The ninety-two sun-soaked islands of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean were due to become independent of Britain at midnight on Monday (28 June).
GV Mahe Harbour (Music)
SV Waves lapping on to beach. (2 shots)
GV Vessel longside ???uay ("Spirit of Mahe") in port of Victoria. (Music ends)
GV Duke and Duchess' car arrives.
SV Duke and Duchess out of car and greeted by Minister of Ports and other officials.
GV Party touring docks PAN TO name on ship (3 shots)
SV Schoolgirls lined up at Regina Mundi Convent.
SV Duke and Duchess out of car and is greeted by Minister of Education.
SV Girl with bouquet of flowers walking to Duchess and presenting bouquet.
SV Duke and Convent Sister talking to girls. (2 shots)
CU Duchess with Mother Superior.
GV INT. Contestants parading in Miss. Independence beauty contest. (4 shots)
SV Guests seated
SCU Miss. Independence being crowned.
SV President-elect Macham presenting winner with prize, kisses her and crown falls off.
Initials VS 15.35
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Background: The ninety-two sun-soaked islands of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean were due to become independent of Britain at midnight on Monday (28 June).
SYNOPSIS: The main independence ceremony was due to take place on the main island of Mahe, where the island's largest harbour is situated. The Seychelles lie a thousand miles from the east coast of Africa, and tourism is expected to be the main prop of their economy in the first years of independence.
On Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester had arrived on the island to represent Queen Elizabeth of Britain at the independence ceremonies. On Saturday they were taken on a tour of Victoria port by the Minister of Ports, Mr. Philippe Mouline. The Duke and Duchess had flown to the Seychelles in a jumbo jet, but there had only been a small crowd to greet them. The independence ceremony symbolised the end of 200 years of colonial rule.
After touring the port, the Royal couple then visited the Regina Mundi Convent, to meet the girls and the nuns who run the school. The Seychelles were first colonised by France in the sixteenth century, but were occupied by Britain in 1810 after 30 years of Anglo-French warfare in the area.
The Seychelles have a multi-racial population of fifty-eight thousand, and the President-elect, Mr. James Mancham, can rightly claim that there is no racial prejudice. The racial mixture includes people whose ancestry can be traced to French and English settlers, African slaves, as well as Indians and Chinese.
On Friday evening Mr. Mancham and the Prime Minister-designate, Mr. Albert Rene, the leader of the Socialist party, attended a beauty contest in the Coral Strand Hotel. The contest was to choose a girl who would be crowned Miss. Independence. There was no shortage of talent.
Beauty contests will become much more frequent as the independent government of Seychelles develop the sort of attractions which are necessary for a healthy tourist trade. But Mr. Mancham has promised that the development of a tourist industry will not be at the expense of the island's natural beauties - of which he is obviously an excellent judge!