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.

Ep 2/3

9:00pm Monday 6 February on BBC ONE

In the first of this three-part series which looks at the life and achievements of The Queen, Andrew Marr tells the story of the young girl who never expected to reign over us. 60 years after she acceded to the throne, he looks at what she actually does for us both at home and abroad.

Marr observes the day-to-day duties of the Royal Family and hears from The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, The Earl of Wessex, The Princess Royal and Princess Eugenie about the remarkable skills The Queen has acquired in 60 years of walkabouts, state visits and receptions. The Queen has a private motto – “I have to be seen to be believed” – this programme bears witness to the extraordinary energy that she puts into every engagement, however small, however grand.

The film looks closely at the influence of The Queen’s grandfather, father and mother, the impact of the abdication, and the unique relationship between the Head of State and her Government. The Queen has seen 12 Prime Ministers in her reign and Marr looks at the special relationships she has had with them, hearing from David Cameron, Tony Blair and Sir John Major.

Marr also follows The Queen to the Middle East and the USA to assess the global impact of The Queen on British trade and international relations. The Duke of York gives his perspective on The Queen’s impact on overseas trade and Foreign Secretary William Hague and David Cameron gauge her effect on British standing abroad.

Even as a child, Princess Elizabeth was not an ordinary young girl. For her sixth birthday Princess Elizabeth was given a grand Wendy house by the people of Wales. It has recently been restored and Marr is given a private tour of this unique building by The Queen’s granddaughter Princess Beatrice.

Confirmed for Monday 6 February on BBC One at 9.00-10.00pm

Ep 1/3

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