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The House of Rolls-Royce introduce The Spirit of Ecstasy series

By Grace Cunningham on 21st December 2016

The House of Rolls-Royce premiered the first in a series of fascinating short films last week, telling how it became the world’s leading and most respected luxury house.

Kate Winslet, the Academy Award winning actress, voices the Spirit of Ecstasy in this first film for the House of Rolls-Royce as she retells luxury’s most fascinating and enduring story. The premiere signals the beginning of a year of celebrations for the House of Rolls-Royce as it prepares, once again, to reset the standard by which all other luxury goods are judged with the arrival of the New Rolls-Royce Phantom later in the year. This landmark moment will also herald the beginning of the second chapter of the remarkable story of Rolls-Royce since its renaissance began in 2003 at the marque’s centre of luxury excellence in Goodwood, West Sussex.

“The Spirit of Ecstasy has stood on the prow of every Rolls-Royce since 1911, representing ‘the best’ of everything, whilst silently guiding through life those exceptional people who have made our world turn. This is a story that inspires greatness and needs to be told,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Our world-wide search for the perfect voice of the Spirit of Ecstasy led us back to West Sussex, England, where both Kate Winslet and Rolls-Royce, two British icons reside. Kate Winslet brings her great talent to this role.”

The Premiere: Episode 1 – ‘The Spirit of Ecstasy’

The first episode of The House of Rolls-Royce series, ‘The Spirit of Ecstasy’, retells the story of the muse that has guided and inspired the world’s most celebrated luxury house for the past 105 years.

Since her creation in 1911, the Spirit of Ecstasy, modelled by sculptor and artist Charles Sykes, has silently guided every Rolls-Royce and its prestigious owner through momentous events in their lives and the lives of others. She has stood as an elegant presence and witness at some of history’s most notable events.
Since her creation in 1911, the Spirit of Ecstasy, modelled by sculptor and artist Charles Sykes, has silently guided every Rolls-Royce and its prestigious owner through momentous events in their lives and the lives of others. She has stood as an elegant presence and witness at some of history’s most notable events.

The story begins in the milieu of Belle Époque London, where artists and inventors, scientists and engineers, aristocrats and bohemians collaborate and compete in the white heat of early 20th Century creativity. Fittingly, this time very much echoes the path of today’s Rolls-Royce patrons, visionary men and women who take risks and boldly innovate to achieve their success.

The film opens when Rolls-Royce has been in business since 1904 and has spent several years ‘taking the best that exists and making it better’ for its wealthy and discerning clientele.

Relentless in their quest to create ‘the Best Car in the World’, driven by an ethereal muse, Rolls and Royce go out into the world to test, to perfect and to secure the fundamentals of this great brand that endure to this day: an unparalleled combination of pace, elegance, engineering, comfort and handcraftsmanship.

Only when this perfection is secured does the resulting Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost merit the muse’s approval; an approval that comes in the shape of the iconic ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’. This ecstatic status of perfection finally allows it to carry the ‘Flying Lady’ on its prow, a fact that has endured for every Rolls-Royce since, and will do into the future. A muse that leads the dreamers, visionaries, innovators and those leaders who make our world turn.