 1959.