As Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her diamond jubilee, The Diamond Queen takes an intimate look at her life and reign through the eyes of Prince William and other Royal Family members. The documentary closely follows The Queen’s working engagements around the world for the period of more than a year and a half.
In the first episode, with remarkable archival footage, the documentary tells the childhood story of the young girl who never expected to reign. It looks closely at the influence of her grandfather, father and mother and the impact of the abdication. And it hears from Princes William and Harry, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie about what it must have been like to become queen at the age of 25 and about the remarkable skills The Queen has acquired in 60 years of walkabouts, state visits and receptions.
Queen in Abu Dhabi
The documentary looks closely at the unique relationship between the Head of State and her Government. The Queen has seen 12 Prime Ministers in her reign and The Diamond Queen looks at the special relationships she has had with them, hearing from David Cameron, Tony Blair and Sir John Major. This episode also examines the Queen's role as head of state, and follows her to the Middle East and the USA to assess the global impact of the royal family on British trade and international relations.
Even as a child, Princess Elizabeth was not an ordinary young girl. For her sixth birthday Princess Elizabeth was given a grand Wendy house by the people of Wales. It has recently been restored and viewers are given a tour of this unique building by The Queen’s granddaughter Princess Beatrice.
Episode 2 examines Queen Elizabeth's role in modernizing the monarchy, including her influence on William and Kate's wedding, from the guest list to Will's uniform. Interviews with Princes William and Harry reveal how the Queen objected to Prince William’s choice of what to wear on his wedding day, and won.
The Diamond Queen presents a Monarch who has adapted to change, whether it’s by “re-inventing tradition” (opening Buckingham Palace, making ceaseless public appearances) or by simply bowing to the inevitable and paying tax. And it highlights the Queen’s care and respect for what she does and for the people she encounters while doing it.
Prince Andrew looks back at the challenges faced by the monarchy in the 'annus horribilis' of 1992 and follows the Queen on her groundbreaking visit to the Republic of Ireland last May. The documentary also looks back on the happy times Queen Elizabeth spent on the Royal Yacht Britannia and the sadness she so visibly exhibited when it was decommissioned.
BBC host Andrew Marr
Episode 3 examines the defining moments of the Queen Elizabeth's reign, beginning with her accession to the throne and her coronation in 1952 and how she has coped with decades of sometimes tense media relations.
The documentary looks backwards and forwards at royal Jubilees and charts her trip to Australia to look at what some see as her most enduring achievement, the Commonwealth. And, for the first time, all of the Queen's adult grandchildren have their say about 'The Diamond Queen.'
The Diamond Queen is a BBC production, presented by Andrew Marr; Director and Series producer, Sally Norris; Executive Producer Nick Vaughan-Barratt.
Presented and written by
Archive and thanks to
British Film Institute
Mary Evans Picture Library
Royal Mail Group 1936 & 2012
The Bank of England
The British Postal Museum & Archive
The Palace of Westminster
The Parliamentary Archives
The Royal Collection
The Royal Mint
Series Producer & Director
© BBC MMXII