Queen Elizabeth at her desk in 1985. Picture: Joan Williams via National Geographic
Queen Elizabeth at her desk in 1985. Picture: Joan Williams via National Geographic

'Being The Queen' - a sweeping doccy on Queen Elizabeth II on Nat Geo

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Oct 13, 2020

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National Geographic get behind-the-scenes of the longest reigning queen in world history in their sweeping documentary, “Being The Queen”.

Providing a captivating window into the extremely private life of Queen Elizabeth II, the film focuses on important moments when the hidden side of the House of Windsor collides with the public life of the monarchy.

Told through an incredible array of archival material, viewers will be immersed in Her Majesty’s life and feel as though they, too, are members of her inner circle with unique access into her life.

Airing globally in 172 countries and 43 languages, the film is executive produced and directed by acclaimed Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Tom Jennings, who delivers his signature style of first-person storytelling to create a gripping account of the Queen’s personal life.

“I have gained exclusive access to untapped archives while piecing together the complete story of Queen Elizabeth II, which is most often underscored by love and marriage — from abdication, Princess Margaret, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince William and Harry,” said Jennings

He said viewers can witness the personal moments as The Queen leads her people through pivotal, historic occasions and have a clear picture of the Monarch’s many fortunes and the struggles that shook her dynasty.

“Being The Queen” sifts through thousands of rare photographs and hundreds of hours of footage to showcase a treasure trove of intimate, rare and never-before-seen or heard accounts of Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne and puts viewers in the room during some of the most important and trying events of British monarchy history. The film utilises archival sources from around the world, such as British Movietone, Reuters, the BBC, ITN and ITV, and includes:

Never-before-heard interviews — Located deep in the US Library of Congress, newly digitized unused interviews from Deborah Hart Strober and Gerald S. Strober’s 2002 biography, The Monarchy, are for the first time broadcast in “Being The Queen“.

Interviews are with friends, confidantes, private secretaries and politicians who witnessed the Queen’s historic reign from the inside.

Unheard audio — In never-before-heard audio recordings from biographer Anne de Courcy’s files, viewers can hear Princess Margaret’s husband, Lord Snowden (Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones), describe his visit to the Welsh mining town of Aberfan following the 1966 disaster that killed 116 children and 28 adults.

Never-before-seen home movies — For the first time, viewers witness the Queen’s visit to Aberfan after the horrific disaster, which was filmed by local resident Harry Breeze.

Rare radio broadcasts — From the archives of the BBC, extremely rare broadcasts include the announcement of King George VI’s death and live broadcasts from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Rare photographs — From the archives of the Evening Standard, with original grease pencil markings, before they had been cropped for printing, this collection of photographs includes a rare candid photo of Princess Margaret riding horses with fiancé Peter Townsend.

The twosome was rarely photographed together in any intimate or informal setting.

Watch “Being The Queen” on National Geographic on Sunday, November 15 at 9pm.

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