Royal news: Queen documentary ordered by Philip was BANNED as it ‘threatened the family’

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Royal news: Queen documentary ordered by Philip was BANNED as it ‘threatened the family’

The Queen had to personally step in to block a Royal Family documentary commissioned by her husband, Prince Philip, from ever seeing the light of day again, after she found it was threatening the Royals.

In 1969 BBC and ITV aired a film which followed the Royal Family around for an entire year Image Channel 4
In 1969 BBC and ITV aired a film which followed the Royal Family around for an entire year Image Channel 4

In 1969, BBC and ITV aired a film, which followed the Royal Family around for an entire year and included scenes of breakfast time inside Buckingham Palace as well as the Queen’s visits to Chile and Brazil.

The two-hour documentary was an idea of Prince Philip as, at the time, the Duke of Edinburgh felt the Royal Family would see their public image improve if they were seen as being more modern, dynamic and informal.

According to experts, the film triumph completed the transformation of Prince Philip from downtrodden outsider to the Windsors’ driving force as he stood for “radical change” in a very conservative household.

However, the Duke did not foresee that kind of publicity was to have a sting in the tail and that those intimate glimpses would feed a hunger for more and more Royal revelations.

The film included scenes of breakfast time in Buckingham Palace as well as intimate moments Image Channel 4
The film included scenes of breakfast time in Buckingham Palace as well as intimate moments Image Channel 4

Historian Dr Dominic Sandbrook, explained: “From that moment they become fair game for the tabloids in a way they have never been before.”

Dr Pierse Morgan, another British writer and historian added that with that documentary, the Royal Family “had opened the Pandora’s box” and therefore “opened themselves up for criticism.”

He claimed: “You might well date the emergence for much more critical press to the showing of that film.”

Not long after its release, the Queen decided the documentary was too intrusive and it is said she ordered the film to be locked into BBC vaults, never to be seen in its entirety again.

Those intimate glimpses fed a hunger for more and more Royal revelations Image Channel 4
Those intimate glimpses fed a hunger for more and more Royal revelations Image Channel 4

Princess Anne also notoriously hated the documentary, later saying: “I never liked the idea of ‘Royal Family’, I thought 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.”

The documentary may have been withdrawn from the public, but short clips have emerged in recent years.

In 2011, the Queen granted permission for the National Portrait Gallery to play a small extract as part of an exhibition celebrating her Diamond Jubilee at the National Portrait Gallery.

The 90 second clip shows the Queen sitting down to breakfast at Buckingham Palace with Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Anne and tell them an anecdote about a dignitary falling over in front of Queen Victoria.

And later that year additional clips were also shown as part of the BBC documentary The Duke at 90 in 2011, celebrating Prince Philip’s 90th birthday.

Paul Moorhouse, the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition curator at the time, said: “Legend has it that the Queen doesn’t want parts of it to be shown.

“Regrettably, the film hasn’t been seen for a long time. It just disappeared. There is a reluctance for this to be revisited.

“I wish we could show it in its entirety. It tells you a lot about family life.

“And it redefined the nation’s view of the Queen – the audience were amazed to be able to hear the Queen speaking spontaneously, and to see her in a domestic setting.”

SOURCE: EXPRESS CO UK