Queen Elizabeth actually exposed the British royal family in a one-off reality show. That show forever changed the way we view the monarchy.
Her Majesty has been on the throne since February 6, 1952.
In that time, the monarchy’s position within British society has changed dramatically. And now, it is almost unrecognisable to how it was seen in the 1950’s.
Overseeing the modernisation.
Alongside Prince Philip, she oversaw modernisation that thrust the Crown into the twentieth century. Her decision to welcome TV cameras in the 1960’s was a major step in that direction.
Richard Cawston’s BBC documentary team followed the royal family for 18 months as they went about their day-to-day lives. Their activities ranged from Philip grilling sausages to the Queen working.
It was originally broadcast on June 21, 1969. It was the year Charles was invested as Prince of Wales, to rave reviews and major audiences in the U.S. and in the U.K.
However, the documentary was regarded as intrusive.
It was also regarded as so revealing that it had to be withdrawn for over 45 years. And it has been locked away at Queen Elizabeth’s command in the BBC vaults.
The premise of the documentary was for the public. It was so that the public get an idea of what life in the modern royal court of 1969 was like.
Cameras followed the Royal Family around for a whole year.
They shot more than 40 hours of film in Sandringham, Balmoral, Buckingham Palace, Windsor and Holyrood. Princess Anne notoriously hated the documentary. She later said:-
“I never liked the idea of ‘Royal Family’. To me, it was a rotten idea. The attention which had been brought upon one ever since one was a child, you just didn’t need any more”.
Some were horrified to discover intimate details which showed the Queen following trends of every day people.
It is understood that some of the personal aspects that horrified viewers at the time, would be seen as trivial today. Her Majesty and her advisers then realised that being too normal was as dangerous as being too different.