She may have been on the throne for 70 years and alive for 96- but The Queen’s private life is something that’s considered mysterious by most people. However, a new BBC documentary aims to shed some light on it- with the express permission of Her Majesty herself.
Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen will do away with interviews and talking heads, and instead collect together a huge array of personal footage and materials belonging to the Queen, taken from the previously private Royal Collection within the vaults of the British Film Institute.
The film, which is 75 minutes long, will air next week on Sunday 29th May, as a part of the ongoing celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The BBC and the BFI are drawing from over 400 reels of film from the collection, with newsreels not stored elsewhere and behind the scenes footage of state events. As you might expect, the level of access is unprecedented in British royal history.
The BBC and the BFI are drawing from over 400 reels of film...
It’s not just newsreel footage though- the documentary will also feature home footage, with the Queen channelling her inner Hitchcock and filming parts of herself, along with Prince Phillip and her parents. As you might expect, the Queen hasn’t had much time to be a film auteur as monarch, so almost all of the footage dates from when she was still Princess Elizabeth. Her father George VI, Prince George Duke of Kent, Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother all make appearances.
Almost all of the footage dates from when she was still Princess Elizabeth...
There’ll also be footage of her as a baby being pushed in a pram, her engagement to Prince Phillip, and her coronation in 1953 aged 27. Claire Popperwell, a creative director at BBC Studios, commented on the documentary that “Being able to draw upon the self-recorded history of a young Princess Elizabeth and her wider family – and allowing the Queen to tell us her own story – is the very heart of this film.”
The Unseen Queen will be worth seeing for its historical significance...
Even if you’re not the most avid royal watcher in the world, The Unseen Queen will be worth seeing for its historical significance. A similar documentary The Queen at 90 was aired in 2016, though this new one is set to be more expansive and revealing. You’ll be able to see for yourself when it airs 29th May.
ELIZABETH: THE UNSEEN QUEEN AIRS ON BBC ONE AND WILL BE AVAILABLE ON IPLAYER ON SUNDAY 29TH MAY. YOU CAN WATCH THE TRAILER HERE