Queen Elizabeth II’s private home films, shot by members of the royal family, will be broadcast for the first time on the eve of the official platinum anniversary celebrations.
Buckingham Palace and the BBC have teamed up in a 75-minute documentary called Elizabeth: The Invisible Queenfull of cadres of the monarch, who turned 96 this year.
Private home films have been hidden in British Film Institute repositories for decades, but the Queen has given the BBC unprecedented access to her young years.
These fragments of her life cover everything from the fact that her mother pushed her in a stroller as a child to the coronation at the age of just 27 in 1953.
The home video was recorded by her parents, Prince Philip and other members of the royal family.
BBC Studios has produced a documentary in which more than 400 videos have been viewed.
The final product is an intimate look at the life of the Queen, including the radiant Princess Elizabeth, who shows the camera her wedding ring before the news was announced.
Other rare moments include her grandfather George V, or “grandfather of England,” as Elizabeth called him, who sailed with the Queen Mother from the Isle of Wight in 1931, and the “poignant” glimpse of the royal family in Balmaral in 1951.
On the eve of the documentary’s premiere in late May, the producers released three never-before-seen images of young Princess Elizabeth taken from the documentary.
The directors also listened to more than 300 speeches by the Queen, spanning eight decades, so the documentary could rely heavily on Elizabeth’s own voice and words rather than on interviews and storytelling.
“The production team had no illusions about how special access to this personal archive was,” said Claire Popwell, creative director of BBC Studios Events Production.
“The opportunity to draw on the self-recorded story of young Princess Elizabeth and her extended family – and allow the Queen to tell us her own story – is the very heart of this film.”
Celebrates 70 years on the throne
The documentary is a good way to start the official celebrations of the Platinum Anniversary, a special four-day weekend (June 2 to 5), full of events.
The party begins with Trooping the Color, the Queen’s official birthday parade, which features the iconic balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The parade is usually held on the second Saturday in June, but this year’s extravaganza was postponed to June 2 to mark the start of the long weekend.
The palace has confirmed that Elizabeth will appear on the balcony along with members of the royal family who are “currently performing official public duties” on behalf of the Queen.
That means neither Prince Andrew nor Prince Harry and Megan, Duchess of Sussex.
On June 3, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London will host a Thanksgiving service during the Queen’s reign.
On June 4, members of the royal family will take part in the Derby at Epsom Downs and then at the Platinum Party at Buckingham Palace.
The grand finale of the “Platinum Jubilee Contest” will take place on June 5.
It will feature and will feature several British icons from music, film, sports and the arts, including Ed Sheeran.
The competition is attended by more than 10,000 people, including the military, more than 6,000 volunteers, performers and key workers, as well as 2,500 members of the general public.
Elizabeth, who has experienced mobility problems in recent months, plans to attend some of the anniversary events, but the palace said her appearance will not be confirmed until a date closer to the weekend.
Elizabeth: The Invisible Queen The premiere will take place in the UK on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on 29 May