A queen in the age of television

Wherever the Queen went on official duties, a television camera followed.

he was rarely in public without a goal pointed in his direction.

close


The Queen filmed meeting broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald (Tim Ockenden/PA)

Pennsylvania

The Queen filmed meeting broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald (Tim Ockenden/PA)

Yet she failed to live up to the cameras and simply saw them as part and parcel of her role.

During her long reign, however, she occasionally allowed behind-the-scenes film crews into her home.

Here’s a look at some of the most insightful TV documentaries about the Queen.

– 1969 – Royal Family

It was the first real look into the private lives of the Queen and her children.

The 1969 BBC documentary Royal Family was groundbreaking and offered a unique insight into his world away from his public duties.

In the Swinging Sixties, the royal family was seen as increasingly remote and foreign to most people’s daily lives.

The documentary, shot in color, was a public relations campaign to showcase their “ordinary” side.

The Queen and her family were shown enjoying a picnic at Balmoral, where a kilted Duke of Edinburgh cooked sausages on a barbecue.

close

She and the Queen in Frogmore Park, Windsor, during filming of the program (PA)


She and the Queen in Frogmore Park, Windsor, during filming of the program (PA)

Pennsylvania

She and the Queen in Frogmore Park, Windsor, during filming of the program (PA)

They decorated a Christmas tree together and Charles went fishing.

It was directed by Richard Cawston and followed the monarchy for a year.

The queen, relaxed, discussed with her family around a table her encounter with someone who looked like a gorilla.

I had the hardest time keeping a straight faceThe Queen

“I had the most appalling difficulty in keeping a straight face,” admitted the Queen.

It was watched by millions and set a precedent in terms of what the public knew about the family’s private life, but not everyone was a fan.

The Princess Royal later admitted her dislike of the programme.

I never liked the idea of ​​the movie about the royal family. I always thought it was a bad ideaThe Princess Royal

“I never liked the idea of ​​the movie about the royal family. I always thought it was a bad idea,” Anne said.

“The attention that had been paid to someone since we were children, we didn’t want it anymore. The last thing you needed was better access.

The footage has never been released in full since and was reportedly removed from use at the Queen’s request.

Yet this inevitably paved the way for demand for more.

– 1992 – Elizabeth R.

In 1992, the documentary Elizabeth R marked the 40th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

Filmed again by the BBC, it was also compiled from a year of footage and showed the Queen at work and playing.

It highlighted her strong sense of duty and she insisted her role was a “lifetime job”.

Speaking of the death of her father, King George VI, aged 52, the Queen candidly said: “In a way I had no apprenticeship, my father died much too young. It was all a very sudden kind of taking on and doing the best job you could.

“It’s about maturing into something that you’ve grown used to and accepting the fact that you’re here and it’s your destiny, because I think continuity is very important. It’s a job for life. “

She said, “If you live that kind of life, which people don’t live a lot, you live a lot by tradition and by continuity.”

The Queen added: “I think that’s what the younger members find difficult – the regimented side.”

Pictured ‘packing her boxes’ – the state newspapers which over the years have given her unique insight into confidential government business – she admitted she was grateful to be a fast reader.

Although I rather regret some of the hours I have to do instead of being outsideThe Queen

“Although I rather regret some of the hours I have to put in instead of being outside,” she said.

She added: “Most people have a job and then they go home. In this existence, work and life go on together because you can’t really divide them.

The documentary, directed by Edward Mirzoeff, included a voiceover commentary from the Queen herself.

They unload or they tell me what’s going on or if they have problemsThe Queen on her PMs

Of Prime Ministers, she remarked: “They offload or they tell me what’s going on or if they have any issues… once in a while you may be able to give your point of view, which they may not have seen from that angle.”

But the film also helped reveal her sense of fun, which people had rarely seen before.

The Queen was shown as a witty woman who liked to use the comedic pause.

A royal correspondent went on to describe her as “one of the great unknown comedians in the country”.

When told on a trip to the United States that she would knight Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf, the Queen absentmindedly practiced the procedure with a letter opener.

He only knows two English words (pause). Those are some pretty interesting words…The Queen on Polish President Lech Walesa

Speaking to Anne about Lech Walesa during the Polish President’s state visit to Windsor Castle, she said: “He only knows two words of English (pause). Those are some pretty interesting words…”

In a clip, chatting with then US Secretary of State James Baker and former Prime Minister Edward Heath about Baghdad, she agreed it was a city Mr Baker would not have been able to visit during the Gulf War.

“I’ve been there,” Mr Heath said.

“I know you did, but you’re useless now,” the Queen said with a laugh.

Mr Mirzoeff then summed up his view of the Queen.

“The austere look you see in public is very deceptive. She can look bored, just the opposite is true,” he said.

“Of course, like everyone, she has her moods; it is bright on some days, a little sharper on others.

In the Royal Box at the Epsom Derby, the Queen was filmed joking with the Queen Mother, addressing her as ‘mum’ and enthusiastically winning £16 in a Royal Box raffle .

Over the years, the Queen has watched her family air their dirty laundry on television, from Charles Dimbleby’s interview to Diana’s shock Panorama appearance, to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Oprah bombshell .

The Duke of York has resigned from his public duties after his disastrous appearance on Newsnight about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

– 2007 – Monarchy: the royal family at work

In 2007, Monarchy: The Royal Family At Work – a free-flying BBC documentary in which a film crew spent a year with the Queen as she prepared for her 80th birthday and a visit to the United States – generated a storm of controversy.

This led to what became known as “Crowngate” and ended with the resignation of BBC One Controller Peter Fincham.

I don’t change anything. I’m tired of dressing like this, thank you very muchThe Queen in the 2007 documentary

A trailer shown during a press release was misleadingly edited by production company RDF to make it look like the Queen had stormed a photoshoot with American photographer Annie Leibovitz.

During filming, Miss Leibovitz asked the Queen to remove her ‘crown’ – effectively a tiara – for a ‘less dressed’ photo. The Queen, dressed in a ceremonial dress, retorts: “Less dressed? In your opinion, what is it?

close

The Queen's reaction to BBC One's A Year With The Queen program during her photoshoot with Annie Leibovitz (BBC One/PA)


The Queen’s reaction to BBC One’s A Year With The Queen program during her photoshoot with Annie Leibovitz (BBC One/PA)

Pennsylvania

The Queen’s reaction to BBC One’s A Year With The Queen during her photoshoot with Annie Leibovitz (BBC One/PA)

The trailer then cut to the queen who apparently walked away with an official, saying, “I’m not changing anything. I’m tired of dressing like that, thank you very much.

But the footage was actually filmed as the Queen made her way to the shoot.

It was Mr Fincham who told reporters in a press release that the documentary would show the Queen leaving in anger.

Within hours he had discovered the story was wrong, but only corrected it the next morning, although this happened in consultation with the Buckingham Palace press office.

An independent investigation was launched and the company was criticized for its catalog of “misjudgments, poor practices and inefficient systems”.

Stephen Lambert, boss of RDF, also resigned.

The series finally aired in late 2007, with the offending footage used but placed in the correct order.

– 2018 – The Coronation

In a 2018 BBC documentary about the coronation with broadcaster Alistair Bruce, the Queen delighted viewers by manhandling the Imperial State Crown as she grabbed it and pulled it forward, saying: “C what do I do when I wear it.”

The outspoken Queen described the procession to the abbey on coronation day as “awful” because of the uncomfortable coach, and made curt comments about the jewels hidden secretly in a biscuit tin during the war.

– The Queen’s cameraman

The Queen has been filmed at all of her official engagements in the UK, usually by the same favorite royal pool cameraman, Peter Wilkinson, whom she loved.

close

Royal cameraman Peter Wilkinson to the Queen at a reception (PA)


Royal cameraman Peter Wilkinson to the Queen at a reception (PA)

Pennsylvania

Royal cameraman Peter Wilkinson to the Queen at a reception (PA)

Mr Wilkinson was appointed a Member of the Victorian Order (MVO) by the Queen for his services to the Royal Household.

She was once filmed by Mr Wilkinson, who worked for ITN, at a garden party, describing how Chinese officials had been ‘very rude to the ambassador’ during a state visit.

Comments are closed.