Elizabeth Windsor (2022) Movie Script

On my 21st birthday
I welcome the opportunity
to speak to all the peoples
of the British Commonwealth
and Empire
wherever they live
whatever race they come from
and whatever
language they speak.
This is a happy day for me
but it is also one that brings
serious thoughts.
Thoughts of life looming ahead
with all its challenges
and with all its opportunity.
At such a time
it is a great help to know
that there are multitudes
of friends all round the world
who are thinking of me,
and who wish me well.
If we all go forward together
with an unwavering faith
a high courage,
and a quiet heart...
we shall be able to make of this
ancient Commonwealth
which we all love so dearly
an even grander thing.
To accomplish that,
we must give nothing less
than the whole of ourselves.
There is a motto
which has been borne
by many of my ancestors
a noble motto.
"I serve."
I should like to make
that dedication now.
But I shall not have strength
to carry out
this resolution alone
unless you join in it with me.
God help me
to make good my vow
and God bless all of you
who are willing to share in it.
When Princess Elizabeth is born
there is no concept
within her family
that she will ever
one day become monarch.
That's just not the way
it was planned for her.
Her father is the "spare"
not the heir.
The succession is with
the glamorous Prince of Wales,
her uncle...
and she will spend her life
as a charming royal accessory.
[JANE RIDLEY]: I think there was
almost a deliberate attempt
not to spoil her
and that she shouldn't be,
you know
living in a gilded cage.
Her parents are very insistent
that this little girl's life
should be fun.
Elizabeth is four years old
when her sister
Margaret is born.
Her father loved the idea
that he wasn't destined
to be King...
and that he could enjoy
with his wife
and these two little daughters
a family life.
The Duke of York would
play with them every day.
Play hide and seek,
play games outside.
There'd be morning silliness,
throwing pillows, giggling.
It was a very loving household,
and a very loving upbringing.
There are whispers in the family
that things are not going well.
Elizabeth's dynamic,
attractive uncle
the new Edward VIII...
he's picked up yet another
of these divorcees
American, in fact, divorcees.
This one is called
Mrs Wallis Simpson.
Her husband is still
not just alive
but married to her!
And he insists on parading her
as his partner.
My opinion of the King?
He should marry
who he loves.
He's been a good chap
to the working class.
That's my opinion of him.
[MAN 2]:
The King is a man like myself
but he should not
allow his private life
to interfere
with his public life.
[MAN 3]:
Apart from the fact
that she isn't of noble blood
Mrs Simpson has twice been
in the divorce courts.
To my mind, that completely
rules her out
as Queen of England.
In the eyes of '30s
Godfearing, church-going
Britain, he's a sinner.
Here is the supreme governor
of the Church of England
and he's clearly in breach
of the teachings
of the Church of England
and that's just...
That's not on in the '30s.
[LACEY]: Edward VIII has to
choose between love or duty.
Confronted by the dilemma
of wanting to stay
with the woman he loves
or giving up the throne
for which he's trained
all his life
which is his destiny.
A few hours ago
I discharged my last duty
as King and Emperor.
I have found it impossible
to discharge my duties
as King without the help
and support
of the woman I love.
[NIKKHAH]: The abdication had
an enormously profound impact
both on the nation
and the monarchy.
It rocked both.
This was the first time
in British history
that any King had abdicated.
Elizabeth experiences this
through the pain
of her parents.
[RIDLEY]: It was something
that her father
really didn't want.
He really didn't want
to become King.
When he realises
that it's going to happen
he goes and sees his rather
formidable mother, Queen Mary
and he cries on her shoulder
for half an hour.
What Elizabeth's uncle,
the King, had done
was allow love to take priority
over duty.
He'd done something
in Elizabeth's view
which was really immoral.
This all matures her.
It gives her this gravitas,
this weight
that marks
her entire life after that.
The eyes of the world
were focused on London
as George VI rode
to Westminster Abbey
to be crowned King of England.
[RIDLEY]: It was really
important to have a king
who could restore
some of the things
that the monarchy had lost
as a result of the abdication.
I here present unto you
King George,
your undoubted King.
God save the King!
God save the King!
God save the King!
As she sees the crown
land on her father's head
she knew that this lay ahead
for her as well.
This girl,
not yet in her teens
is now an heir to the throne...
and experiencing the radiation
of affection, adoration
curiosity from all those
hundreds of thousands of people
out there.
This is going to be
her future life.
Then came the war.
The King had a sad
and weary task to perform.
Wherever his people suffered,
he came.
And by his presence,
brought comfort
and assurance in their ordeal.
on Buckingham Palace.
Here, Buckingham Palace
and the swimming pool
of the little princesses
are shambles.
[HARDMAN]: The King's
actually in Buckingham Place
with the Queen, and they see
these bombs start to land.
They see two bombs come
right down below their window
and they make a dash
for the door
and as he writes, you know,
he's just amazed
that they weren't both killed.
The immediate effect of the war
for Elizabeth
is the same in one sense
as so many other
young people living in London.
They are evacuated.
They spent most of their time
at Royal Lodge in Windsor Park.
I think they were educated
with a governess
and I don't think they went
to London very much at all.
[LACEY]: It's a great
opportunity for her, personally
to move beyond
the school room.
To actually do
something serious.
Princess in overalls.
On her 19th birthday
the heiress presumptive
to England's throne
learns a few facts
about tyres and carburettors.
Elizabeth joined up
with something called the ATS.
The Auxiliary
Territorial Service.
[LADY MUIR]: Well, it was
part of the war effort
and also part of learning,
I think, you know.
Learning about
the insides of motorcars.
Now, visited by her parents
and sister Margaret Rose
at a training station
in Southern England
she shows them
she knows a fan belt
from a spark plug, alright
and isn't afraid
to get her hands dirty.
And it also provides
the first evidence
of any rift with her father
because her father, the King,
wants to keep her at home...
and there was a tiff
a disagreement between them.
That really does tell us
something about her character
about her really strong
sense of duty.
If she knows, or believes
that something
she wants to do is right
she will do it,
she has great determination.
[LACEY]: Right at
the beginning of the war
she's introduced
to young Philip Mountbatten.
She met him
and really liked him
when she was 13
that day at Dartmouth
Royal Naval College.
He's a Naval cadet,
and he really impresses her.
As the Royal Yacht leaves
at the end of the day
he's in a little rowing boat
following it,
and there's a group of them
but he's the last to follow it,
and the King says
"You're a damn fool,
what's it..."
But he makes a very
powerful impression on her.
She's kind of starstruck by him
because he's different,
and he's quirky and he's fun.
And he's incredibly dashing
and very good looking
so she's completely
bowled over by him
and it's an instant thing.
When he is, you know,
away at sea
there's a correspondence,
there are letters
and there are letters exchanged
between the two of them.
It is this wonderful...
most old-fashioned courtship
that starts with
a very strong friendship
and develops.
Once the war was over
they begin to see
each other quite a lot.
And Elizabeth decides
that she wants to marry Philip.
George VI certainly
and the Queen Mother
have reservations about
this young man's rather
imperious, dashing manner.
The whole question of who
Elizabeth is going to marry
is not simple.
I mean, yes, it's supposed
to involve love
but also as the family
has just seen
too much love can cause
a lot of trouble.
[KERR]: It was very significant,
the South African tour.
It was actually the first time
that she'd left the country...
and it wasn't really a holiday,
but it was three months away
and it was a very significant
period in her life.
[LACEY]: She seems to become
a different person on this ship.
There's the liberation, somehow
that comes from wartime Britain
her palace life...
But it's also her debut
her "coming out", if you like,
as a public person.
[ELIZABETH]: You have
a tremendous heritage.
A big country
waiting to be developed.
I now have great pleasure
in declaring
the Princess Elizabeth
Graving Dock open.
[KERR]: The tour takes her
from the rather shy girl
to the "beginning to be
confident" woman
and seeing that
she has got an opportunity
to make a difference.
[LACEY]: Here now, officially,
she sits down
and she makes her personal
and public declaration
of what lies ahead for her.
I declare before you all
that my whole life
whether it be long or short
shall be devoted
to your service
and to the service
of our great imperial family
to which we all belong.
[LACEY]: We know she had
help with the speech
but we also know that it was
very much her own words.
[NIKKHAH]: It sets out
Elizabeth's personal manifesto
for life, and her sense
of duty...
and she talks about
"Whether my life
be long or short
it will be devoted
to your service"
and she's addressing
her subjects
not just in England
but around the Commonwealth.
But I shall not have strength
to carry out
this resolution alone
unless you join in it with me
as I now invite you to do.
I know that your support
will be unfailingly given.
God help me
to make good my vow
and God bless all of you
who are willing to share in it.
What is extraordinary
is that she meant it
and we know from having
watched her
over many, many, many years
that's she's carried out
those duties
absolutely to the word
to the letter of the word
that she spoke
when she was merely 21.
It's a very, very early age
to assume such
a heavy responsibility.
[LACEY]: If one's looking for
some explanation
of Elizabeth's success
at this extraordinary job
it is the sense that
she ultimately doesn't matter.
She only takes her significance
and meaning
from what she can do
for other people
and for the institution.
And she makes this speech
dedicating herself
to what her life will become.
[LACEY]: Elizabeth's
engagement to Philip
in defiance of
her father's wish
shows her growing maturity
but also an element
of headstrongness.
Here is the future...
and it is based on love.
It is based on her wish
to establish this union.
[REPORTER]: In the great
Abbey of Westminster
Elizabeth married
the man of her choice.
[REPORTER 2]: In the proud words
of King George
"Our daughter has married
the man she loves."
[REPORTER 3]: And how
they cheered the happy pair
when they come out
onto the balcony.
What a wonderful picture
the princess made.
[LACEY]: She becomes
the Lady Di of her age.
They are a very glamorous
almost Hollywood-esque
There's this sense of future.
What's going to happen
and she and Philip
get on with it straight away.
[REPORTER]: It has been
announced officially
from Buckingham Palace
during the past hour
that Her Royal Highness,
the Princess Elizabeth
Duchess of Edinburgh
was safely delivered
of a prince
at 9:14pm today.
She wastes no time
in producing two children.
The first very conveniently,
and properly
a son and heir, Prince Charles.
Almost immediately afterwards
a little sister, Princess Anne.
And the plan is,
as we understand it
they would go on
having more children
and enjoying
their family life.
And then fate intervenes.
It is with the greatest sorrow
that we make
the following announcement.
It was announced
from Sandringham
at 10:45 today,
February 6th 1952
that the King who retired
to rest last night
in his usual health
passed peacefully away
in his sleep
early this morning.
Elizabeth was in Kenya
when her father George VI died.
She was shocked,
because when she'd left
he seemed to be making
a recovery
from a serious operation
he'd had some months before.
Her response was
the response you might
expect of a Queen.
As one district officer
in Kenya said
she was ice cold.
She showed no emotion.
She said,
"We must tell Australia."
That is to say we must cancel
the trip to Australia
which was
their ultimate destination.
Her response
was matter of fact
very cool
but inside, she was really
holding back her emotions.
[REPORTER]: The flag is low
as the news spreads.
The King is dead.
The King, our King,
is no more with us.
In our hearts,
we feel this cannot be.
I remember, I was 11
I was at school in London.
The headmaster went
round all the classrooms
at the school I was at
and he told each classroom
that the King had died
and as a mark of respect,
off we go home.
As the news began
to trickle out...
people were actually
physically crying in the street.
When she arrives back in England
for the first time as Queen
the first person she's
greeted by is Winston Churchill.
A country welcoming
a young Queen
in a massively alpha-male
world in the 1950s.
It just underlines
the loneliness at the top,
if you like.
She's a 25-year-old
mother of two
and she's just heard
that her father's died...
who suddenly has
the burden of expectation
of the whole world
on her shoulders.
Through the London streets
where so often the eager crowds
had cheered
the procession
wends its silent way.
This is London's
day of mourning.
[LACEY]: All the weight is now
on her shoulders.
It's the end of an era
and now she has to give
her own stamp
to a new era.
The morning
of Tuesday June 2nd
the morning
of Coronation Day.
A new day dawns.
Slowly, the first rays
of chill light
creep across the face
of the royal city
lighting upon thousands
huddled along the route.
A cold, damp morning
but in their hearts, there is
a warmth beyond description.
From the farthest
corners of the world
they have come to see
the first lady of our nation
journey in rich majesty
to her crowning.
Elizabeth becoming Queen
has a sort of uplifting effect
on the country.
I mean, it's the beginning
of the end of rationing.
It's the beginning
of the end of the legacy
of the Second World War.
Britain is no longer
feeling quite so poor
and unhappy
and Elizabeth seems to embody
all the sort of new hope
of a new Elizabethan reign.
The first coronation
to be televised.
For lots of people, the first
time they ever saw television
or bought a television.
[ARBITER]: On the day
of the coronation
I watched it all on television
and it wasn't colour television
it was black
and white television.
You had to have
the curtains drawn
because if they were open,
a chink of light would get in
and it would destroy
the picture.
Sitting on my dining room chair
looking at the television
with a dozen neighbours
who'd all crammed
into that room.
It was a day-long enterprise
with sandwiches,
and bottles of pop and things.
I here present unto you
Queen Elizabeth
your undoubted Queen.
Wherefore all you
who are come this day
to do your homage and service
are you willing
to do the same?
God save Queen Elizabeth!
Is Your Majesty
willing to take the oath?
I am willing.
[ARCHBISHOP]: Will you solemnly
promise and swear
to govern the peoples
of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland?
I solemnly promise, so to do.
God save the Queen!
God save the Queen!
God save the Queen!
I was one of the Queen's
maids of honour
on Coronation Day.
She was fantastically calm.
She outwardly
was treating it just as
a great occasion
but didn't appear
to be nervous at all.
And when we got out
of Westminster Abbey
we were all formed up,
sort of behind her.
I mean, she just said,
"Ready, girls?"
And off we went.
The roar of the crowd
it was incredibly joyous
and it was the most ghastly day.
It was half raining
and very cold.
Even then, the crowds
were absolutely enormous.
It was amazing.
It was very, very special.
[LACEY]: The coronation
would actually mark
a fresh beginning for Britain.
It's the transition
in terms of the decade
between the age of austerity
and the swinging '60s.
Suddenly, it is glamour.
[ELIZABETH]: As this day
draws to its close
I know that my abiding
memory of it
will be not only the solemnity
and beauty of the ceremony
but the inspiration
of your loyalty and affection.
I thank you all
from a full heart.
God bless you all.
[LACEY]: The focus of it
is Elizabeth.
The hand raised.
That little baby in the pram
has now progressed
to the Queen
and now, the hand...
wreaks magic
across the whole world.
[NIKKHAH]: I think when
Elizabeth becomes Queen
the role of mother
to the nation
supersedes that
of being mother to her children.
The demands on her time,
and the expectation
of that role
are overwhelming.
[REPORTER]: ... Hamilton,
Elizabeth II and her husband
the Duke of Edinburgh,
greeted by Bermuda's governor.
Jamaica, the largest island
in the British West Indies.
[ELIZABETH]: Standing
at last on Australian soil
I want to tell you all
how much I look forward
to my journey
through Australia.
Just about their first job
that they take on
is to go off round the world
to present themselves
to the ending empire
and the new Commonwealth
and they leave
their children at home.
They circumnavigate the globe
in five months without
leaving British territory.
She becomes the most travelled
monarch in history.
[REPORTER]: They have travelled
4,500 miles by land
10,000 miles by air...
[SIR MCDONALD]: It must be
a very tiring business
having to go round the world,
greeting people
but she regards it
as part of her duty.
I'm glad too
to be able to thank once again
our hosts all around the globe
for the way in which they made
our visits to them
so enthralling and so agreeable.
[LACEY]: Young Charles
and Anne remain at home
in the care of nannies
so that when the Queen
and her husband come home...
there's this poignant scene
where Prince Charles almost
seems not to recognise
who is this lady, appearing.
[RIDLEY]: There is a gap between
Elizabeth's first two children
who are born
before she becomes Queen
and then the third
and fourth children
who are born later
in the '60s.
[REPORTER]: What would you like
the baby to be?
[BOY]: A boy!
- [REPORTER]: Why?
So I can hear
the 21 guns going off.
[WOMAN]: I've been here
this morning since 10 o'clock.
And how long are
you going to wait now?
Oh, I'll wait till about
5 o'clock, I think
till it gets too dark.
[WOMAN 2]: Well, I thought
it'd be very interesting
to be here when the news
was announced
that the Queen had had a child.
[REPORTER]: Queen Elizabeth
and Prince Philip
proudly introduced
Prince Andrew.
[REPORTER]: It's Her Majesty's
appearance on the balcony
with three-month-old
Prince Edward in her arms.
The birth of Andrew
and Edward in the 1960s
tells us of the importance
she attaches
to having children
and to trying to create
a family life.
And we can see there
in these years
the duality, the conflict.
She wants to be together,
she wants a family life
but at the same time,
duty has to intervene.
And so the themes
that are going to develop
through her reign...
it's the conflict
between duty and love
which of course, she's seen
in very dramatic terms
in the abdication
are now going to play out
in her own life
in different ways.
[REPORTER]: An elegantly
dressed Princess Margaret
goes dancing in London.
The 25-year-old princess
is gay and animated
as she and her partner,
Charles Smith-Ryland
perform an accomplished foxtrot
even in the midst of
such a crush of dancers.
[MORTON]: During the 1950s,
there were two people
who were
on magazine covers.
Elizabeth Taylor
and Princess Margaret.
She was the most
glamorous member
of the Royal Family in decades.
She would be photographed
going to nightclubs
to restaurants...
so she was the first,
as it were
"paparazzi princess".
[REPORTER]: Excitement bubbles
like champagne in London
as Group Captain
Peter Townsend returns
from diplomatic duties
in Belgium
to call on Princess Margaret.
Another, possibly
a climatic phase
opens in the much-publicised
royal romance
that's had
the Western world agog.
All the world loves a lover
and there's nothing
like a happy ending
to a royal love story
for national rapture.
[MORTON]: Elizabeth, within the
first few months of her reign
was on the horns
of a dilemma.
Margaret came to see her
and explained
that she was in love
with a divorcee
Group Captain Peter Townsend.
Now, the Queen
liked Peter Townsend.
He was a decent man,
but he was a divorcee
at a time when
the Church of England
did not allow divorce.
[LADY MUIR]: I knew
Princess Margaret very well.
We were contemporaries.
She wanted to marry
Peter Townsend.
I mean, they were
very much in love.
He was a very attractive man.
I mean, I sat next to him
at dinner a number of times
and he was absolutely charming
and I could absolutely see
why she fell in love with him.
Elizabeth is acutely divided
over this situation.
It's a dilemma.
She wants to help her sister.
She wants her sister
to be happy
but as head of
the Church of England
her duty is in conflict
with this.
And her solution is, really,
to sort of wait
and to hope that
if they delay the marriage
don't get engaged
then perhaps
the whole thing will fizzle out.
[MORTON]: She hoped that
he would find somebody else
and that her sister,
who'd fallen in love
effectively with the first man
she'd set eyes on
when she was 16
would start to look elsewhere.
[LADY MUIR]: It was very sad
that she didn't marry him.
Times have changed now
but in those days,
I mean, you...
you didn't marry
a divorced person
and that was it.
[RIDLEY]: For Elizabeth,
who was devoted to Margaret
this was a huge relief.
It meant she didn't
have to follow her duty
and forbid the relationship.
Much as she loved her sister
duty always comes first.
[REPORTER]: The first stop
on this royal tour
is, tonight, giving the Queen
a big welcome
but never before have plans
for a royal tour
been subjected to such anxious
last-minute scrutiny
since last weekend,
when bombs exploded
near the route marked out
for the royal drive
the whole question
of the Queen's safety
has been searchingly
We must attain control
of our own economic
and political destinies.
We ask for complete
independence at the earliest
practicable moment.
I am an African nationalist,
wanting my people
to have their own
just like any other country.
The first Elizabethan age
saw the creation
of the British Empire
and the expansion
of the nation.
The second Elizabethan age
the new Elizabeth steps
into a diminishing nation
no longer top dog in the world.
Freedom, freedom!
there will be freedom
Freedom for you,
freedom for me
there will be freedom
Freedom, freedom!
[KERR]: Britain's royal world
changes dramatically.
Things begin to look difficult
for the empire.
It begins to be unsustainable.
[LACEY]: Countries in Africa
want their freedom.
They see India
go independent in 1947.
They don't want this
top-down relationship
with some remote European
power which is exploiting them.
They want to create
their own destiny.
Many monarchies
come crumbling down
with their empires.
Who knows what lies ahead
and her choices
are going to be very important.
In the wide association
which is the Commonwealth
we must all try to cultivate
the virtues
of tolerance and understanding.
To recognise
each other's qualities
and to respect
each other's feelings.
[KERR]: Obviously,
there's a lot of negativity
in empire, certainly when
we look at it historically
and there's an implication
of one race
being better than other races.
So, Elizabeth,
through her leadership
she had to turn Britain's back
on those ideas
and create this new idea
of equality
embodied in the Commonwealth.
[LACEY]: And in these years,
dozens of countries
go from being colonies
to independent members
of the United Nations.
But Britain has a Queen
a glamorous figure
to which many countries feel
they want to remain attached
to remain members
of this curious family
the British Commonwealth.
In this modern age
the strength and unity
of the Commonwealth family
does not lie in common ancestry
nor in pursuing
the same political line.
It springs from the knowledge
that we all share
a lively concern
for individual freedom
and all the machinery
which makes this possible.
[KERR]: She doesn't think
that she has a right
to be Queen
of any of these countries.
She believes
in multi-racialism.
I think, interestingly,
as a black person growing up
she was probably
the only public figure
that I regularly saw
with other black people
and she seemed to treat them
in a position of equality.
I think it makes her a very
modern, contemporary figure.
Almost ahead of her times.
She works very, very hard
at knowing what goes on
in those countries
about their current
and they always feel that
they have a friend at court
and that means
an enormous amount to them.
She is the glue that holds
all these countries together.
[LACEY]: Britain is rather
an empty concept
in some ways, in the 1970s.
It's lost its empire.
What can it turn to?
From very early on, the '70s
become this period of
great turmoil.
Britain starts
to not quite fall apart
but it's a very troubled place.
[REPORTER]: It seemed like
a sure formula for trouble
a major National Front march,
and at the same spot
a left-wing rally
with one object
to oppose the Front.
Despite a massive
police presence
the trouble came
almost immediately.
[LACEY]: Britain in the 1970s
was a succession of crises.
Absolute confrontation
between certain sections
of the population
and the government.
[REPORTER]: Every day,
new rubbish is added
to already decaying piles
almost twice as fast
as the troops can cope.
[REPORTER 2]: Squares as
famous as Leicester Square
had been transformed
into special dumps.
The unions versus
the Conservative government
of Edward Heath
becomes the sort of
dominant story
of the early '70s.
You know, the economy
is getting progressively worse.
Industrial unrest is
breaking out all over the place.
[MAN]: What do we need?
- More pay!
When do we want it?
- Now!
The UK was not
a happy country to be in
and people needed something
to be able to
let their hair down.
The government decided
yes, there would be
a celebration
for the Silver Jubilee
but a lot of money
wouldn't be spent on it
cos it would be
the wrong thing to do.
At this moment,
of my Silver Jubilee
I want to thank
all those in Britain
and the Commonwealth
who, through their loyalty
and friendship
have given me strength
and encouragement
during these last 25 years.
The Queen did travel
to Australia, New Zealand
and the Pacific Islands
and to Canada
and to the West Indies...
and I think she did
something like 36 counties
in the United Kingdom
travelling something like
7,000 miles.
So, she did her duty.
People turned up in their tens
of thousands to see her.
When I was 21
I pledged my life to the service
of our people.
Although that vow was made
in my salad days,
when I was green in judgement
I do not regret
nor retract one word of it.
People always want something
to be proud of,
something to cheer them up
in a crisis.
The Jubilee, for people,
it represents a moment
to come together
and be proud of being British.
It's an excuse for a party.
It's one of the rare moments
of a sort of national unity
after several years
of national discord.
Is there any possibility
of any announcement
of your marriage
in the near future,
can you tell me?
Prince Charles' wifey!
Can you tell me if there's
any possibility?
I'm not going to say
anything, I'm afraid.
Oh, sorry!
- Prince Charles did give us
a hint himself.
He said we wouldn't
have to wait too long.
In the early days
the Queen's relationship
with Diana was very good.
I mean, she welcomed
Diana into the fold.
As she and Prince Philip
used to say
"She's one of us,"
and she was.
The Queen felt that
she was a great addition
to the family,
and she liked the fact
that she was boisterous, fun
someone who could jolt
Prince Charles
out of his melancholic state.
We want Di!
We want Di!
We want Di!
Diana, Princess of Wales
was just something so new
for the Royal Family.
A young, fresh
approach to life
obviously able to communicate
and get on very easily
with people.
[REPORTER]: Lady Diana Spencer
is soon to become
Her Royal Highness,
the Princess of Wales.
In the earlier stages
they seemed like the most
glamorous couple in the world.
[REPORTER]: What about the
proposal, Your Royal Highness?
How did that come about?
Um... Well, I...
I asked Diana
before she went to Australia.
You actually said...
[DIANA]: Yes, quite promptly.
Hello, good morning.
Well, the big day has arrived.
Britain and the world
will celebrate
the wedding of the Prince
and Princess of Wales.
It was generally seen
that this was an ideal way
to modernise the Royal Family,
to have a couple
who could seem
much more part
of the modern age, if you like.
The Queen is obviously still
very much in charge.
She's still very well-regarded
hugely respected
and admired
but in terms of public interest
the sort of tectonic plates
have shifted.
People want to know
all they can about this
the most glamorous
young couple on Earth.
The Queen did go through
difficult years
when I was there.
I don't think it was my fault
and it wasn't her fault either.
I think the one that really
does come to mind is 1992.
We knew that there was
a book coming out
but there'd been so many books
about the Royal Family.
Some of them fairly bland
some of them sensational
some of them sort of
blue-sky thinking
sort of looking up and thinking,
"Well, what can I make up now?"
And there I was,
reading in black and white
stuff that could have
only come from her.
It couldn't have come
from anybody else.
And Diana phoned me
at about half past four
five o'clock that morning
"What do I do?" she said,
in a panic.
I said, "Ma'am,
you've already done it."
In 1991, '92, Diana felt
very much a prisoner
of the palace.
She felt that she was isolated.
She felt that she was
She felt that her husband
was effectively
living with another man's wife,
Camilla Parker Bowles.
She just felt
that she was living a lie
and she wanted
to tell the truth.
We wouldn't have published
this story if it wasn't true
and hundreds of journalists
around the world
have spent the last week
trying to find
some flaw in this story.
It is an accurate story.
It's a true account.
The people at the centre of it
have stood by their stories.
I stand resolutely behind them.
The story was effectively
one which those inside
the Royal Family knew about.
They were aware
that Prince Charles was seeing
another man's wife.
They were aware
that Diana had suffered
from an eating disorder,
bulimia nervosa.
They couldn't believe
that something
which had been
kept behind closed doors
was now out in the public.
[ARBITER]: The Queen
was, at first, angry.
Prince Philip was very angry.
One of the overriding qualities
that the Queen has shown
during her long reign
has been a sense of duty
a profound sense of duty.
And she expected her son
to adhere to that
and she did feel
that with Charles and Diana
that they should make
a genuine attempt
to make the marriage work
because it was so damaging
to the House of Windsor
and to the monarchy.
[REPORTER]: Backbench MPs
have called it a savage attack
on the personal lives
of the Royal Family.
To anyone watching
the sheer number of press
surrounding members
of the Royal Family
there might be an impression
of a monarchy under siege.
[CHARLES ANSON]: The family
troubles and the separations
and divorces and various other
sort of gossipy stories
did have an impact on people's
perception of the family.
This looked like the monarchy
was on its way out.
That year was a year
of endless surprises
and nothing was more surprising
when on that Friday morning
on a perfectly normal
Friday morning
one of my team
came in and said...
there's a small fire at Windsor
and this is looking
very serious.
The fire is spreading
very quickly.
[KERR]: I've known Windsor
Castle since I was a little boy
since I was brought up
very close
so that was really, really
So, to see that building
I'd known and loved all my life
massively in flames
and the flames rising
hundreds of feet...
I'll never forget that sight.
She was out there
and was able, of course,
to see all that was going on.
[ARBITER]: The Queen had
lived there during the war.
Five years during the war,
it really was home from home.
She had first gone to Windsor
when her grandfather was there,
George V.
So it played a very pivotal role
in her life
and to see this
centuries-old castle go up
was very emotional, it was
very emotional for everybody.
[ANSON]: And of course,
we all said how sorry
we were about it,
and the Queen...
just looked up
and smiled and said
"At least we saved the pictures"
which was a typical...
majestic understatement
of what had been
a very troubling day.
That speech at the Guildhall
in 1992 was at quite
an emotional moment.
It had been
a difficult year already
and then the fire
at Windsor on the Friday...
She'd had a very, very
difficult sort of three days
quite emotionally draining.
It made for quite an emotional
moment for the Queen.
1992 is not a year
on which I shall look back
with undiluted pleasure.
In the words of one of my more
sympathetic correspondents
it has turned out to be
an annus horribilis.
But the crack in the voice
the smoke in her lungs
and in her speech
was sort of evident
and made it feel as if the Queen
was almost on the edge of tears.
I sometimes wonder
how future generations
will judge the events
of this tumultuous year.
I daresay that history
would take
a slightly more moderate view
than that of some
contemporary commentators.
There can be no doubt,
of course
that criticism
is good for people
and institutions
that are part of public life
and that scrutiny,
by one part of another
can be just as effective
if it is made with
a touch of gentleness
good humour and understanding.
[ANSON]: This was not
a self-pitying speech.
It was a speech
about standards in public life
the standing of our institutions
in a modern society
and the fact
that it was healthier
that there was criticism
and, you know, the monarchy
needed to examine itself
just as did other parts of it.
[REPORTER]: It was the Queen
voicing her own thoughts
under pressure to defend
her institution and her family.
[ELIZABETH]: Mr President,
I am delighted to welcome you
to Buckingham Palace
on this,
the first state visit to Britain
by a president of South Africa
and thus to underline once more
the close friendship
between our two countries.
Meanwhile, the princess
last seen with Prince Charles
in public at Eton
she has apparently yet to reply
to the letter from the Queen
urging an early divorce.
According to friends,
she's determined
there will be no divorce
until her future status
is assured.
Let's just remind people
who are just joining us
of why we're on the air.
We have reports from Paris
that Diana Princess of Wales
has been killed
in a car accident.
The silence from Balmoral
was deafening.
I think everybody
was looking for leadership
and for comfort.
[REPORTER]: Nicholas Owen,
our royal correspondent
is with me in the studio.
This is an occasion when frankly
words are not adequate at all.
The most...
I would say almost
the most loved member
of the Royal Family...
I went down there
and I began to hear
the whispers of criticism
of the Queen.
She looked uncaring.
She looked uncaring.
There was a danger
of the monarchy
getting into serious disrepute.
People might really turn
against the Queen herself.
[ARBITER]: There were
all sorts of headlines.
"Your people need you, ma'am."
Well, there were two people
who needed her more
William and Harry.
To her, it was important
that her grandsons
came out of this OK.
The Queen stayed at Balmoral
to be a granny, and not Queen.
First time she has
put family above duty.
The Queen's flight is expected
to arrive at Northolt
any minute now.
She'll then make her way
to Buckingham Palace
to prepare for her live
broadcast to the nation
at six o'clock tonight.
The Queen seemed off-balance.
There was almost a sort of
revolutionary atmosphere.
There was this anger
in the streets.
Coming back to London
with the attack from the media
in the back of your mind.
"Is this going to be OK?"
[KERR]: Outside the gates
of Buckingham Palace
there's this tumult
of flowers and bouquets
and silent people.
Were they going to be angry?
[ARBITER]: There was
a bit of apprehension
as to what sort of reception
there would be.
think I'd ever seen an image
of the Queen outside
Buckingham Palace on foot
but it was an indication
of the depth of feeling,
I think...
that she should at some stage
all those people who expressed
such great sorrow
about the passing of Diana.
They looked at floral tributes.
They put flowers down
for mourners.
They talked to mourners.
When she came out,
she kind of looked at me
for a bit of reassurance,
I suppose
and I just said,
"That was fine, Your Majesty"
because it was fine.
Since last Sunday's
dreadful news
we have seen throughout Britain
and around the world
an overwhelming
expression of sadness
at Diana's death.
The line I always remember
the line that always
came out to me was
"as your Queen
and a grandmother."
So, what I say to you now
as your Queen
and as a grandmother
I say from my heart.
Head of the nation,
head of state
and also somebody
who was absolutely deeply
personally touched
by what had happened
and it was absolutely
the key moment, I think
the key moment to turn
public opinion round.
[ELIZABETH]: First, I want
to pay tribute to Diana myself.
I admired and respected her
for her energy
and commitment to others
and especially for her devotion
to her two boys.
I share in your determination
to cherish her memory.
Thank God for someone
who made many, many
people happy.
Suddenly, people thought
"Oh, gosh, yeah. This is
a tragedy for her as well."
And sympathy switched
very much
towards the Queen at that point.
And the Queen standing there
in front of the gate
of Buckingham Palace.
A sight that no one
has seen before
because it hasn't
happened before.
As the gun carriage went past
the Queen bowed.
The Queen doesn't normally bow.
She was showing
a mark of respect
that only she could've done.
I think that's the closest
we're ever going to come
to knowing
what the Queen thinks
how the Queen feels.
[KERR]: There was a breach
between the British people
and their monarchy
that week.
But the Queen...
through powerful
personal leadership
healed the breach.
And yet again,
she connected very powerfully
at this moment of crisis.
The newspapers were saying
that there was virtually
no interest whatsoever
in the Golden Jubilee.
And this showed how much
the public were simply
not interested
in the monarchy
and the Royal Family.
And certainly less interested
five years after
the tragic death of
Princess Diana.
[LACEY]: As Elizabeth
approaches her Jubilee
her own life
has been challenged
by the death in short order
of her mother
and her sister Margaret
both of them incredibly
strong figures
with whom she spent
all her life to date.
There was a sort of sense
that the Jubilee was going
to be a very low-key occasion.
But in fact, it turned out
that the public wanted
to celebrate
both the Queen
as well as where Britain was,
and what it stood for.
down the Mall on that day
you could see nothing
but people.
Crowds of over a million.
The same scale of
public acclaim
as after the end of
the Second World War.
You know, on VE Day.
And as the Queen
and Prince Philip
came through Admiralty Arch...
...the rush of air of people...
gasping, "There is the Queen"
was massive.
It was literally the rushing
of a mighty wind down the Mall.
The Queen very rarely
looks surprised
after 50 years of her reign
but she looked quite startled
that there was this much
sort of public acclamation.
Often, her look
is a very serious one
but when she breaks
into a smile
it is such a big smile.
It's a smile that welcomes
It was an enormous success
despite all the discussions
about whether
the days of monarchy
are coming to an end.
People wanted to come out
and show their respect
their regard for the job
that she's done so well
over so many years.
[LACEY]: William's marriage
is very important
to his grandmother.
After these years
of marital disharmony
suddenly here is a classic
young royal romance.
Kate Middleton seems
the ideal future successor.
People already at this stage
are talking of her
as a future Elizabeth II...
which will lead,
everybody hopes
to seeing the monarchy clear
into future decades
maybe even
to the end of the century.
[NIKKHAH]: When Harry
gets married to Meghan
the feeling from the public
is overwhelmingly joyful.
The crowds are all behind them
the press is all behind them.
There is a feeling
that the future is
interesting and diverse
and modern.
Breaking news tonight.
The Duke and Duchess
of Sussex have announced
that they are carving out
what they call a "new role"
for themselves.
[LACEY]: Certainly the way ahead
which seemed so clear
for the Royal Family,
these two brothers
and their beautiful wives
moving forward
into a new generation,
goes sour.
[NIKKHAH]: I think
Harry and Meghan's decision
to leave the Royal Family
is a huge source
of disappointment
to the Queen.
She does say
"We would much rather
they had remained
working members
of the Royal Family."
And that's from
the Queen herself
so you get
a strong insight there
into what she wanted.
She understands
how difficult things
have been for them
and so while it's a source
of great regret
and disappointment to her
this is her grandson, she's
not going to hold him back.
Then suddenly
the Queen is faced
with, effectively
a second abdication.
A couple going off into exile...
and it's this curious echo
of her early years.
It's an unresolved issue.
She moves ahead.
Harry and Meghan
go to live in America
but it...
it's something that sours
these later years of her reign.
[REPORTER]: We are
breaking into programmes
to bring you an announcement
from the Royal Household.
Buckingham Palace
has announced the death
of His Royal Highness
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
who has passed away
at the age of 99.
[BORIS JOHNSON]: Prince Philip
earned the affection
of generations here
in the United Kingdom
across the Commonwealth
and around the world.
[OFFICER]: Fire! Fire!
- Fire!
With no relatives beside her
suddenly a widow,
having to face the future
without the man
whose laughter and ideas
and companionship
has always kept her going.
Without her mother
without her sister...
no confidantes, really.
That image of her
at her husband's funeral
physically on her own
it's something
that's haunting, somehow
and stands for everything
in these final years,
which is difficult.
Let me begin
by saying thank you
to all the thousands
of kind people
who have sent me
messages of goodwill.
At such a time
it is a great help to know
that there are multitudes
of friends
all round the world
who are thinking of me
and who wish me well.
There is a motto
which has been borne
by many of my ancestors.
A noble motto.
"I serve."
I declare before you all
that my whole life
whether it be long or short
shall be devoted
to your service
and to the service
of our great imperial family
to which we all belong.
But I shall not have strength
to carry out
this resolution alone
unless you join in it with me...
...as I now invite you to do.
I know that your support
will be unfailingly given.
God help me
to make good my vow
and God bless all of you
who are willing to share in it.