Inside Windsor Castle (2017) s01e04 Episode Script

Four Divorces and a Fire (1972-1992)

Narrator: Windsor--
the oldest and largest
continually inhabited castle
in the world.
For a thousand years,
it's been the symbol of
britain's royal dynasties.
For the queen, this is
a palace like no other.
Man: The windsor
castle is her home,
it is a family home as well,
and she feels very
comfortable there.
Narrator: 1,000 rooms,
hundreds of staff,
billions of dollars' worth of
paintings and fine furnishings,
5,000 acres of parkland.
Man: It's a great stage on
which the whole royal business
can be acted out.
Narrator: It's also
where the royal family
hides its secrets.
Woman: There are
documents and letters there
that I think probably
every historian
would give their eyeteeth for.
Narrator: It's been the
queen's home for 80 years.
We'll reveal what's
really happened
behind the castle's
imposing walls.

We travel from the early '70s
to the early '90s--
20 years which rocked
the castle to its foundations.
We discover how the
queen faced potential disaster
at her silver jubilee.
Man: There was real
panic in the royal household
as to whether or not
these things were going
to be celebrated in any way.
Narrator: Why the
windsor nursery
was the scene of
a historic proposal.
Man: He went down on one
knee, asked her to marry him,
and she kind of was
all flustered and said,
"oh, yes, please."
Narrator: How the
queen's children
led the house of windsor
to the brink of collapse.
Man: She was
appealing to her subjects,
please understand,
we are listening,
we will change.
Narrator: And we ask
what the future holds
for windsor castle today.

Windsor at the
start of the '70s.
It had been the
queen's own family home
for the past 20 years.
She had brought up
her four children there.
She'd balanced the demands
of her extraordinary job
with keeping her mother happy
and her husband out of trouble.
Kate Williams: The
queen's loved windsor
ever since she's
been a little girl.
The castle has so many
fond memories for her.
It's her childhood
of horses and dogs,
it's her family,
it's her parents,
and also it's the place, really,
where her romance with
prince Philip really began.
Narrator: And in 1972,
it was time to celebrate
that relationship.
The 20th of November was
the queen and prince Philip's
25th wedding anniversary.
There was a carriage
parade through London
to St. Paul's cathedral
and a state dinner.
And the whole royal clan was
asked to assemble at windsor
in the white drawing room
for a special photograph.
[Camera shutter clicking]

The image of a relaxed,
happy, and united family
would make the front pages of
newspapers around the world.
These family images were
vital to the house of windsor.
Williams: They're meant to
show that this is a royal family
who are happy,
contented, devoted to duty,
and devoted to each other.
Robert jobson: It's
seen as an important way
of projecting the
stability of monarchy.
It's a dangerous game,
and it relies upon those
people involved to stay together.
Otherwise you are
building yourself up
only to be knocked down.
Narrator: And over
the next 20 years,
this smiling family did
collapse in bitter divisions
as no less than four
marriages ended in scandal.
[Camera shutter clicking]
Windsor became home
to one of the unhappiest
families in britain,
as their secrets spilled out
from behind the castle walls.
The first deep
crack in the facade
came four years after the photo,
on the 22nd of February 1976.
As the queen settled
down to Sunday breakfast
with the papers,
she got a nasty shock.
Christopher Warwick: On the
front of the "news of the world"
here you had Princess Margaret
in her swimming costume,
and next to her--shock, horror--
was her toy boy,
this young man roddy llewellyn,
17 years younger, you know.
Narrator: The problem was
that Margaret was married.
She and photographer
Tony Armstrong-Jones
had been together for 16 years.
They had two children and
appeared to be a perfect couple.
But now the world
knew the truth.
The queen's sister
was having an affair.
Sarah Bradford: Yes, I suppose
that was rather
kind of juicy scandal,
all the pictures of
Princess Margaret
on the beach at
mustique with roddy.
Um, so this was
quite a new departure
for a royal Princess, wasn't it?
Anne de Courcy: That photograph
really precipitated everything.
It kind of was like the cork
being taken out of the bottle.
After that, there was
a flood of speculation.
Narrator: As soon
as Princess Margaret
returned from her vacation,
she headed straight for
windsor, to hide from the press.
But her marriage came
under intense scrutiny.
And there was plenty to uncover,
because behind the scenes,
the royal family knew
the relationship had
been in trouble for years.
From the start, Margaret
and Tony had battled.
Windsor castle itself had
been a source of friction.
Margaret wanted to
spend her weekends there,
as she had rooms at royal
lodge with the queen mum.
Tony preferred to get
away from the in-laws
by going to his own
cottage in Sussex.
De Courcy: Princess
Margaret, who loved royal lodge,
was very keen on
having a country house
in windsor great park,
and the queen actually
offered them a site at sunninghill.
The Princess didn't really
want to leave windsor.
It was, after all,
where she'd grown up,
she'd spent her childhood,
so this really soured
relations for quite a while.

Narrator: Throughout
their marriage,
Margaret spent lonely
weekends at windsor.
And she was often seen
out on the town alone.
Warwick: By this time,
my own view was
that Princess Margaret
was at her unhappiest.
I think she was
drinking too much
and just not a
happy lady at all.
Narrator: Her affair with
the 23-year-old roddy
was not the first
in her marriage.
But previously she'd
always been discreet
and got away with it.
Not this time.
Now her family at windsor
had to confront the
humiliating situation.
Warwick: On one occasion,
when the queen mother
was walking in the
garden at royal lodge,
one of her ladies in
waiting said that she thought
that divorce was really the only
answer for Margaret and Tony,
and the queen mother,
almost in horror, said,
"don't tell me that you
agree with divorce."
Jobson: Well, divorce in
the '70s was a big thing,
and, you know,
remember, at that time
divorcees weren't even allowed
in the royal enclosure at ascot.
In many ways, it starts
to burst the bubble
of the perfect family myth that
the monarchy like to portray.
Bradford: Divorce is
a very bad word, yes.
And to have your
sister divorcing is
It's uncomfortable.
Narrator: But Margaret
was determined,
and the queen had no
real choice but to agree.
In march 1976,
the separation was announced.
David Griffin: I was
with Princess Margaret
when the announcement
came out on the news.
It said, "now we're going
to announce the divorce
of Princess Margaret
and lord snowdon."
So I turned it off.
And she says, "no, no,
Griffin, turn it back on.
I want to see what
everyone's saying about me."
So I turned the radio back on.
Trying to be discreet,
but it didn't work.
Lord snowdon: I'm, uh,
desperately sad, in every way,
that this had to happen.
Narrator: Two years later,
the first divorce
of a senior royal
since Henry viii's
annulment was finalized.
It couldn't have
come at a worse time.
The country was in the
grip of an economic crisis.
All through the '70s,
britain endured strikes,
and inflation
spiraled to over 20%.
As people struggled to get by,
Margaret's expensive lifestyle
was splashed all over the press.
But it wasn't just her.
The whole royal family
seemed to sail on,
untouched by the real world.
News announcer: Windsor's
old and venerable walls
form a backdrop to an
ancient English ceremony,
the conferring of the insignia
of the most noble
order of the garter.
Narrator: Events like
the antiquated and costly
annual garter parade at windsor
now seemed to represent
not colorful tradition,
but a family totally out
of step with the country.
Bradford: There was this sort
of feeling that there are these
We're paying for them. What for?
There was a much more
republican feeling then
than there is now.
Narrator: The days of
old-fashioned respect
for your elders and betters
were vanishing.
And providing a loud and
angry voice to this new mood
were punk bands
like the sex pistols.
Announcer: Punk rock,
the latest trend in pop music.
And it's music with a message
to be as nasty as possible
and denounce the establishment.
[Applause and cheering]
Narrator: But if 1977 was a
big year for the sex pistols,
it was an even bigger
year for the queen.
It was her silver jubilee.
She was scheduled to light
a massive beacon
at windsor castle
to kick off the lavish
nationwide celebrations.
Jobson: Prior to
those big celebrations,
there was real panic
in the royal household
as to whether or not
these things were going
to be celebrated in any way.
Bradford: I can remember
people ringing me up
from various
broadcasting companies
and saying, oh, this is
going to be a disaster, isn't it?
Narrator: With the threat
of disaster hanging over her,
the queen headed
a torchlight parade
up the long walk at windsor,
towards the beacon.
As she lit the fire,
the royal family could
only wait and hope.
News announcer:
This is a gala day
for young and old,
a once-in-a-lifetime
spectacle not to be missed.
[Crowd cheering]
Narrator: The public's
reaction to the jubilee
was a huge relief.
Bradford: And they turned
out to be completely wrong.
The queen had
wonderful walkabouts,
and her secretary said
the queen had a love
affair with the country,
and she did.
News announcer: The
simple but heartfelt affection
felt for the queen
is nowhere more evident
than on occasions like this.
Bradford: That's
extraordinary, isn't it?
I suppose they thought
that the queen was perhaps
the only thing there
was about to celebrate,
and let's all feel
we are British
and happy with it.
And none of your lefties,
thank you very much.
News announcer:
And for the lucky ones,
a memory that will
always be treasured.
Bradford: It was
quite moving, in a way.
Narrator: Britain, it seemed,
was not ready for revolution.
The queen and the windsors
were still firmly in business.
The family image was
tarnished, but still intact.
It was time to
look to the future.
The family needed
a new generation.
In 1978, the heir to the throne,
prince Charles, turned 30.
But far from dutifully settling
down to produce the next heir,
he was still single
And enjoying playing
the field at windsor.
Charles was a member
of windsor's exclusive
guards Polo club
at Smith's lawn,
known as much
for its social life
as for the game itself.
Lady Colin Campbell: It
was a place where everybody
would go to have fun.
You'd meet up and
you'd have lunch,
then you'd watch the
Polo, then you'd have tea,
and, uh, it was fun.
And sometimes go
on to drinks afterwards,
so it was really, I'd go
really for the partying.
I mean, people either met
at windsor or in Annabel's,
I mean, those were really
the places that everybody met.
I mean, it was virtually
unheard of to meet anybody
except at windsor
or in Annabel's.
I'm sorry, it's true.
[Camera shutter clicking]
Narrator: Charles was linked
with a constant stream of
girlfriends at Smith's lawn.
His racy love life
made great headlines,
but did nothing
to help secure the future.
By the summer of 1980,
the pressure was
beginning to show.
So, in June,
Charles, now 32,
invited a new
girlfriend to the castle.
She was just 18,
lively, and naive.
Her name?
Diana Spencer.
She was to become the most
famous woman in the world,
at the heart of the most
extraordinary royal story
of modern times.
Richard Kay: He
invited her to windsor,
she's bounding around,
full of enthusiasm,
excited about this new place,
and she bumps into a
couple of the queen's staff,
below-stair staff,
and she thrusts out her
hand, says, "hello, I'm Diana."
It was an illustration that
this was a young woman
who wasn't quite like
the normal frosty types
whom Charles had
been associating with
up to this point.
Narrator: But the
18-year-old Diana
did have a great
aristocratic pedigree
and no "history" on
or off the Polo pitch.
The royal family liked her,
and the nation was entranced.
She seemed a perfect match.
Reporter: Is there
any possibility
of any announcement of your
marriage in the near future?
Can you tell me?
Narrator: For six
months, the couple dated,
and the press speculated.
But there was no announcement.
Charles was hesitating.
Prince Philip could
bear it no longer.
He wrote to his son a
fatherly but blunt letter,
urging him to act.
Kay: Charles' reaction
was that his father was
forcing him to marry.
Friends of Philip,
in more recent times,
have suggested nothing
was further from his mind.
He wasn't forcing him to marry;
he was forcing him to make
up his mind whether to marry.
Narrator: Whatever the
advice, the letter worked.
On the 6th of February 1981,
Charles invited Diana
to windsor again.
He arranged to meet her
in an unusual, very
private location,
the place he'd known
best in his childhood
and perhaps still felt
most comfortable--
the castle nursery.
Andrew Morton: He
went down on one knee,
asked her to marry him,
and she kind of was
all flustered and said,
"oh, yes, please, ok."
And he went off upstairs and
told his mum, told the queen.
And in a way, it
was all very strange.
It was quite bloodless in a way.
There was no great emotion.
Narrator: As she
stood in the nursery,
Diana most likely understood
what would be expected of her.
Campbell: Anybody who's
going to be a queen of england
should actually understand
that the nursery is going to be
a very important
part in their life.
You know? It's
You're not being married
for your pretty smile alone.
You're being married
to pop out the babies.
That's the reality.
[Crowd cheers]
Narrator: Six months
later, on the 29th of July,
Charles and Diana got married
in a spectacular ceremony
at St. Paul's cathedral.
It was watched by
750 million people
around the world.
The house of windsor had
never been more popular.
And after the wedding, the
mood of optimism spread.

The following year,
the country emerged
victorious from the falklands war.
At the beginning
of the conflict,
the Americans had
refused to help the British
wage war on Argentina
and only reluctantly
pitched in later.
So, prime minister Margaret
Thatcher wanted to get
the special relationship
with the United States
back on track.
Only one place would do
to impress the most
powerful man in the world.
Windsor castle.
It had to be there
that the queen would host
the first full state visit ever
of an American president.
Her guest would
be Ronald Reagan.
Paul burrell: The
queen said to me,
he's coming to
stay for four days.
Look at them, look at
all those cars outside,
as we peeked out of
the oak room window.
She says, look at them.
They've come to
check out my castle,
to make sure it's
safe for the president.
Can you believe the cheek?
She said, "it's
safe enough for me.
Why isn't it safe
enough for him?"

Narrator: It had been
hard for the government
to persuade President
Reagan to visit.
And windsor castle
had been a crucial factor
in sealing the deal.
Jobson: Windsor castle
sends a real message
to other heads of
state coming here,
that this place has
stood solid as a rock
for many, many times
their country's existence.
Burrell: I think president
and Mrs. Reagan
must have thought they'd
walked onto a film set,
because windsor castle
is a fantastic location
on which to perform
at the highest level.
Narrator: Taking every
advantage of this fairy-tale setting,
the Americans had
arranged photo opportunities
for the president.
Burrell: One shot the
American administration wanted
was the president
of the United States,
the cowboy,
with the queen of england,
riding side by side into the
mist of windsor great park.
Narrator: But
Reagan wanted more--
an off-the-cuff press
conference with reporters.
It was a total breach
of royal protocol
because the queen never
answers direct questions
from journalists.
Journalist: How do
you like your horse?
Ronald Reagan: Beautiful.
Dickie arbiter: Ronald Reagan
edged his horse forward,
and the queen sort
of scowled a little bit,
turned her horse to ride off,
and Ronald Reagan said,
"well, no questions today,"
and he rode off as well.
Narrator: That evening,
in the lavish surroundings of
the castle's St. George's hall,
the queen was to host a
spectacular state banquet
for the president
and 160 top vips.

Every one of the
castle's 500 servants
had been working day and
night to get everything ready.
Brian hoey: There's the
yeomen of the cellars,
there's the yeomen
of the parlor.
Burrell: The footmen,
the under-butlers,
the wine butlers.
Hoey: The yeoman
of the crockery,
there's the yeoman
of the cutlery.
Burrell: The yeoman
of the glass pantry,
the yeoman of
the silver pantry
All of them coming
together in one place.
Hoey: They start preparing
it first thing in the morning
when they bring
out the long table.
They don't have
tablecloths, of course.
That's only middle class.
Then the palace steward
does actually measure
each place setting with a ruler
because he doesn't
want to get to the end
and find someone has fallen off.
Burrell: This performance
has to be perfect.
It's mind-boggling.
There's an army of
cutlery staring at you.
Hoey: 1,150 silver
knives, forks, and spoons.
Burrell: There's a regiment
of glasses looking at you.
Hoey: 630 crystal glasses.
You can do the math yourself.
Burrell: What do
you use for what?
Hoey: It's five
for each setting.
Burrell: Eating from
solid gold plates,
drinking out of George
III crystal goblets.
It's unbelievable.
It's downton on speed.

Narrator: The queen
put on the perfect show.
Prime minister Margaret
Thatcher and the whole royal family
were among the
guests that night.
Reagan: This place symbolizes
both tradition and renewal
as generation after
generation of your family
makes it their home.
We in america
share your excitement
about the impending
birth of a child
to the prince and
the Princess of wales.
We pray that god will
continue to bless your family
with health,
happiness, and wisdom.
Narrator: Windsor castle,
its staff, and its
sheer grandeur,
had once again done their job.

Windsor is full of
personal family traditions
as well as formal ones.
Back in the 1840s,
Victoria and Albert celebrated
Christmas at windsor,
creating scenes we now
think of as traditionally British.

And in 1982, with
an expanding family,
the queen decided to
revive the victorian tradition.
Christmas would
be spent at windsor
rather than sandringham.

And it was just as well.
The castle has plenty of room.
Burrell: We're not talking about
just someone coming
with a suitcase.
The queen mother used
to travel with pictures,
with oil paintings,
and would completely
refurnish one of her rooms.
And she has dogs, too,
so there are dogs
everywhere running amok.
The queen mother has two corgis,
the queen has
nine and a labrador.
Princess Margaret would
bring her dachshund, pipkin.
The place was a kennel.

Narrator: As the trees were
decorated at windsor that year,
it was like a
moment from history.
The queen's
great-great grandparents
had loved making windsor
into a winter wonderland
for their christmases.

Andrew Wilson: Prince
Albert, who was an aesthete
and liked everything
beautiful about him,
created these
perfect winter interiors
for the windsor Christmas.
There were Christmas
trees all over the room.
He even, in some years,
suspended Christmas
trees ablaze with candles
from the ceiling.
Narrator: Victoria and
Albert released pictures
of their festive celebrations.
They were hugely popular
and led to a nationwide
and lasting craze
for decorated trees.
But the pictures were about more
than just Christmas decorations.
The royal couple
exploited another craze--
to project a powerful image
to the country and the empire.
Williams: Victoria and Albert,
they were really
very early adopters
of all kinds of technology,
including photography.
So, Victoria uses photography
to promote the notion
of the monarchy that
she wants to purport,
which is modest, which
is thrifty, dressed down.

Narrator: Victoria released
these images to the press
to show there was a solid,
respectable royal family
living at windsor castle.
Williams: She and Albert create
this incredibly powerful image
of a simple, happy,
middle-class family
and are firm with all
their children around them.
And that was incredibly powerful
and incredibly successful
over victorian society,
and so powerful, that even now
that's exactly how the
royals show themselves.
Wilson: They were really
instruments of propaganda
to defend the monarchy
in an era of republicanism,
which was very popular, too.
Narrator: Nearly
150 years later,
it was queen Elizabeth
who was comfortable
at the head of her family.
Margaret's divorce
was forgotten,
and Charles, no
longer the playboy,
had married and
produced a son and heir.
The queen's traditional
weekend escape to windsor
could now be even more relaxing.

Burrell: Friday
afternoon after lunch,
I would pack the queen
and her nine corgis
into the back of
her little rover.
There were two corgis
in the window at the back,
two on the queen's knee,
two sat beside her,
and several in the well,
so the car was full of
canines and a queen.
Half an hour later,
she's in the countryside
with her dogs and her horses.
Narrator: The 5,000-acre
great park on her doorstep
has enabled the queen
to let horses dominate
her weekends at windsor.
It was there that
she learned to ride.
She was given her
first pony, Peggy,
when she was only 4 years old.
Bradford: She's always
loved horses and dogs.
She said she wanted to be a
farmer's wife when she grew up
so she could have horses,
keep horses and dogs.
Narrator: It's the freedom to be
with horses as much as anything
that's made windsor
her favorite home.
Mark hedges:
Almost her entire life,
from when she
was a very small girl,
she's found horses
to be a great solace
for the pressures
of state that she has,
and it has become an incredibly
important part of her life.
Burrell: We had a
saying at windsor castle:
Horses, dogs, husband, kids.
That's the way it goes
in the queen's world.
Narrator: The queen will
ride as much as possible
when she's at the castle.
Locals are used to seeing
her, even in her old age,
as she takes a gentle lap
around windsor great park
in her trademark headscarf.
Burrell: All she has to
do on a Saturday morning
is walk down a
little flight of stairs
through what we
call the dog door,
through her garden,
and she's at her stables.
Narrator: Windsor's stables
are huge and very private.
There's an indoor riding school
and room for over 100 horses.
But that is only half the story.
For many years,
the queen owned a large
racing stable near windsor.
She's still one of the country's
leading racehorse owners,
with horses worth an
estimated $4.5 million.

She even has her own racecourse
on the doorstep of the castle,
inside the windsor estate.
Reporter: Out in the sun
or in the shade of the
great trees of the paddock,
this was the perfect
ascot opening day;
almost up to the
standard of "my fair lady."
And like "my fair lady,"
there was, of
course, a lot of posing.
Narrator: The course at ascot
was built by queen Anne in 1711.
And every June,
royal ascot week is a
fixture in the queen's diary.
It's one of the top race
gatherings in the world.
Burrell: The queen
loves royal ascot week
because it's filled with horses.
And it's the time of the year
when she can actually
show off just a little bit
by presenting to the world
and the racing fraternity
the best that she has.
She loves it.
Kate green: It's a
very joyous occasion.
It's about dressing up,
it's about the color of it,
the colors are just
completely spectacular.
You have sunlight
dappling through the trees
onto this paddock
and looking down onto shiny,
beautifully polished top hats
and shiny, beautifully
polished horse flesh,
and millions of pounds' worth.
Narrator: The queen
never misses a race.
Her own horses have
won there 71 times.
Hedges: Perhaps the most famous
was when a horse called
estimate won the gold cup.
[Crowd applauds]
It was the first time, I think,
anyone had seen
the queen cheering
and getting deliriously
happy about an event.
It was a rather wonderful thing.
Suddenly, this enormously
sensible, reserved person
just let her emotions go.
Narrator: But it's not
just the queen's passions
that have been aroused at ascot.
In 1985, Princess Diana
invited her friend Sarah Ferguson
to the daily ascot lunch
hosted at windsor castle.
She found herself seated
next to prince Andrew.
Morton: During the first lunch,
Andrew and Fergie were
sat next to each other,
and lots of horseplay,
feeding each other from
each other's forks and spoons
and messing about
with bread rolls,
and she was kind of
like a bouncy labrador
who'd entered the royal family,
and prince Andrew was
very much enamored.
Narrator: Sarah
was very different
from prince Andrew's
previous dates.
Morton: He'd always
gone for blondes,
usually actresses,
uh, uh, usually quite glamorous.
Now, Fergie was none of those.
She was ginger-haired
and freckly andBut fun.
Narrator: Andrew's
colorful love life
had been something of an
embarrassment to the royals.
Kay: "Randy Andy"
he was known as.
I mean, you know,
once you get saddled
with a nickname like that,
then it's very hard.
Narrator: As a
bachelor in the '80s,
Andrew loved spending
time at windsor.
Just like Charles before him,
he brought back a
succession of girls to the castle.
In 1984, the 24-year-old Andrew
asked one of his model friends
to spend some quality
time in the park with him
and his camera.
She tastefully posed
her way around windsor,
and he proudly produced
his own calendar.
But even more controversial
was Andrew's relationship
with the American
actress koo stark,
who was revealed to be
the star of a soft porn film.
The press pounced on the story.
Reporter: Prince
Andrew had spent
most of his eight days' holiday
dodging fleet street reporters,
but overnight on the
plane from Barbados,
they'd caught up with him.
Narrator: Andrew quickly
parted company with koo.
But more girls
and lurid headlines
soon followed.
Siobhan mcfadyen: Other
people came to the fore.
There was Vicky hodge,
who he had a very
short-lived, sizzling affair with,
who came forward
to the newspapers
and did a kiss-and-tell,
which was
outrageous at the time.
And the queen was
undoubtedly horrified.
She wanted to step in
to stop Andrew from
embarrassing the family.
Narrator: So, when
Sarah Ferguson
came on the scene in 1985,
the royal family let
out a sigh of relief.
Sarah was already
known to the queen.
Her father was the royal
Polo manager at windsor.
Morton: They had all kinds
of friends and connections
in common,
so Fergie was very
much part of the furniture,
she was very acceptable.
And to that extent,
people thought, they're
made for each other.
Narrator: Fergie and
Andrew were married in 1986.
The queen wanted to
keep her favorite son nearby.
She gave the
couple a piece of land
to build a house at sunninghill,
on the windsor crown estate.
But the lavish wedding present
led to a whole new
set of critical headlines.
Mcfadyen: It was
5 million pounds,
16 rooms, 12 bedrooms.
It had a swimming pool,
a tennis court, stables.
It had everything that you
could possibly want and more.
But actually, in
terms of architecture,
people were
absolutely horrified.
It was a bit
trumpesque, if you like.
It was very extravagant,
and it shocked people.
Narrator: And Fergie,
now the duchess of York,
quickly forgot that royals
are expected to be discreet.
Mcfadyen: She
basically loved to spend.
She would have the
most extravagant holidays,
she would party.
She was known
as being excessive.
Sunninghill was probably
one of the biggest problems--
the upkeep of it,
the staff involved in
looking after the family.
The public was paying for
that, and it did not go down well.
Narrator: Far from
being a safe bet
to keep Andrew out of trouble,
Fergie herself was turning
into a headache for the queen.
But as the '80s drew to a close,
that was not her biggest worry.
Creeping out from
behind the castle walls
were rumors of a rift
between the heir to the throne
and his wife, Princess Diana.
In the 15 years since
the queen's silver jubilee,
the royal family was
riddled with scandal.
Yet despite Margaret's divorce
and the colorful love life
of the bachelor Princess,
the queen had somehow
clung to the image of herself
as the head of a
respectable first family.

But in the summer of
1992 at windsor castle,
this picture would
finally lose its gloss
and be consigned to history.
Reporter: The jet-set
had descended on windsor
to watch the match.
The prince preferred
to be chauffeur-driven
to the guards Polo
ground in his Aston Martin.
Narrator: The problem
was a secret royal liaison
that started on the
windsor Polo fields.
Charles had been
having an adulterous affair
with Camilla Parker
Bowles for years.
Camilla was married
to one of prince Charles'
regimental colleagues.
By the early '90s,
everyone inside the royal
circle knew what was going on,
even the queen.
Bradford: Of course,
there's that tradition
in the guards regiment
that you don't sleep
or have affairs with
the partners of
your fellow officers.
And this was getting to a stage
where one of the queen's
friends and courtiers
felt that she should be
aware of what was going on
and what the reaction was.
This courtier said
to her, more or less,
I think, ma'am, you
should be aware
that the prince of
wales is having an affair
with the wife of
Andrew Parker Bowles,
and the regiment don't like it.
And the queen looked down
and couldn't say anything.
Narrator: The queen
does not like confrontation.
She kept quiet,
even though she knew that
if the story became public,
the scandal could destroy
everything she'd
been taught to protect.
But in 1992,
it was Diana who decided
the world should know the truth.
On the 15th of June 1992,
the "Sunday times" released
the first shocking extracts
from the biography
Princess Diana
had collaborated covertly on.
Reporter: It's not
the photographs
that have stirred
the controversy,
but the claims by
her close friends
about the state of her marriage.
Narrator: Charles'
affair with Camilla
was revealed to the world.
The queen was
at windsor that day,
due to watch the
Polo at Smith's lawn.
She had a special guest,
and extraordinarily,
she stuck to her plans.
Kay: And the queen
attends a Polo match,
and who does she welcome there,
but Mrs. Camilla Parker Bowles--
now, of course, the
duchess of cornwall--
but at that time seen
as the other woman,
the third woman in the
marriage of Charles and Diana.
But there was the queen
extending the hand of
friendship towards her.

Morton: As far as the
royal family was concerned,
on the day of serialization
it was business at usual,
even though the camera crews
were in very close attendance,
but the queen was
just going to ignore it,
to ride above it,
never complain, never explain.
Kay: The royal
family's default position
when these sort of stories
and scandals emerged
was they're not true.
That was always their
start, their start line.
And if they weren't true,
then therefore we
can ignore them.
Therefore, we
carry on as normal.
Narrator: But this time
the queen would not be
able to rise above it all.
The facade of a
respectable happy family
was being ripped apart
as long-suppressed problems
flooded out into the open.
Princess Anne's 19-year marriage
had already ended in divorce.
At windsor, the queen
went to great lengths
to save prince Andrew's
marriage to Fergie,
which had also hit the rocks.
Mcfadyen: She requested
that they have a summit
at sunninghill park,
so the queen and
the Duke of Edinburgh
went to sunninghill.
She didn't understand
why they were just simply
throwing the relationship away.
The queen did everything
she could that afternoon
to persuade them that, you know,
maybe if they
just stuck in there,
that the children were young.
But nothing seemed to work.
Narrator: Any hope
of reconciliation
was finally dashed
later that year,
with the shocking revelation
of Fergie's toe-sucking affair
in the south of France.

The windsors had
disintegrated into a family split
by bitter divisions
and adultery.
It seemed things couldn't
get any worse for them,
but they did.
Reporter: It's clear that
what we're witnessing here
is a national tragedy.
The flames still
rising from the turrets,
smoke as thick as ever.
The battle for control
still far from over.
A whole royal
treasure house at risk.

Narrator: In November 1992,
windsor castle, the
queen's childhood home,
went up in flames.

The queen arrived at
the castle that afternoon
to find huge parts of
her beloved family home
up in smoke.
Kay: The queen was all alone,
the monarch surrounded
by all the detritus
of a well-fought fire.
She had the headscarf
on and a mackintosh.
She looked on
the verge of tears.
She probably was in tears.
Bradford: The fire
at windsor castle
seemed to be significant.
It seemed to symbolize
the collapse of the
house of windsor.
Narrator: As the queen's
home lay in ashes,
so did the image of a
happy and dutiful royal family.
The confident silver
wedding picture
from just 20 years earlier
seemed like it belonged
to a different world--
a world that would not return.
The windsors
were at rock bottom.
The family was discredited.
The castle needed millions
of dollars' worth of repairs,
and the public had lost faith.
Woman: I used to like
'em a lot at one time,
but now each time you
read what's going on,
you think, well, you've
gone right off of 'em.
Woman: There's so much
going on with the royal family
that they're losing
face, I think so, anyway.
Anna Whitelock: This
image of the royal family
as the family monarchy,
the sort of, the
nation's family,
suddenly was
massively tarnished.
In a sense, the monarchy's
had to piece itself together
ever since
and find a different way
of defining itself, really.
Narrator: The 1990s
continued to be miserable years
for the royal family.
But the queen helped
raise the money
for the castle restoration.
And during the five years that
it took to complete the work,
the family began to look ahead.

The re-opening of
the castle in late 1997
was the beginning of an
extraordinary 10-year revival
in the windsors' fortunes.
Spin doctors were hired
to work on the new image.
The young royals presented
a more relaxed
picture of the family.
The public relations
effort paid off.
[Crowd cheering]
So that in 2005,
windsor could be
the stage for an event
that finally laid
the past to rest.
Charles married
his former mistress,
Camilla Parker Bowles,
and the crowds cheered them on.
By 2016,
when the queen celebrated
her 90th birthday at windsor,
she was as popular
as at any time
in her remarkably long reign.
But for this anniversary,
there was no
huge family portrait
in a grand drawing room.
The windsors seemed to
have entered the modern world,
presenting a more
down-to-earth and realistic image
of royal family values.
And it's likely the castle
that bears their name
will remain their true home
Because the future Charles III
could be even more devoted
to the castle than his mother.
Kay: It's part of who they
are, it's part of their fabric.
Charles is an enthusiast
about windsor, as his mother is.
Perhaps even more so.
I suspect we'll see
him down there full-time.
I can see a possibility
where Charles himself
will run affairs from windsor.
Narrator: The windsors
have the security
of two more kings in waiting--
William V and George VII,
who may well be
king of the castle
as we enter the next century.
Brendon: Windsor
castle is a huge asset
as far as the
monarchy is concerned
because it is
solid, it is dynastic,
it looks incredibly permanent,
it brings dignity and power
and prestige to the monarchy
in a way that no
other building does.
Narrator: The windsors'
new image is simple.
In an uncertain world,
they are offering
stability and continuity,
just like the castle.
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