Additional words by Roisin Kelly
A fly-on-the-wall royal documentary from 1969 became even more famous after it was hidden by the royal family, going 50 years without being seen.
Royal Family was locked away by the BBC in 1972 for fears that it made the Mountbatten-Windsors appear too normal and according to some, ‘risked killing the monarchy’.
Her Royal Highness personally intervened to banish a fly-on-the-wall documentary from ever resurfacing, following its broadcast 1969. Despite giving permission for her family to be followed by cameras for 18 months, she decided that some of the more intimate revelations within the film – for example, the royals storing their breakfast cereals in Tupperware containers – were far too intrusive, and such candid insights could horrify the general public.
Despite the film achieving its goal of strengthening public support, the Queen and her advisors decided that ‘being too normal was as dangerous as being too different’ and so it’s under strict instruction to never be shared with the public again.
After years of being locked away in the Royal Archives, the documentary was leaked on YouTube this week, gaining thousands of views. It has since been taken down.
‘This is a matter for the BBC,’ a royal source told The Telegraph. ‘From time to time, things pop up on the internet that should not be there. We will assume it’s going to be taken down.’
The footage, which is said to include domestic scenes of the Duke of Edinburgh frying sausages at a Balmoral barbecue whilst Prince Charles prepares a salad, is proving popular. And while the documentary is now back in the Royal Archives, it might be the perfect time to re-release it and remind us of the royal family’s relatable side.
For now though, we’ll just have to be satisfied with the small clips we’ve got.