Elizabeth R: A Year in the Life of the Queen


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Elizabeth R shows royal family gatheringsher state visit to the US, a pony ride with her grandchildren at Balmoral Castle and the preparations for a banquet at Windsor Castle among the others. It also displays meetings of the Queen with a number of significant political figures, including Francesco Cossiga, Edward Heath, Ronald Reagan and Lech Walesa. The Queen is also depicted with her mother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on Derby Day at Epsom in the film. The film was produced by BBC to mark the 40th anniversary of the Queen’s accession. The program was narrated by Ian Holm, with some narration provided by recordings from director, Edward Mirzoeff’s conversation with the Queen. It’s the closest thing to an interview the Queen as ever given. The Queen organized a party for the crew at Buckingham Palace after watching the film before its public broadcast, the Royal Family watched it and approved its broadcasting. It was the second documentary about the British Royal family that was approved by them, after the 1969 documentary Royal Family. It gained the largest audience for a documentary in the history of British television and was watched by more than half of the British population in 1992. The filming took place over 18 months. A VHS video of the program was released in 1992, it was also released as Elizabeth R, without the subtitle A Year in the Life of the Queen. The script of the program was later published as a book with the same title in 1992. The writers of the screenplay were Mirzoeff and Antony Jay, who also wrote the script of the 1969 royal documentary, Royal Family.