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The Queen Reportedly Had a Secret Documentary About Her Family Locked in the BBC Vaults


Details of an intimate royal documentary hidden in the archives for nearly 50 years have been revealed. The two-hour film, titled Royal Family, originally aired on the BBC and ITV in 1969. It was watched by around 37 million people, The Express reported. 

A candid insight into the lives of the royal family, cameras followed the royals around for 18 months. Scenes included breakfast time at Buckingham Palace, as well as the queen’s visits to Chile and Brazil. At the time of its release, the public was shocked to see the queen partake in everyday activities such as storing food in Tupperware containers.

Subsequently, the queen allegedly called the documentary intrusive and asked for the show and the 38 hours of unedited footage, to be locked into BBC vaults and never broadcast again. “I never liked the idea of Royal Family. The attention which had been brought upon one ever since one was a child, you just didn’t need any more,” Princess Anne once said.

While the documentary has never been shown in full, a selection of clips have been released over the years. For instance, The National Portrait Gallery played an extract of the queen having breakfast with Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace at their exhibition celebrating her Diamond Jubilee in 2011.

“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,” the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition curator, Paul Moorhouse, said at the time.

“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,” he added.

This article was originally written by Elizabeth Bennett. For more, check out our sister, site, Grazia.

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