The Diamond Queen

9:00pm Monday 13 February on BBC ONE

In the second programme in the series Andrew Marr assesses The Queen’s moves to modernise the monarchy over the last 60 years.

From the abolition of the presentation of debutantes in 1958 to the opening up of the Palaces, themed receptions and garden parties at the Palace and the very modern wedding of William and Catherine last year, Andrew Marr assesses The Queen’s moves to modernise the monarchy.

Reflecting on the hugely successful royal wedding, Prince William and Prince Harry talk about their grandmother’s influence on the day and her advice on such matters as the guest list and the most suitable uniforms to wear.

This episode also looks back at the challenges faced by the Monarchy in the Annus Horribilis of 1992 and how The Queen and her family responded to the challenging events of that year – partly by paying taxes and opening up the palaces to tourists. The programme asks whether there is a ‘royal master plan’, with insight provided by members of the Royal Family on how they divide and choose their duties and engagements.

In May 2011 The Queen made a historic visit to the Republic of Ireland, the first time that a reigning British monarch had set foot on this soil in 100 years. Tim Knatchbull and his mother, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, two of the survivors of the 1979 IRA bomb which assassinated The Queen’s cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten and killed three others, tell the story of the attack and the care and kindness shown to their family by The Queen in the aftermath. David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny also give their verdict on The Queen’s ground-breaking visit to Ireland.

Finally Marr looks back on the happy times The Queen spent on the Royal Yacht Britannia and the sadness she so visibly exhibited when it was decommissioned in 1997. Peter and Zara Phillips talk about family holidays on the yacht and Tony Blair speaks of the difficult decision he took to scrap the yacht.

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