Inside the Crown: Secrets of the Royals – 15 September 2020 – 15/9/2020 – Tuesday – ITV

This episode explores the Royal Family’s rollercoaster relationship with the press and how managing the media has been one of the most difficult challenges of the Queen’s reign. At the time of the abdication in 1936, British press barons could be relied upon to conceal royal scandals from the public, but fast-forward fifty years to the heyday of Diana and Fergie, and royal misdemeanours would inspire a tabloid feeding frenzy.

This programme traces the highs and lows, beginning with the Queen’s 1953 – 1954 Commonwealth tour, when press cameramen worked hand in glove with the Palace, censoring gossip and scandal and presenting an idealised image of the Royal Family. In the late 1950s, writer Lord Altrincham was publicly attacked for daring to publish criticisms of the Queen, but by the mid-1970s Princess Margaret’s hedonistic lifestyle and controversial love life were the subject of increasing press attention. In the 1980s Princess Diana would become a global media icon, but as her marriage fell apart the press had a field day, feeding on Royal scandals that would threaten to topple the monarchy.

After Diana’s death, the younger generation has kept a wary distance from the press, zealously guarding their privacy. But while the media relies on the Royals to sell newspapers, the Royals rely on the press to publicise their work and communicate with the public. So, what does the future hold for this often fraught relationship in an age of insatiable media scrutiny?


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.

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About ITV

ITV is an British television network, and is one of the main television networks in the United Kingdom. It broadcasts in English.

Some of the most popular shows and programs on ITV include:

  • Coronation Street
  • The X Factor
  • Emmerdale
  • This Morning
  • The Chase
  • Midsomer Murders
  • Endeavour
  • Catchphrase
  • Tipping Point
  • Take Me Out
  • Celebrity Juice
  • The Jonathon Ross Show

Television in the United Kingdom

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    • BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four
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    • ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4
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