The time 13-year-old Julie Andrews sang the national anthem for the King and Queen

5 May 2021, 14:11 | Updated: 6 May 2021, 17:12

The time a 13-year-old Julie Andrews sang the national anthem for King George VI
The time a 13-year-old Julie Andrews sang the national anthem for King George VI. Picture: YouTube / British Pathé

By Sian Moore

Remembering Julie Andrews’ days as a child star, with the time she sang a typically elegant rendition of the national anthem as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth watched on.

Her grace and unique musicality are unmatched to this day. But did you know just how long Dame Julie Andrews has been performing under the spotlight?

In an unearthed video from British Pathé, an archive of newsreels and documentaries, we can see one of the singer’s earliest performances, at the age of just 13.

Standing on the great stage of the London Palladium, for the Royal Command Performance in 1948, the young soprano began to sing.

Her performance, which took place before King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, made her the youngest solo performer ever to participate in a Royal Variety Performance.

Read more: The time real-life Maria Von Trapp taught Julie Andrews how to yodel >

Even at such a young age, it’s easy to see how Andrews blossomed into a legendary soprano.

Standing ahead of a choir and orchestra, while shoulder-to-shoulder with the evening’s other talents, The Sound of Music star confidently sings the first verse of ‘God Save the King’.

And with a crash of cymbals following a crescendo from the musicians at the back, her on-stage companions join in for a triumphant rendition of the nation’s song.

Read more: Julie Andrews is the voice of narrator Lady Whistledown in ‘Bridgerton’ >

Julie Andrews singing on stage aged eleven in 1946
Julie Andrews singing on stage aged eleven in 1946. Picture: Getty

That evening, Andrews had performed alongside American actor and singer Danny Kaye, dancing duo the Nicholas Brothers and comedians George and Bert Bernard.

Decades on, the American Film Institute (AFI) is honouring Julie with a Life Achievement Award gala in 2021.

The event was originally scheduled to take place in April 2020, but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

President and CEO of AFI, Bob Gazzale, said: “Julie Andrews has lifted the spirits of the world for generations.

“Now, more than ever, AFI looks forward to gathering the globe to celebrate the many gifts and joy she has given us – proving her, of course, ‘practically perfect in every way’.”