Inside the Crown: Secrets of the Royals – 10 September 2020 – 10/9/2020 – Thursday – ITV
Series 1 – Episode 3
This episode explores how the Queen has handled some of the greatest trials and tribulations of her reign, from national disasters like Aberfan and Grenfell to personal tragedies like the murder of Lord Mountbatten and the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
One of the Queen’s most important tasks is leading the nation in times of sadness and striking the balance between stoicism and emotion, channelling the nation’s grief while comforting those affected. Throughout her reign, she has played the role of healer and conciliator. Some of the greatest conflicts she has had to deal with have been within her own family. In 1972, it fell upon the Queen to end a decades-long family feud with her uncle, the Duke of Windsor, who abdicated in 1936. The Queen Mother had blamed him for the early death of her husband George VI. By visiting the Duke on his death bed, the Queen turned the page on a painful chapter in the history of the Royal Family.
In 1979 her family was ripped apart by the IRA’s murder of Lord Mountbatten. Decades later the Queen would have to put duty before her feelings by shaking the hand of Martin McGuinness, an IRA commander at the time of Mountbatten’s assassination – a powerful symbolic act of political reconciliation. But perhaps the most challenging year of the Queen’s reign would be 1992, her so-called ‘Annus Horribilis’, when family scandal, press ridicule and the catastrophic Windsor Castle fire tested her skills as monarch and mother to the limit. Diana’s death in 1997 marked another turning point when the Queen’s slow response to the nation’s grief threatened to destabilise the monarchy, but she turned the tide against her with a heartfelt speech touching on her dual role as Queen and grandmother.
About Inside the Crown: Secrets of the Royals
When the Queen told her people in 2020: “We will meet again,” she was giving only her fifth unscheduled national address in nearly seventy years. For the first time, this film follows the Royal family’s own frightening experience of the Corona Virus crisis – Charles caught it, and many believe the Queen herself had a “near miss”.
The film also reminds us of the 94-year-old Queen’s subtle statesmanship. Over her record breaking 68-year reign, Elizabeth II has mastered the art of being a monarch, both at home and abroad. The film examines that reign, from her glorious Coronation to the muted but emotional VE Day celebrations in 2020.
We see encounters with world leaders from Gorbachev to Trump. Powerful leaders who all highly coveted an invitation to Buckingham Palace. But not all visits go well. Ronald Reagan raised eyebrows after being a bit too “touchy feely” with Her Majesty. And in The National Archives at Kew, royal biographer Robert Hardman uncovers how the visit of Romanian leader Nicolae Ceaușescu both embarrassed Downing Street, and sent the Queen scuttling behind a tree in Buckingham Palace’s back garden trying to avoid the Ceaușescus.
Elizabeth II inherited the crown at just 25 years old, and coming just a few years after World War II her glittering Coronation ushered in a new wave of optimism and hope. We meet two of her Maids of Honour who attended to her on the day she was crowned.
The film also reminds us of the Monarch’s steady hand on the Commonwealth tiller, a personal project which has seen the old Empire transformed. Today, with Prince Philip at her side, Elizabeth’s measured response to Covid 19 (after a tricky 2019) may well have left the Royal Family in the best shape for years.
This show is broadcast on ITV.
Latest Episodes of Inside the Crown: Secrets of the Royals
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- Inside the Crown: Secrets of the Royals – 15 September 2020 – 15/9/2020 – Tuesday – ITV
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- Inside the Crown: Secrets of the Royals – 6 September 2020 – 6/9/2020 – Sunday – ITV3
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