‘The Story Of The Royals’ Has Been Quiet For 50 Years, The Queen Wants To Keep It That Way

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As royal fans begin to suffer withdrawal in the time period since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding, People and ABC teamed up to create a cure.

A two-night feature, titled The Story of the Royals, dives into the monarchy and will feature a four-hour documentary miniseries with interviews from royal historians, media experts and friends of the royal family.

The special airs August 22 at 9 p.m. with Part 2 airing August 23 at 9 p.m., and royal fans cannot wait to dive in. The synopsis promises the that the series will dive deep into the family, history and challenges.

“[The series] captures the mystique of the monarchy through its many loves, losses, extravagances, challenges and charms.”

Although not the first documentary on the royals, it is the first in many years. In 1969 the Royal Family documentary premiered in the UK and was seen by 37 million people, according to the UK’s Express, and then taken off the air forever after Buckingham Palace reportedly “freaked out.”

Royal Family Together
Featured image credit: Chris JacksonGetty Images

Few clips remain of the documentary, which featured a rare glimpse at daily life for the royals. Reportedly, clips included a breakfast chat with a young Prince Charles and the Queen being a mother. The intent behind the film was to modernize the royal family after advisers recommended it.

Soon, the Queen and her advisers realized that being “too normal was as dangerous as being to different” and decided the documentary was too intrusive. The film was immediately locked into BBC vaults never to be seen again.

Recently Princess Anne called the documentary a “rotten idea,” according to Bustle.Saying “the attention which had been brought upon one ever since one was a child — you just didn’t need any more.” Since that time the Queen has slowly allowed cameras back in.

Over the years the Queen released snippets from the documentary in order to commemorate certain events, according to the Express, two clips were released in 2011. Pieces of the documentary reportedly show the Queen meeting the, then-President Nixon and recording parts of their conversations.

Curator for the National Portrait Gallery, Paul Moorhouse, said the full film is still under lock and key because of the Queen.

“Legend has it that the Queen doesn’t want parts of it to be shown. Regrettably, the film hasn’t been seen for a long time. It just disappeared. There is a reluctance for this to be revisited. I wish we could show it in its entirety. It tells you a lot about family life. And it redefined the nation’s view of the Queen — the audience were amazed to be able to hear the Queen speaking spontaneously, and to see her in a domestic setting.”

Although the documentary, all 38 hours of raw footage, will not be released, the public will receive a treat Wednesday and Thursday night with a four-hour glimpse into royal life.