The Crown | The Full Story Behind The BBC’s Royal Documentary
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The Crown | The Full Story Behind The BBC’s Royal Documentary

November 29, 2019

– It’s a documentary film. They will follow all of
us in our daily lives. – So we all have to get used to camera’s being here all the time. – All of you, on best behavior. (dramatic music) – Ever wanted to take a deep dive inside the real events
covered in “The Crown”? Join me, Laura Jackson as we explore the now banned “Royal Family” documentary in this edition of “Beneath the Crown”. Who wants magic when you
can have transparency? Access into the lives and minds of the Royals is commonplace now, but until the landmark “Royal
Family” documentary in 1969, the media had been firmly shut out. “Was it the right
decision to let them in?”, is a question still
being asked 50 years on. The BBC ITV co-production
entitled “Royal Family” was filmed over the course of a year. Following the queen and her
family on their daily routines. – It’s jolly powerful,
that light, isn’t it? – The documentary stemmed from the negative shift in attitudes towards the monarchy in the 1960s. Equality had come to the
forefront of public consciousness, a value not easily compatible
with heredity privilege. Deference was no longer an entitlement, admiration had to be earned. – We are the endangered species. – And so Buckingham Palace’s dynamic new press secretary, William Heseltine, developed a cunning plan. Television was seen as the best way to connect with the masses and alter their perceptions. If the royals were shown as individuals defending the
interests of the people, surely that would help their cause. – We must all seem very glamorous, British Olympic team for lunch, the American President for dinner. But is, you know, it’s a lot of work, all the preparation and a lot of expense. In terms of what it actually achieves, well I like to think, it,
we are worth every penny. – Filming wasn’t initially
a smooth process. On one occasion, the Queen’s
personal protection officer karate-chopped a long boom microphone that was thrust out in front of her, but everyone quickly (got used) the camera crew being around. Prince Philip chaired a
joined BBC ITV committee to agree what was going to be filmed. He wanted to portray the Royals as a hardworking family. Scenes that show them participating in the autocratic pass times
of grass and pheasant shooting were cut in favor of everyday scenes. The Queen feeding her horses, buying Prince Edward’s
sweets at the village shop, Prince Charles practicing on his cello and the Duke of Edinburgh painting. The family preparing a
barbecue at Balmoral or getting ready for Christmas
at Windsor and Sandringham. Reality TV in the 60s was ever so slightly less dramatic
than what we have now. – We are being filmed watching television. The people might watch
us, watching television, on their own television sets at home. This really is plumbing
new depths of banality. – The shows purpose was
to present the Royals as more relatable and accessible. The “Royal Family”
documentary was screened first in black and white on
BBC one on June the 21st 1969 and then in color on
ICV the following week. A staggering three quarters of the British public watched it. – Wonderful viewing figures, the highest for a
factual documentary ever. – The documentary was sold
to more than a 125 countries, with the Queen donating
her share of the profits to the Society of Film
and Television Arts, now known as BAFTA. It helped to organization move to new headquarters in Piccadilly, London. (clapping) (dramatic music) – Despite the Queen receiving praise from viewers from coming
across as natural and humorous, the Royal Family has not allowed it to be shown since the late 1970s. The Queen was said to have regretted her private life been put on display. (clicking) – Crucially, the relationship between the media and the Royals
would never be the same again. The floodgates had been opened, and their private lives were increasingly ripe for public consumption. – The smoke and the mirrors, the mystery and the protocol, it’s not there to keep us apart. It is there to keep us alive. (dramatic music)

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  1. The joke is they own the BBC but ay listen in this show will they show the barbaric practices they used to get the jewels to make the crown from Africa and Asia, will they show who the real royals are?

  2. What I don't understand is that this documentary was received well and yet in the Crown it's portrayed as universally hated. There are tons of examples like that where things that either just straight up didn't happen or happened but happened in the complete opposite way. You know like Margaret bad mouthing Kennedy or Wilson coming across like a buffoon and his government being incompetent. Don't even get me started on how they portrayed Kennedy in previous seasons. I get that they have to make up things when they don't know what happen but taking artistic license when the facts aren't known and then completely changing history when the facts are known to fit a narrative are two completely different things.

  3. This proves that anyone that complains about the cast are still attached to the old one because from what I see they look pretty accurate

  4. It was a bad decision. Tacky and presumptuous. Why should they be punished for being born into an intolerable position? Contrary to popular belief, I'm sure they'd all rather be well off average people but, noooooo. They have to apologize to everyone for their intolerable life and pretend the intrusion is alright.

  5. what I find amazing is that none of the royal families of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium (or as the UK Royals call them, "the Bicycle Riders") have the press problems the UK Royal family has had . and they've had some really interesting scandals -whoppers–that have NEVER rated the problems –or negative interest- the UK family has suffered. The Scandinavian and Benelux royals are well-respected and well-loved and protected by their people and their press. The Danish monarchy is 1000 years OLDER than that of the UK and Queen Margarethe, the younger cousin of both the Queen and Philip, has made an independent life for herself, aside from that as Head of State.
    One wld think the UK royals would look around and ask themselves why this is and how to address this.

  6. Colin Morgan as the sassy, anti royals journalist John Armstrong was the best part of this episode. The one thing I never knew I needed.?❤️

  7. My favorite part of this episode: “We are being filmed watching television, that people might watch us watching television on their own television sets at home.” It perfectly captures the absurdity of the situation, and Helena’s pauses and emphases are magnificent.

  8. You have got to hand it to Prince Phillip, he really was ahead of his time since the documentary was partly his idea. Between that and his books on environmental conservation, he is progressive in some ways.

  9. It’s not banned, the film don’t tell the full truth.. just what viewers can handle. If we knew the truth we would not be impressed at all.

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