Monday, 28 March 2016

Our Queen at 90 - A Fitting Tribute with Fascinating Insights

"Her Majesty the Queen has broken almost every royal record" - a fitting opening line for Our Queen at 90, a two-hour documentary filmed to mark the 90th birthday of our longest lived and longest reigning monarch. The eagerly awaited programme was simply fantastic, offering interviews with members of the Royal family who know the Queen best - and of course, it was Kate's first interview since she became a member of the Royal family. There were precious moments offering viewers a glimpse of HM's life - joking about her horses and behind-the-scenes glimpses from royal events.

You can watch the documentary in its entirety on YouTube.


Before, we discuss key points and highlights from the documentary, let's chat about Kate's participation in the programme. Filmed at Kensington Palace wearing her blue tweed Rebecca Taylor suit, the interview offered our first glimpse into Kate's relationship with the Queen, her role as a member of the Royal family, and motherhood.


Whilst many of Kate's segments were shared in the media over the last week, there were several previously unheard quotes covering a variety of areas including balancing motherhood and work:

"Being a mother and new in my job as well, I have no idea how the Queen has managed to do it with four children as well of her own. To manage all those elements of your life, from the family as well as to the work, to the national importance of her role, I think it's extraordinary and also for so long as well".

All the royals interviewed praised HM for her sense of duty, with the Duchess of duty. Although very nervous (and understandably so) Kate spoke quite openly about the Queen and Prince Philip's sense of duty and long marriage, saying, "All the time William and I are so struck by the Queen's sense of duty and commitment and I think to do that by yourself would be a very lonely place to be, but I think to have the support of your husband there by your side on those occasions, and behind closed doors as well, I think is very special." Kate continued: "William and I have got quite a long way to go but it really is fantastic and to see and experience as much as they have together. It's very special".


Noting how people react to the Queen, Kate smiled as she said: "I think she's so so engaging, I think she's got the most fantastic smile, and I think if she smiles and says nothing it gives people such a huge amount of joy and a huge amount of pleasure."


The Duchess was also incredibly impressed by HM's love for simplicity ""I suppose what's really struck me is her love for the simple things in life. You would expect a lot of grandeur and a lot of fuss, but actually what really resonates with me is her love for the simple things, the lack of fuss, and I think that's a special quality to have."


The inside footage from the rarely seen annual Diplomatic Reception was very insightful. Described in the documentary as "the most important event of the year" during which "the Queen and her family will shake hands with the world".


William and Kate joined HM for the event in December for the second time. I know how excited we all were to get a proper look at that beautiful Alexander McQueen icy blue gown - another beautiful collaboration between Kate and Sarah Burton. It's perfect for the occasion and a gorgeous choice with the divine Cambridge Lovers Knot Tiara.


A look at the back of the gown.


Speaking about the reception William said: "First you think you're in some sort of fancy dress, it's incredible, it's surreal, a lot of different cultures and languages. My first Diplomatic Reception was a little bit awkward, I may have got two countries muddled up. My grandmother was cool about it." Kate added: "She remains so calm and collected all the time, I think everyone feels they've had some personal time with HM and a real connection."


Speaking of dazzling tiaras and breath-taking gowns there is lovely footage from the state banquet for President Xi of China held last year. There's a lovely look at Kate's red Jenny Packham in its entirety and behind-the-scenes preparations which begin months ahead.


Other quotes from Kate previously released included the following:

On Princess Charlotte: "It’s very special having a new little girl…I feel very, very lucky that George has got a little sister. The Queen was really thrilled that it was a little girl, and I think as soon as we came back here to Kensington she was one of our first visitors."

On what George calls the Queen: "George is only two-and-a-half and he calls her 'Gan-Gan'. She always leaves a little gift or something in their room when we go and stay and that just shows her love for her family."

On the Queen's Guidance:  She has been "very generous in not being forceful at all and in any of her views. But I feel she’s been there, a gentle guidance really for me."

On her most memorable engagement: "The most memorable engagement for me was an away-day to Leicester. I went without William, so I was rather apprehensive about that. I think there is a real art to walkabouts. Everyone teases me in the family that I spend far too long chatting. So I think I've still got to learn a little bit more and to pick up a few more tips I suppose. The Queen was very supportive. The fact she took the time to make sure that I was happy and looked after for that particular occasion, which probably in everything that she’s doing is a very small element, it shows just how caring she is really."

On making her granny's chutney for the Queen's Christmas present:

"I can remember being at Sandringham, for the first time, at Christmas. And I was worried what to give the Queen as her Christmas present. I was thinking, 'Gosh, what should I give her?' I thought, 'I'll make her something', which could have gone horribly wrong, but I decided to make my granny's recipe of chutney. I was slightly worried about it, but I noticed the next day that it was on the table. I think such a simple gesture went such a long way for me and I've noticed since she's done that on lots of occasions and I think it just shows her thoughtfulness, really, and her care in looking after everybody."

What were the other highlights of the documentary?


Discussing how the Queen coped with her father's death and ascension to throne at just 25 years old, Princess Beatrice described how she exuded "an effortless grace and at that point you really realised who this person is". Prince Charles continued: "When you think how young the Queen was when my grandfather died to be required to take on such an enormous task. It appeared effortless but it probably isn't". Prince Charles also praised his mother's "quiet and shy determination and strong character".


Prince William, who was filmed at the East Anglian Air Base, said: "Growing up, having this figurehead, having this stability above me has been incredible. I have been able to explore, understand, slightly carve my own path. I greatly appreciate and value that protection. A lot of people get very excited when they meet her. I've seen people faint in front of her. There's a lot of trembling knees and people can't talk sometimes."


Discussing his own views on the Monarch's link to the armed forces and his work with the East Anglian Air Ambulance the Prince said: "I enjoy working with a very professional group of guys and girls. I think the Royal family and the monarchy in particular has always had a close bond with the armed forces. It's a key part of the Royal family and the monarchy to bring that to light."


The Queen's cousin Margaret Rhodes who has known her all life shared lovely insights: "She was very much an ordinary little girl but she was always a slightly serious little girl. In herself she is a very humble person. She has no huge opinion of herself but has given up her life to that particular job that she was called to." Margaret recalled how the Queen approached her destiny: "She once said to me once you have accepted within yourself what is your future you can do it."


Seeing Her Majesty at work at Buckingham Palace was terribly interesting. Her first thought was to enquire if the dreadful weather had taken off an employee's roof. Her personal knowledge is incredible and her ability to put those at ease was evident throughout. We also saw her hard at work with her 'Red Box', which she only gets two days off from: her birthday and Christmas Day.


For the Queen, her passion for horses began at just three years old. There was a lovely scene in which she was feeding them and turned to other people standing there and said:  "This is a prima donna. I don't know if you notice her look at you as much as to say, 'Do I look alright?' She is a funny pony." It was in this scene when I think she was most herself, and it was lovely to see that window into her personality and her clear joy and pride in her horses.


The Queen riding her pony, Emma, with head groom, Terry Pendry, at Windsor who described horses as "a very important part of her life. Dare I say, her down time".


The Duchess of Cornwall continued: "She comes down from a very busy week in London, gets on her horse and, you know, you can forget it all. Horses respond to her, they love her. It’s a two-way relationship, they both love each other. She has that wonderful smile which lights up her whole face and you can see the joy she gets from it."


Indeed, it's simple pleasures such as horse riding and spending time in the countryside the Queen appears to enjoy with greatest relish. Balmoral, her and Prince Philip's Scottish retreat, is a place of joy for them both. Princess Eugenie described it as the place she is most happy: "It's the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands…walks, picnics, dogs, a lot of dogs, there're always dogs, and people coming in and out all the time. Family-wise we're all there, so it's a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa to be - for us to come and see them up there where you just have room to breathe and run."


Viewers were rather thrilled to see this cushion taking pride of place at Balmoral. It was reportedly a gift from Prince Harry (with thanks to Cepe), and I think its display is a testament to the Queen's sense of humour.


Prince Harry spoke of his admiration for his grandmother: "People always say, 'Do you ever feel as though you're following in her footsteps?' And yes, that's exactly what we are doing. There is nowhere on this planet I can think of that she hasn't been in the last 90 years. She's been everywhere, and sometimes that's quite hard because you go to a place where she hasn't visited for 20, maybe 15 years, and you think to yourself, how can I ever fulfill this huge expectation that comes with her and being a member of her family?" Reflecting on his grandmother's famous 1947 speech, when she pledged her allegiance to the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday, Harry gushed: "It's a hugely moving speech. It's just incredible to know that someone of that age appreciated and understood exactly what was expected of them, and to basically put duty ahead of everything else so early on in her life. It's quite remarkable."


The Countess of Wessex, who was filmed at Bagshot, commented on the Queen's sense of style: "When she turns up somewhere, the crowds are 15-deep and somebody wants to be able to say that they saw a bit of the Queen's hat when she went past. She needs to be able to stand out, for people to be able to say, 'I saw the Queen'."

Countess of Wessex Blog

The Queen calls Prince Philip "her strength and stay" and listening to the family talk about him it's clear to see the genuine love and affection. A tearful Princess Beatrice discussed the Duke, saying: "My fabulous grandfather. When I talk about my grandfather I really get quite emotional because he is the most unique person and I'm very lucky there have been so many times where I have been able to share magical moments with him." Princess Eugenie added: "He's been there for all the years and I think he's the rock for all of us." Margaret Rhodes, spoke of HM's relationship with Prince Philip: "She comprehensively fell in love with him and never looked at anyone else." The Countess of Wessex added: "He's a gentleman and a gentle man."


The Queen was filmed during her weekly meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron. Upon his arrival she tells him, "I've just been watching you on television, Prime Minister's Questions." Their discussion turns to the terror attacks in Paris. David Cameron spoke of her dedication: "Duty and service, that's what her life has been all about and I know she's admired the world over for it."


President Obama also paid tribute to HM: "For nine decades Her Majesty has been a source of strength and inspiration, not only for the people of Britain, but for millions of people around the world. We often speak of the deep and enduring partnership between our two countries. It is indeed a special relationship, and Her Majesty has been a vital part of what keeps our relationship so special. The United States is extremely grateful for her steady and energetic leadership and we look forward to Her Majesty’s continued service in the years to come. Happy Birthday, your Majesty."


Choosing to screen Our Queen at 90 was a rather marvellous move by ITV. Spending Easter weekend with my family, we all watched it together, and I think we all felt we got to know our Royal family a little bit more. Indeed, I imagine members of the Royal family may have sat around the TV enjoying it together. I expect Kate may have watched it with the Middletons, too. :) What struck me most was the admiration the Royal family have for HM and her unwavering sense of duty. As she approaches her 90th birthday the famous words she spoke on her 21st birthday in 1947 ring as true now as they did then:

'I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.'

 Hope you're all enjoying a lovely Easter weekend with your loved ones! :)

228 comments:

  1. Let me be the first (tonight) to congratulate you on your excellent work and your swift uploads.
    I haven't written before, though I have visited your blog numerous times.
    My name is Maria, I am Greek and a big fan of everything British.
    You are superb!!!
    P.S. I hope my english is not too bad...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much Maria. Your comment is greatly appreciated :)

      Delete
    2. Tedi in California28 March 2016 at 02:07

      I think we all second that Maria.

      Delete
    3. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2016 at 12:45

      Welcome Maria and I agree, Charlotte is amazingly good at this!! (Also, your english is great! We are many here that don't have English as our native language so even when the language sometimes gets a bit muddled there is a lot of understanding here!) Hope to see you again :)

      Delete
  2. Tedi in California28 March 2016 at 01:57

    Oh Charlotte I can't wait to see it. It must have been very moving and emotional too. Was Prince Philip interviewed? I await word on when it will be available to us across the pond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tedi, the post is updated with a link to the full documentary on YouTube :)

      Delete
    2. Tedi in California28 March 2016 at 02:09

      How on earth do you do that so fast? Thank you Charlotte, and a big hug :)

      Delete
    3. Tammy from California28 March 2016 at 03:32

      Thank you Charlotte!! I've been waiting all week to watch and this was the first place I looked to see if you added the link!!

      Delete
    4. Personally, I missed Prince Philip and Anne and Zara too.

      Delete
    5. I would have liked Prince Edward to be included as well.

      Delete
    6. I said Albert, lol. I meant Edward.

      Delete
    7. lol, 00:10, Just goes to show Edward needs a better PR team.

      Delete
  3. Thankyou for this Charlotte! Looking forward to watching the documentary on youtube :) Happy Easter everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sarah Maryland USA28 March 2016 at 02:06

    I always laugh when I see footage of the queen riding at her old age mainly because that will totally be my sister in 70 years. We both have loved horses since we were young but she has way more of a passion for riding than I do
    it is funny...she knew zara philips as a really really great rider and i knew zara as the granddaughter of the queen!
    My sister is going to the rolex next month and she is under strict instructions to take photos of zara if she is there!
    anyway...amazing documentary. I love documentaries....one of my favorites was the diamond queen.
    The monarchy is safe with the queen at its head..personally I hope she lives forever! And really though..I want to know her secret for longevity!
    And I said this in another post...I am obsessed with that ice blue alexander mcqueen gown kate wore for the diplomatic reception. Obsessed. Probably one of her best looks EVER.
    Personally, now a days kate's updos look a lot better on her than when her hair is down.
    So..this was a totally positive post! whoop!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe she's still riding at age 90. That's really amazing. I haven't ridden in almost ten years, ever since my beloved Auggie died. It's just not the same. Although I would love to get on board one of HM's Fell ponies!

      Delete
    2. Sarah Maryland USA28 March 2016 at 02:45

      I still hate that she doesn't wear a helmet. I had such a nasty fall once the doctor said if I hadn't been wearing a helmet I would've died
      Luckily the younger generations aren't following her lead!
      My sister and I always joke that we would want to marry prince Harry just so we could ride the horses the queen has because they are impeccably breed
      You should get back in the saddle bluhare! It's hard when one you love dies but what someone said in the documentary was right when you ride you somehow forget about all the crap in your life!

      Delete
    3. I agree about the helmet, Sarah. Luckily for me, the worst fall I ever had injured me in the place some posters here think houses my brain. Knocked my sciatic nerve so I was tottering about for a few days is all. That's true about riding, though, or it was with Auggie. I'll never forget cantering next to a herd in a field; we were all one if you know what I mean (and I bet you do). Amazing feeling.

      But I totally disagree with you about that dress. :)

      Delete
    4. Sarah :) Maryland :) USA :) 28 March 2016 at 02:06 :), :)

      YYYOOOUUU :) DDDIIIDDD :) IIITTT :) !!! :) :) :)

      :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

      Delete
    5. Sarah ?? Is this our Maryland Sarah?

      I actually squealed and clapped like a schoolgirl with your post!

      You did it! Totally positive! And I must say that I really admire the way you take our little 'jabs' at times regarding your very strong opinions. I admire those opinions even when I believe that you are 'misguided' LOL!


      I hope you had a wonderful Easter!

      I look forward to your thoughts with the upcoming tour.

      :) :) :) :) :)

      Delete
    6. I agree, it's very impressive to see the Queen on horseback at her age. I read that when she was questioned by a reporter as to why she doesn't wear helmets, she said "You don't have your hair done the way I do".

      Delete
  5. Hi Charlotte; you did a lovely job with your post today. It's just 6:00pm my time, and you must have been up quite late putting it together. And the photo you chose of Harry is just adorable. :)

    I'm looking forward to watching it probably tomorrow or Tuesday. Grantchester starts over here tonight.

    PS Maria . . . your English is great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear bluhare, you are so kind!
      Having read your comments so many times, I can't believe you are actually talking to ... me.
      Maria the Greek

      Delete
    2. Maria, I enjoy talking with people. I have nothing but respect for you and others here for whom English is a second (or third) language. I'd name names, but I'd forget someone and I don't want to do that. You guys amaze me, and especially you because you had to learn a new alphabet too!!

      Delete
    3. Bluhare

      Charlotte does that many times, I don't know how she does it but a big thank you for her waking up for this lovely post. Many people had a problem to watch last night because of location problems so it is incredibly nice of you Charlotte to provide us this post late at night or early in the morning.

      Grantchester I loveeeeeeeeeeee that:-)

      What I find really incredible is the behind the scenes cuts, how they prepare for the Diplomatic Reception etc.

      Her Majesty sense of duty is beyond any medal. I loved her feeding the horses, she was just so happy with them. Overall I think all of them did great in the documentary. I am sure many of us will examine it closely, look forward to it.

      Delete
    4. I just watched it, Anett. It was pretty much what I expected, other than I found myself actually liking Beatrice. And I'm not particularly her biggest fan!!

      I really enjoyed Grantchester, though. That James Norton is a cool drink of water!!

      Delete
  6. Yay! Thanks got staying up late(2am your time?) to get this updated!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks dear Charlotte for the wonderful post! I will be on YouTube this evening watching the video- can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Charlotte, I have been following your blog for years now, but have never written. I just want to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. Sandy - New Jersey, USA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2016 at 12:47

      Nice to see old-new people popping in and writing :) I always love seeing new faces in the comment section :) Hope to see more of you around :)

      Delete
  9. Thank you, dear Charlotte - wonderful job as always!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tammy from California28 March 2016 at 03:29

    Happy Birthday to HM! Many blessings to her on her 90th birthday! Wishes for many more to come!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I watched it live today and, wow! How absolutely wonderful was this documentary. Her Majesty is such an amazing woman. The glimpse into her life (and that of her family) was superb. I also LOVED all of Kate's parts. I actually didn't think she seemed that nervous. A bit, yes, but she seemed very calm and cool to me. Amazing to get a bit of a more personal account of their life. Thank you so much for this lovely post, Charlotte. You are a rockstar!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Alejandra Ramírez28 March 2016 at 03:51

    What a mega excellent post!
    Thank you for the wonderful insight on the documentary.
    I'll watch it during the week! :D
    Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you so much for posting the link and so quick. I was bummed it wasn't being played here. It was so great! I was surprised with the lack of accents. My favorite part was seeing the Queen with her horses she was so happy. I wish there was more info and media of Sophie she seem like fun.
    On a side note does anyone know of any good Harry blogs like this one that follows his engagements and the charity part of it? His recent trip to Nepal was nice but I didn't get as much info on the charity's he was helping. That's one of the best things of this blog Charlotte you focus on the charity and royal tradition which is what its all about with the added fun of the fashion.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I enjoyed the documentary very much, and it was an unexpected surprise to be able to view it so quickly (on this side of the pond :-).

    A few things I noticed... Philip, Edward and Ann did not contribute (unless I blinked, lol); Camilla's contribution was limited to talking about the Queen's love and knowledge of horses.

    Also, the RF's link to the military was highlighted quite a bit, and they emphasized just how much the Queen's life and priorities changed overnight when her father died (both being sort of silent nods towards the Cambridge's IMO).

    On a less significant note, I noticed that ALL the backgrounds were blurry so there is no need to suggest that W&K were hiding something during Kate's interview. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The background on the lovely photo of CP Victoria and her new baby is also blurred.It is a common photographic tecnique.
      I think some people might be commenting without thinking things through. It truly
      says more about the poster than their subject.

      Delete
    2. Exactly my point, 19:53. Thank you. The reference to a blurred background (and W&K's privacy concerns) WAS made when Charlotte shared a preview of the documentary. But I suppose you are correct that some people may be commenting before thinking things through. :)

      Delete
    3. The blur is called "bokeh" and is a technique to emphasize the subject, and the foreground or background is blurry. May have been for confidentiality, or just to keep us focused on the subjects (i.e. no distractions), and keep them looking crisp.

      Delete
    4. I also agree it says more about the poster. Some have to find something, anything to criticise William and Kate.

      Delete
  15. Thank you, Charlotte. This is a delight. Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Eve from Germany28 March 2016 at 04:30

    GOSH - I couldn´t sleep and woke up at 3am so I thought maybe, just MAYBE someone made the incredible effort and loaded up this documentary I have been so eagerly waiting for - and YES, someone did!! I have just been watching the first 5 minutes and already I was in awe - my father is 87 and quite fit himself, but this woman - INCREDIBLE! And she still has that smile which can light up a room!!!!
    Thank you Charlotte, for your post and pictures - a great gift as always, so THANK YOU!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. thanks dear charlotte for the update hmm thank you for the youtube really appreciate it outside usa could watch it thank you maybe the queen loves riding without helmet I think the sophie the countess of wessex and the duchess Cambridge speak their heart

    ReplyDelete
  18. Still watching the documentary but paused it to jump on here and say how impressed I am with Harry. Ah, Harry. What a compassionate, honest and humble young man.

    Cara, Australia.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post, Charlotte!
    The queen herself is amazing and the fact that she and Prince Phillip still have such a full workload, at their ages, is just incredible. It's mind-boggling to think that the majority of Britons have never known another monarch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2016 at 22:17

      It really came into perspective when they said the current head of state in the US (Obama) was born 10 years into the Queens reign!! It's truly a very long time that she has been on the throne! Must be extremely daunting for William and Charles to know that they will have to try to fill those shoes while still changing and moving the monarchy into the future.

      Delete
  20. oh charlotte what a lovely post the queen is unstopeable at 90 the picture of her feeding a carrot to her horse is priceless and kate seems to have much respect for her kates ice blue dress is just so beautiful wish we could see a full frontel pic happy easter everyone

    ReplyDelete
  21. It was very well done and my favorite bits were with the horses. You could just see HM's face ease and lighten and her smile broaden!

    Kate was fine. Maybe slightly nervous.

    To my unrefined American ears, I found 2 of the clearest, most easily understood, speakers to be Beatrice and Sophie Wessex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous in Colorado28 March 2016 at 18:08

      @Anonymous 06:08: I had the same thoughts about Princess Beatrice & the Countess! Myself, I noticed William & Kate were a bit hard to understand but nothing to vilify them for ;-)

      I also agree that HM was most "herself" with the horses.
      The older footage of her helping the grandkids on to their horses & a child had stepped on her foot (was that one of the York sisters?).....I chuckled.
      William saying "She's been there, done that. Has the t-shirt." I lol'd.

      Remarkable. Absolutely remarkable, Her Majesty. To be Queen at such a young age, dedicate her life to service & her country, & to still be going going going at 90! And riding! As an American, I've long been fascinated by the Queen & the BRF....this documentary was so lovely.

      Delete
    2. caroline in montana29 March 2016 at 21:26

      Anon in Colorado, I always thought it was Harry who stepped on her foot?

      Delete
  22. Julia from Leominster28 March 2016 at 08:28

    Thank you Charlotte for the so quick post. Truly enjoyed the show - everyone was so interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2016 at 22:19

      I also enjoyed it :) Even though it was nothing new in it if you've seen one documentary before :P For example, Sophies story about the clothes (which she probably got told to say) has been known since the 50s :P Same with the grilling, how she likes horses etc. But it was a nice little watch, and probably news to alot of people :P

      Delete
    2. Julia from Leominster29 March 2016 at 17:30

      Looking back on references to that Elizabeth R film someone mentioned to me below, I was surprised to see the queen thought it too personal - along with that sixties series on the family - so my feeling here was that everyone was trying hard to play it very safe for fear of offending the queen by repeating something too telling. It ended up with a lot that won't be new and the feeling that some, especially, Kate and Camilla, don't know the queen very well - which may not be true - although, somehow with Camilla and the Queen, I think it may mostly be about horses. For this reason, I actually enjoyed the comments of the staff the most - giving an insight how things run = and that comment by that soldier on the queen's first investiture - that was new to me. The bit about Mountbatten and Philip too - not sure I didn't read that in some biography but it was interesting to hear it brought out.

      Delete
    3. Rebecca - Sweden29 March 2016 at 18:23

      I have to agree Julia :)

      Delete
  23. Thank you so much Charlotte for your wonderful blog as always, so informative and interesting. So very well done. Have been enjoying the video very much indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Tedi in California28 March 2016 at 14:57

    What a wonderful life Elizabeth II has led. She is an inspiration to the world. Think of all the changes she has witnessed in her 90 years. I loved seeing her with the horses and dogs. As her cousin said, had she not been Queen, she would have been a country lady, living with her family, dogs and horses. What a beautiful young woman she was, with a great sense of humor, and the love of her life giving her support. I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary. A fitting tribute to one of the most remarkable women in the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous in Colorado28 March 2016 at 18:10

      All my thoughts exactly, Tedi! Well said! Remarkable woman indeed.

      Delete
    2. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2016 at 22:25

      She really is remarkable. And don't take what I'm about to say in the wrong way. But was it anyone except me that thought it was a bit too sugary sweet? It almost came of as insincere (as I'm sure it's not) since the way it was cut and people went on about her was like she was the second coming :P I mean, yes, she's great. And this is a celebration to her. But it became a bit too sugary for my taste. Just some small tidbit about her screwing up sometime or how it actually was rather hard in the beginning as queen etc would have gone a long way to humanize her. Appearantly, the "it's good to be Queen" pillow from the documentary was what was the most popular among people. That human side of her. Yes, the horse parts were human and cute, and yes it's nice that she doesn't need fuss and fancyness etc. But I think it could have still been a very sweet and nice documentary even if some fault was pointed out. Just some opinions. And that's more a comment to the editors/people that asked the questions. And ofc the royals are checked on their answers and ony give approved stories. But as I said, a really nice and comfortable little watch :)

      Delete
    3. Rebecca, I think the only one who could share stories of mistakes or hard times would be Her Majesty, herself. That isn't anyone else's place. And perhaps it was too "sugary sweet", but not many people make it to 90, let alone have a career for 60 years....so, maybe she's earned the right to an overly flattering documentary? ;-)

      Delete
    4. Rebecca, I have not watched the video all the way through, so you may be right that it is too sugary, but to me the Queen just seems so down t earth that anything said in the documentary is just terribly relevant, she just looks and presents herself as so down to earth in all her photos and video clips over the years that I can not imagine anyone seeing her as saccharine. This came across as a typical video presentation.

      Delete
    5. Julia from Leominster29 March 2016 at 17:35

      See my comments above - I think everyone was being very cautious. It would be nice to have a little broader picture of the queen but the fact we didn't get that says something in and of itself.

      The thing most people noticed the most seems to have been the bottled water for the corgis!

      Delete
    6. Hmmm... Should I admit that my furry family members drink it too? ;)

      Delete
    7. It is okay as a little "love you note from the family"
      but as a really informative historical document it
      missed the mark.

      Delete
    8. I would give bottled water to my puppies if I had some.

      Delete
    9. Puppies, that is. :)

      Delete
  25. Thanks so much for your work in posting the video on You Tube. I was wondering how I would be able to view it here in the States but thanks to you, I had an enjoyable and relaxing post-Easter AM watching the video. You do a wonderful job. Thanks again. - New Hampshire, USA

    ReplyDelete
  26. Caroline in Montana28 March 2016 at 16:40

    I think I shall watch the documentary tonight as hubby will be out. Can hardly wait! Thanks for such a great blog Charlotte.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Charlotte I have to take a moment to say what an amazing job you've been doing these past few weeks, handling the blog and all the comments. There has been a lot to discuss! Not only do you produce a high quality news and fashion blog, with extensive research and excellent writing, you then take what must be an enormous amount of personal time to moderate and post comments. And you've been dealing with hundreds of comments per post lately! Working that hard and devoting your own time to facilitate conversation between your readers is hugely impressive, and I'm sending you a hearty round of applause.

    Your work is very much appreciated and enjoyed even if we don't always remember to say it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Thank you Charlotte. A true labor of love, yes?

      Delete
    2. I think we really need to thank Mr. Charlotte. They are newlyweds after all!

      Delete
    3. That's a very good point bluhare ;)

      Delete
  28. I really enjoy this. I haven't seen any other documentaries so a lot of the behind the scenes stuff was new to me.

    So random thoughts on the royals:

    1. Beatrice and Eugenie's voices lol. I had never heard them speak before and was surprised at Eugenie's deep voice and Beatrice's high voice. I really enjoyed hearing them. Beatrice seems very sweet, I loved the part went she talked about Price Phillip and Eugenie talking about Balmoral.

    2. Sophie came off really well. I don't know exactly what it is about her but she has a lovely presence and the way she speaks reflects a lovely personality. I can't pin point but overall she is very likeable.

    3. Harry is just so likeable and charming. I think he was the one that appeared most in the documentary. I loved seeing him in Africa and the way the kids talked about him.

    4. It needed more Charles, Camilla, Andrew and Peter.

    5. William was whatever for me.

    6. I did have a hard time understanding Kate at some points. They used her alot. I liked the part about the Queen training the Princess who would one day be Queen.

    Favorite parts:

    1. The Queen giving the speech in the radio when she was 14 years old during WW2. Her joining the military, her speech at 21, her dedication to duty... so inspirational.

    2. It was interesting to see the garden party. I had no idea 8000 attended. From the photos I always thought it was a few hundred. I always wondered what people did besides stand around, it's nice that there's tables and food to sit and hang out. I would be very excited to spend the afternoon at BP. So a very nice event.

    3. The Diplomatic Reception, how awkward. 600 people just standing in a line waiting to be greeted by the royals. Poor William and Kate, I wouldn't be able to remember who anyone is. I wonder how they prepare? Surely they can't memorize information on 600 people. It must be a very causal hello and no real discussions.

    4. The Queen's young people award or whatever is called. I think it's great to recognize the hard work of young people and this incorporates the common wealth very nicely.

    5. Seeing the people at the investitures. The comedian who was Knighted, the man who got the first Victorian order, the man who received a medal for being a firefighter at BP for 20 years. It's nice to see the people getting recognized and how special it is for them.

    7. Just seeing everything, all the traditions and how excited and how special and important it is for people. It makes you realize how important all the small events are: the rugby reception, the Queen opening the new railway, the games in Scotland. It's important to connect with the people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree with your assessments of the family. Sophie and Harry came off as the most personable, likeable, and "normal" of the bunch, the sort of people you'd want to sit down and have a pint with.
      Kate seemed so incredibly nervous the whole interview. That's not to fault her--we all have our weaknesses and strengths--but I hope that with time and practice she will become more at ease. I imagine she probably worries more about misspeaking than she really needs to.

      I've always considered the Queen an extraordinarily hard worker, but this documentary really served to highlight that for me once again. I'm the age she was when she became queen--I can't imagine that sort of responsibility at such a young age, and I certainly can't imagine staying so dedicated to that sort of demanding life for 65 years! What a blessing for her that Prince Phillip has been by her side this entire time; they seem to have a wonderful partnership.

      Delete
    2. I think you may be mistaken about #6, Priscilla. I would be willing to wager that they DO memorize all 600 in addition to who is in power/opposition for every country in the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. Maybe even bits about their families as well. The Queen was heard to ask such a question on a previous documentary concerning a recent bereavement in the envoy's family. It's anything but awkward. It's the height of graciousness.

      Knowing is their job. And I'll add, a huge part of what they DO when they are not SEEN to be working by a camera. William is already being allowed to dip into the red box--as Charles has been doing for some years now--in preparation for his kick at the crown.

      Delete
    3. "Being a mother and new in my job as well, I have no idea how the Queen has managed to do it with four children as well of her own. To manage all those elements of your life, from the family as well as to the work, to the national importance of her role, I think it's extraordinary and also for so long as well".

      It seems incredible that Kate can come up with such uncoordinated thoughts.

      Delete
    4. I agree with many point of yours Priscilla.

      Labello
      Great point about being 25 I think that was the age when she became queen, how enormous that task must have seemed!

      What I might add is I find it amusing that how the young generation is praising the queen how hard working she is/was but they somehow don't really match her not even close. The worst is one can't really see any effort from their side.

      Delete
    5. I agree as well. Sophie is incredibly impressive in her public speaking skills. I have watched some of her speeches online and she is natural and has a free flowing style and the content of her speeches is solid. She has no affectations or pretension and that makes her very likable. Beatrice and Eugenie also seemed articulate and confident, much more than I was expecting actually.
      I thought that William appeared very inauthentic and almost "too clever" in how he spoke. He has a way about him that gives me the impression that he considers himself to be above everyone else.. not exactly condescension but just this tacit acknowledgement that somehow we are supposed to hang on to every word he says. I don't know.. perhaps that is my own personal bias showing now.
      Kate was impossible to understand in places, very strange accent, but I thought she spoke naturally in others. I wish she would drop her pretensions (fake modest laugh and self deprecation like: I have to learn, I have to pick up tips etc.). For me that seems incredibly inauthentic and affected. It also focuses the conversation on HER as in she will talk about the Queen in relation to how the Queen and her behavior relates to HER. Which I did not quite appreciate. Another thing I thought was rather silly: For example when she compares herself and William to the Queen and Phillip - seems so unnecessary. Why does she have to insert the sentence "Of course William and I have a long way to go" - there is no requirement to bring herself up over and over again. She talks about herself quite a bit given that the documentary is about the Queen. It's like she is focused on herself and her image constantly and even when she is supposed to speak about someone else she has to draw herself into the conversation because she can't help it. I think that this will probably be a very unpopular opinion and I apologize in advance for annoying some readers, but to me it seems that Kate still can't believe her good luck in being able to marry William and hence has to constantly draw attention to the fact. She strikes me as still being in a very self-congratulator mode and hence the constant William-dropping.
      When you contrast her to Sophie or even Harry or Eugenie for example - they are so much more impersonal and genuine you can't help but see through Kate. This is of course MO.

      Delete
    6. I just want to respond to a specific reference Priscilla. It is not only in response to you but rather one of your comments is part of a general trend I have noticed. Too frequently with the Royal Family (and in many other cases but this is the focus of this blog which I so enjoy), whether for official visits or Prince William's latest visit to Kenya, there are general references to 'Africa', as opposed to a specific country. Prince Harry was in South Africa, which was specified in the documentary. Africa is a huge continent with 54 countries, a vast geographical territory, different populations and histories. It is really important that it not be referred to as though it is a single bloc as it is in too much contemporary and historical media. This generalisation is inaccurate and frequently comes with narrow and uninformed points of view.

      Delete
    7. I see what you are saying but I have to say that in your last paragraph you note how Harry, Eugenie and Sophie are more impersonal and genuine. I think we should remember that Harry and Eugenie were BORN into the world and thus it is normal and not so fantastic time them. Sophie whole not born into the family she has been married to Edward for 16 years and dated him for 5 or so years. She knows how it goes and is in her comfort zone. That was not always so.

      I think Kate will get there at some point. She does well I think. I have not watched all of the documentary as I am at work. But the 15 minutes I did watch I did not feel that she was making it about her. I felt that she was trying to say that she has a lot to learn .. she was admitting she is the newbie and needs guidance and that the Queen has been wonderful in that way. To me she was saying just how gracious and giving the Queen is to her with support.

      Anyway we all see things differently.

      Delete
    8. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2016 at 22:56

      Some thoughts on some comments in this "thread":

      Labelo: "I imagine she probably worries more about misspeaking than she really needs to."
      To be fair, considering how people are commenting her word choices, how she talks too much about herself, her dialect, her giggle and her voice I think she is just very aware that people will analyze it way too closely. Which in turn makes it even harder.

      Anon 20:46: "Sophie is incredibly impressive in her public speaking skills"
      I think she has huge help from working in PR (I think she even owned her own firm). You must be a certain kind of person to venture into that career, and that is a personality that fits rather well into being a royal as well.

      [about William] "...somehow we are supposed to hang on to every word he says."
      Considering how much people analyze what he and Kate says (compared to the other royals) I dont see it as all wierd that he trains phrases beforehand to make sure he doesn't do it wrong. I noticed the "important job with talented guys and girls" line he said this time was almost exactly the same as the one he did when he started the job. It's probably heavily thought out to show credit to the people while being politically correct in not just saying "guys" (which for most people mean peaople and not men nowdays but would be twisted into him being sexist).

      "It also focuses the conversation on HER"
      I see your points. But I wonder... might she have been encouraged to do that, since the documentary was surprisingly focused on the young generation and they cut in William and Kate's wedding and the christening. If you see who were interviewed and how much time they were allowed you would have thought the rank were somewhat like this:

      1. Kate
      2. Harry, Beatrice, Eugine
      3. William, Sophie and the Queens cousin
      4. Charles and Camilla

      So I think the editors and such were gearing it more towards the younger people and hence might have asked more geared questions. And I wonder if they all got the same questions but the ones picked out were different. For example, Camilla talked much about horses, Kate and Andrew about the private Queen and Duke, William about diplomatic world roles and military etc. Did they ask them all about those areas or did they decide beforehand which royal would contribute to what part of the documentary? Also, considering how much they used Kate's clips, it's not surprising that some of them were not too interesting. The others probably had alot of their lines cut and the best ones were saved, while for Kate they wanted screentime since it sells. Just some thoughts. Also, she probably were encouraged to mention William and the kids alot, both because it sells, but also to connect William to the comments. Just like in her Place2be videos, she namedrops him to give him a foot in there as well.

      Delete
    9. I do agree with Diane regarding the difference between being born a royal and marrying into the Firm. It's also very true that Sophie did well, but she does have a good background in PR (she married at age 34, I believe) and she has been a member of the RF since 1999. Experience, time and age is on her side.

      I didn't get the impression that Kate was making anything about her; I think she was trying to praise the Queen and explain how kind and helpful she has been. Rebecca is exactly right regarding the more extensive analysis of W&K's contribution. And I believe that Kate was on the spot far more than Camilla who was able to talk about the Queen and horses! Could they have made it any less controversial for her? I mean really. :)

      Delete
    10. Rebecca I do agree that she drops William into conversations at her various charities as well and you may very well be correct that it is to give the charity a little boost. She also talks about herself, William and George constantly when she meets people on walkabouts. Could be because she was told that is what people want to hear and not because she can't believe her good luck.
      If that is the case then I hope she relaxes and lets people see into the real person behind all these affectations. Her self-deprecation, catches of breath etc. are all suited for a nubile 20 year old, not a 34 year old mother of two. She isn't in a "new job" - she has been at it for 5 years ! She should own her power, her beauty and her popularity. Not cower behind all of that.

      Delete
    11. Mr. Speakman (the VC awardee) had me all misty. All he said was that he fought against long odds and was wounded. You have to do a lot more than that to get awarded the Victoria Cross. And I love the Chelsea Pensioners and their uniforms!

      I do agree with you, Rebecca, about this being geared toward the younger generation. They have to gain support there or else the monarchy will founder.

      Delete
    12. Philly, et al,
      I believe they have staff working the receiving lines with them who introduce each person as they are greeted. Kate and William (and anyone else for that matter) are not memorizing 600+ names/details of dignitaries.

      Delete
    13. In the photo of Kate from the back, there is a man behind her and to her side. He is there to say the name and country of the person in front of her. Someone (from the foreign office?) introduces the diplomats to the royals. There is another video in which the Queen expresses sympathy about a tragedy in someone's life. She is heard to check the facts with an aide before she starts her rounds. There is plenty of careful assistance when the royal family are greeting people. The Queen has met all of the ambassadors when they present their credentials, but she is meticulous about getting things right. The other members of the family, except for Charles, are generally meeting strangers but have traveled in some of the countries they represent. Therefore they can make intelligent conversation with some of the guests. But briefing and introductions are of course necessary.

      Delete
    14. You make some excellent points about the younger royals being intentionally featured by the editing. They know that they draw a crowd, so it only makes sense that they'd get the lion's share of the interviews.
      Like you, I'm also loathe to make any judgments about being self-interested, etc. when we're only getting snippets of what I'm sure were much larger interviews, prompted by specific questions and then edited down.

      Delete
    15. Royalfan you do make me laugh! You could say the same about Kate, talking about kids, family and "gan-gan" is about as non-controversial as it gets! It's not as if Camilla could talk about a new baby, or the Queen leaving gifts on her pillow :)

      I made this point in another thread, but I think the biggest thing to learn from Sophie's appearance, and even Camilla's, is that hard work pays off and you have to earn your standing in life. They both had to redeem themselves, they both had a long trek in from the cold. So they put their heads down, worked hard and didn't complain. And the respect followed. Good lessons for all of us :)

      I know the Cambridges are very close to the Middletons, but I often wish they had better ties among the Windsors. After all, only those relatives have experienced the royal life that William & Kate are going to lead, they could learn a lot from William's extended family.

      Delete
    16. Anon 20:46, I wanted to say that it was immediately clear to me at the part you mention, when Kate is seen laughing and saying "of course William and I have a long way to go", that she had just been asked/prompted by the interviewer, something to do with when she and William would be in the Queen/Phillip's position. You can tell that they cut in as she was laughing and responding. It is a way for documentary makers to construct narrative, and is maybe a pity for the interviewee.

      Delete
    17. Well Claudia, I'm glad you enjoyed a laugh, but I have to disagree with you here. Scroll up and look at some of the highlighted topics that Kate touched upon. I never suggested that she discussed physics, but there is far more there to analyze and debate than if she sat there going on and on about the Queen's love of corgis, for example. In the appropriate setting, would Camilla's comments be cause to discuss her relationship with the Queen, or Charles, or her entry into the Firm? Absolutely not. And while I totally get the reasoning behind it, wouldn't you have expected more in depth comments from a woman who will be the next Queen? Meanwhile, we're talking about Kate as if she will be handed the keys to BP tomorrow morning. And we're (once again!) speculating about her marriage. In Camilla's case there was no such food for thought. That was my point. No more, no less.

      Delete
    18. There is a title for the person who introduces people in the reception line to the royals, giving name, title, country, and pertinent distinction. Is it Equerry, Footman?

      Delete
    19. Correct, 02:55, Kate is not "new" to her job, nor is she a "new" mother. She has been a senior Royal for five years now and is the mother of two, the oldest being almost three. As if that still requires pampering. The job and motherhood are no longer new to her. She is mature and needs to fulfill her duties accordingly as others in the family are doing.

      Delete
    20. I was just having a bit of fun royalfan.

      I wish, in general, we could all just relax a little, royal watching is supposed to be fun! People take things so seriously, their own comments and other comments, it's just a discussion.

      Maybe it's the internet, I don't know. Back when we sat around looking at magazines in person we discussed all kinds of things, so many different opinions, so many points were made, and no one took it as more than a good chat. The only time someone got in a huff was when there was no tea!

      Delete
    21. Oh, I wasn't upset at the reference to fun, Claudia. Not at ALL. I was multitasking and responded quickly without adding a smile or two which does lighten the tone. We DO agree on that. :)

      Delete
  29. I was astonished at the commentaries by Beatrice and Eugenie. They have, up to now, seemed like capricious bimbos to me, to be honest. They could, if planned properly, become real assets as ambassadors of the crown. Tone down the partying by about 90% and give them some platforms. Something constructive and worthwhile to do. I would never have guessed that Phillip was close to the grandchildren, especially the granddaughters, since he seems more like the man's man type of guy. That was a very pleasant surprise. He now seems like he is, in fact, the firm support for the entire family. Who knew.
    I enjoyed the Queen's cousin sharing her story of doing a skit and dropping Elizabeth as she was carrying her over the threshold. It reminded me of a similar time when I was in a seventh grade play and was supposed to catch the tall, cute boy who was playing the lead part, as he fainted. During rehearsal,
    I started talking to the person beside me and missed him. He just happened to be the boy that I had a crush one all of seventh grade. I was so embarrassed. He no doubt remembers me though. I am sure Elizabeth gets a laugh when she recalls her cousins faux pas. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you about PB and Princess Eugenie. They would be a huge asset to the royal family as working royals. They are young, attractive , personable and well
      spoken. Like you, I was especially taken with PB's seemingly close relationship to the Duke of E. I always thought he was a gruff, short man's man with no perceptible soft spot but apparently that is far from the truth.

      The big take away I had was that the Queen is an incredible woman who has really dedicated her entire life to her position. I was exhausted watching her! I can see Prince Charles being a similar ruler but, at this point, have a hard time seeing W&K adopting the same rigorous calendar. However, time is on their side, so who really knows.

      As other posters, I did miss Edward, Anne and Zara. PH, as usual, exudes confidence and relatability. One can't help but like him.

      On a frivolous note, I still dislike Kate's Diplomatic Reception dress but not as much. The back is much nicer than the front. I thought that how the skirt is gathered in the back almost giving the effect of a train is beautiful.

      Delete
    2. I agree, I thought the Yorks did very well, and I think it must have been so emotional for the Queen and Prince Philip to hear their children and especially grandchildren speak so lovingly about them.

      I think Charlotte did a great job capturing not just the narrative, but the spirit of the documentary as well. I did wonder where Edward and Anne were.

      I think I realized again how much we will lose when she dies, much more than just a person. She has lived through such history, been a steady figure throughout. Her generation, the one of our parents and grandparents, had such standards, such an extraordinary sense of duty.

      I think the Queen's death might have a tremendous impact on William, seeing her life's work played out in newsreels, the effect she had on people, the quiet and dutiful way she went about fulfilling her role. The public reaction will be tremendous and last night was maybe a small preview of that. I hope the younger royals maybe realized a little more what they're part of, what opportunities they have, what an important role the monarch has in the country. Charles and William have big shoes to fill.

      When Elizabeth II dies it will truly be the end of an era, I'm not sure what to expect in the years after her death, but I'll be watching!

      Delete
    3. Truly, it will be the end of an era Claudia. Big shoes to fill indeed!

      Delete
  30. I was quite moved by the film and thank you for posting the link. As an American, I'm in awe of such an inspiring leader with such integrity and dedication. If only the rest of the world had such a privilege. It brought tears and laughter, and certainly a greater insight into the British monarchy and specifically Queen Elizabeth. Perhaps it's okay to say, God has blessed the Queen. And may He continue to do so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammy from California28 March 2016 at 19:47

      Jolene, you took the words right out of my mouth.

      Delete
  31. For some reason William came off as rather flippant and shallow. Disappointing to say the least about that.
    I could only understand part of what Kate was saying.
    Her accent was thick, she mumbled and faded off. Where was Anne? Where was Albert? Loved Harry, as usual. He brings a lot to the table. What a gem.

    Other than that the documentary was a nice tribute to the queen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. caroline in montana29 March 2016 at 21:47

      just wondering who you are referring to Albert as? Did you mean Edward?

      Delete
  32. Great documentary, a classic in the "get to know the royals, or so and so at milestone" genre. A few thoughts that might seem critical, but please take them as constructive. I know informed folks don't need explanation or clarification on succession/hierarchy matters, but if someone watched this documentary as "introduction" to monarchy, they might have misunderstood the future role of HRH, the D of C. She was presented in terms of being the next Queen instead of Queen consort to the Monarch to Be (i.e William). I feel this was a missed opportunity to make the connection between HRH D of C's role as akin to that of the position currently held by Prince Phillip. On another (critical) note, I loved Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, and ESPECIALLY the Duchess of Cornwall & Duchess of Essex, all of them are so, so well spoken. As is Prince Charles, who has an exquisite comand of the English language. Now you know where this is going. I do apologize for inserting a bit of criticism here, but William and (even more so) Catherine's English absolutely needs to improve in terms of grammar, elocution AND eloquence. I've been of this opinion for many years and this documentary did not change my thoughts on the matter. Silvia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a very good point Silvia and I thought that myself, it was a poor narrative by the producers and made it sound as if they were on a common path.

      Kate is not going to be "The Queen" in the way Elizabeth II is "The Queen"... William is going to be the monarch, and I expected they might have delved into that more, how she's guiding him toward being King. Kate and Philip actually have the common path.

      Delete
    2. Rosman at St Joe28 March 2016 at 22:32

      I agree with you Silvia. They speak incredibly casually and through a stream of consciousness. They pay no heed to sentence construction or grammar. I shudder at the speeches they probably write before editing. Harry does the same although in this video he did not and was quite coherent. It reinforces the image I have of the Cambridges as being lightweights and not very serious as individuals. Charles, no matter his character comes across as intellectually superior because he speaks more coherently in proper sentences.

      On a positive note I was glad to note that Catherine used the phrase "national importance of her role" in the context of the Queen. After hearing that Pippa and the Middletons thought that the Royal Wedding was going to be a "family affair" I held the distinct apprehension that Catherine was under the impression that the Queen was a regular old village granny.. an old dear with a bunch of scarves. So I was glad that she recognized that the Queen and the family have a role that is of importance - not just in terms of perks such as James Middleton throwing keys to a PPO to park cars, but in duty and responsibility.

      Delete
    3. Kate, to be correct, should have said "International importance of her role".

      Delete
    4. I noticed that right away also Silvia. Kate will be Queen Consort, not Queen. She will be in a supportive role like Phillip.

      Delete
    5. I agree with your points, too Silvia. I know some (looking at you, Julia!) aren't big fans of Charles and Camilla, but they are in front of William and Kate. You'd never have known it.

      Delete
    6. Rebecca - Sweden29 March 2016 at 18:31

      I agree Bluhare. I understand that they were gearing it young to attract viewers, but that would be a perfect time to feauture Charles in a favouring light so to get the younger people used to him. Also, I understand that these recent documentaries have been geared alot towards longlivety and how the Queen has always been there. But I have to wonder, from a PR standpoint, if that is not the smartest way to portray it. It works very well know. But they have such a heavy emphasis on how she has seen it all, reigned longer than such-and-such etc that I think it might make it even harder for Charles and William to follow since there is no chance that they can live up to that, based on sheer numbers alone. I see why it makes ok PR sense to show the Queen as such a pillar for so many (and in this documentary it makes even more sense but I've noticied it in others as well) and how she's such a constant and always there. What happenes when that constant is removed? I, personally, would think that linking the queen as one long strong link in something much greater and continuing would be smarter in the long run for the monarchy as a whole. Still very nice documentary ofc! Just some thoughts I had.

      Delete
    7. 01:33, exactly. As head of a Commonwealth of 53 nations, Kate should have said "International".
      Just another curiosity about Kate's savvy and maturity.

      Delete
    8. Rebecca, @ 18:31. I have said it before, I'll say it again. You should be on the Royal PR team. I am serious.

      Delete
    9. Thanks for the explanation royalfan, I understand how it is when you try to cover a lot of ground in one comment!

      I thought perhaps all the Camilla references were making you a little snarky :)

      Delete
    10. Charles was just featured very favorably and extensively in a documentary on the Princes Trust, so maybe they thought show the grandchildren more? And Charles is out there all the time with an amazing workload, so it was a chance to talk to some of the lesser known royals. Maybe that was the thought?

      Charles is known to be pulling a lot of the strings at BP now, I think if he wanted to be seen more he would have been.

      Delete
    11. You're welcome, Claudia. :)

      But when have I been snarky about Camilla? ME? Never. ;)))

      But seriously, her very limited and benign contributions both here and during the 40 years of the Prince's Trust Ant and Dec (standing) interview have only confirmed my feeling that she is a hot potato from a PR perspective.

      Delete
  33. Obama's tribute was nicely done. He looks younger in the video.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. caroline in montana29 March 2016 at 21:50

      That was my least favorite part actually. If i wanted to watch obama id have watched something else.

      Delete
    2. Caroline,

      I imagine it was very special to the Queen whether we like Obama or not. (I personally don't get into U.S. politics so my comment was on a human rather than political level.) They could have put any world leader in there but they chose Obama. There must be a good reason for that pertaining to Her Majesty.

      Delete
  34. Julia from Leominster28 March 2016 at 19:26

    A lovely show all around.
    I was not surprised that Philip didn't speak as he is almost part of the queen - like Tristan and Isolde, coming from the same trunk of a tree as couples become when they have been married so long, and somehow it would have lessened the importance of that partnership had he spoken - my dream is he will live to be a hundred and he will have his own programme about his life to celebrate that milestone.
    I was surprised that Anne and Edward didn't have a moment but Anne has spoken quite extensively about her mother before. I'm thinking they wanted to put more emphasis on those who had never been interviewed for such a show before - especially Kate and Sophie -who both sounded impressive and Beatrice and Eugenie. I agree with Anonymous above that those girls have been caught in a neverland between being royal and not that has led to enormous criticism and that they both would have been a huge asset had they been given royal roles. Beatrice has such an open manner. She does sound very different from Eugenie just as Harry and William sound very different. Harry truly is a charmer - he has such an easy way with him. A joy to hear them all. I think Zara may have been in Australia when this programme was filmed.
    I loved all the horses and the dogs - although I would have liked a bit about the corgis, but my favourite part were all the members of the household who spoke, that groom whom I've seen ride with the queen so often, the footman and the head housekeeper, the fireman and all the rest, and the old soldier and the lady who had been in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service, and the daughter of that housekeeper in Malta. Such wonderful stories - I would have been delighted for it to go on and on - a whole new series on the queen would be wonderful.

    As for scattered thoughts, Kate's dresses are lovely, and that blue one has a lovely flow to it. I do wish the queen would wear a helmet and a seat belt as well but she never will, so that's that. Health and safety will have to wait for the next generation. Andrew sounded good. Don't see why Charles and Camilla couldn't have sat down - both seemed as they were about to rush off somewhere - that must have been the intent. And wherever that was filmed behind Harry - it looks as though someone has a clock collection, or are my old eyes playing tricks on me...
    My favourite moment of all was the queen running to catch the race and all the enthusiasm she showed - absolutely brilliant!!!! Loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia, the running to the race scene was a clip from the Elizabeth R documentary which can be found on YouTube. If you haven't already watched it, it's well worth it -- the Queen was actually interviewed for that documentary.

      Delete
    2. Julia from Leominster29 March 2016 at 17:18

      I thought I watched that ages ago - but I don't remember the race sequence. Will have to watch it again. Much comment out there on the panda - that was very strange. Apparently, it was given to the zoo - I suppose the dog was meant to be a companion.

      I was thrilled to see the Braemar Games shown off - wish William and Kate would attend - along with Easter services, and the Derby, if not Ascot, I would love to see the future monarch show interest in this traditionally royal attended event. (And since I'm a believer that a royal lady should present the shamrocks to the Irish Guards when they are in Britain - my current idea is that it should be rotated among the royal ladies, Anne, Sophie, Kate, maybe even one of the York girls. That seems the best solution, but no one will listen to me.)

      On the broadcast, the only one whose comments I didn't care for was William. I'm mindful that they were asked questions, and that programmes like that are pieced together like a quilt, but I didn't like the comments about people fainting. We know such things happens, to guards, to the train-bearer of the queen, not just to the public but it's embarrassing to those involved and I just think there were other more positive things that could have been made the focus.

      Delete
    3. Julia, I think passing out the shamrocks on a rotating basis amongst the the Royal ladies is an even better Idea than Kate doing it every year even if we were sure she would. BRILLIANT
      idea. Becca, did you get that?

      Delete
    4. The video of the race is titled "Queen talks back to the Queen Mum" or something like that.

      Delete
  35. Interesting that two Americans have commented on Beatrice's clear contribution. To my English ears, I thought her delivery was the worst of all. Kate was fine, bit nervous in places, but her accent wasn't the horror show I was expecting from comments elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rebecca - Sweden28 March 2016 at 23:02

      Very good point. I notice I had a very hard time with the royals accents before since as a Swede I mostly hear english in movies and songs and such, hence having an american accent mostly. But after following the royals for a while (and watching downton abbey) I notice that I don't have such a hard time anymore. The only one I really couldn't understand in the documentary was the Scottish fellow that they interviewed at the Breamar games :P

      Delete
    2. This really is fascinating. Count me as another American who had the easiest time understanding Beatrice and a hard time understanding Kate. I think this was less about accent and more about the tenor of their voices/delivery--Kate speaking somewhat softly, with lots of qualifiers, made her somewhat more difficult for my ears to pick up than Beatrice, whose voice is louder/higher. I still understood Kate's comments, I just had to listen more closely.
      That said, I wouldn't say Beatrice's delivery was my favorite--she definitely came across as young (which she is!)--but it was professional enough, and endearing.

      Delete
    3. I actually had the hardest time understanding Charles. He really mumbles under his breath. I didn't realize Eugenie had such an interesting tone to her voice. I liked it.

      Delete
  36. Tammy from California28 March 2016 at 19:49

    I finally got to sit down and watch the documentary. It was wonderful. I couldn't admire more. Charlotte, thank you so much for posting the link for us Americans.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Lovely documentary! I was so struck with the dedication and strength of the Queen, and truly amazed at how she took on her role at such a young age with such graciousness. She truly is inspirational, and as a woman I seek to model her hard work and dedication to her calling in life. What a superb example!

    I couldn't help but feel (when they mentioned the Queen training a princess who will one day be a queen) that Kate isn't deserving of following in her footsteps (YET). I have been a long time admirer of Kate and ignored criticisms, however recently when she didn't show for St. P's Day, I felt disappointed. I have no idea if the rumors of her being "work shy" are true. Really, we can never quite know how much work she puts in behind the scenes, and I'm hopeful her presence and her voice will be more evident in years to come. Still, I think she has a wonderful example in the Queen, and I hope she rises to the occasion.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Zora from Prague28 March 2016 at 21:06

    Thank you, Charlotte! The documentary is fantastic. I love the title - Our Queen, not just The Queen, at 90. In fact, it brought tears to my eyes as I realized that in a sense, she's my queen as well - even though I'm a foreigner. As many people have said, she has always been there, all my life. I can't express how much I admire her. And she is still so beautiful - especially her smile and the sparkle in her eyes... Loved the funny moment with cutting the cake :-). Zora

    ReplyDelete
  39. As always, fabulous coverage Charlotte! I haven't commented in awhile as I haven't been spending as much time online for pleasure, I work in front of a computer all day and then I come home and spending a few hours looking for summertime work since my job is only during the academic year (I'm a high school secretary). Anyway, enough about me.

    I watched the documentary on YouTube this morning and just some thoughts I had....

    The Queen seems so grounded and natural with everyone she interacts with which I find remarkable. I don't remember who mentioned it during the interview (Countess of Wessex, maybe?) but the statement that her smile lights up her face is 100% accurate. She had this glow about her at all times, very much present and I imagine anyone who meets her feels welcome and noticed. Her concern for the staff member's home spoke volumes to me about her involvement in all things personal and professional.

    It was wonderful to see the Royal Family with a little bit of their guard down, really showcasing the love they share for the Queen and for each other. I don't imagine it is easy always being in the spotlight but I really did get a sense of how connected they are as a family, aside from being "The Royal Family", they really are just parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I was happy to hear the Queen referred to as Mother and Granny, it showed that her family is able to separate the two sides of her life which I think is key to building and maintaining relationships and will serve the Monarchy going forward.

    As an American, the Royal Family has always fascinated me (what little girl doesn't want to grow up to be a Princess?) but where they seemed cold and disconnected at one time, I'm understanding them more and more and this documentary was really eye opening for me. In a country that has seen 12 Presidents during the Queen's reign, it really can be quite difficult to wrap your head around the idea of a Queen and Royal Family.

    I was excited to see what Kate would contribute and I think it's safe to say, she provided insight into the Queen as a teacher and mentor. I very much get the feeling that it is a mutual admiration between the 2 ladies and I think the Queen understands the place that Kate will one day occupy and wants to share her guidance and wisdom while also allowing her to carve her own niche.

    I could go on all day but I'll wrap up here shortly.

    I had to giggle when the Queen joked that they would open the doors and no one would be there during the Diplomatic Reception. She does seem to have a good sense of humor, which I'm sure is needed in her position. Near the end with her unable to cut the cake at the WI event was also quite amusing to me.

    Seeing Kate's full look at the Diplomatic Reception changed my mind of the dress, I found myself not really liking it as much as I thought I would. Now having seen Kate in the Halo, Papyrus & Lovers Knot tiaras, I have to say that I think the Lovers Knot suits her best. I feel like she's grown into the Lovers Knot, she began her marriage with the Halo which was small and pretty, then as she began to attend events requiring a tiara, she moved to the Papyrus which was also very pretty and slightly larger and now as she and William begin to take a larger role, she's moved to the Lovers Knot. I would love to see her continue to use the Lovers Knot or maybe keep us guessing and bring a tiara out that hasn't been seen in awhile or perhaps even a new one.

    I think it's safe to say that the documentary provided a wonderful glimpse into the woman the Queen is, the family she is from and gives a nice boost to where the Monarchy and the family will go in the future. She has laid remarkable groundwork for how to represent your country and your people and I think everyone can take something away from the documentary, regardless of where you live in the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosman at St Joe28 March 2016 at 22:24

      That's so funny. I thought that the entire outfit was perfection. From the dress to the Tiara to the bangles and hair. I wouldn't change a thing for once. ha ha !!

      Delete
  40. What do people think of the substance of Kate's remarks? Can we have a discussion on her command of the language?

    I have no doubt that Kate has an excellent character and she represents the RF well. However, Kate really needs to improve her eloquence. Her sentences lack correct construction and she uses a very limited lexicon. She does not need to be flowery or complex. Simple, short and clear sentences will do. Her current meanderings are quite baffling and she needs to vary her use of words.

    Harry give a great lesson in authenticity. He is just himself and his warmth radiates. William seemed a little shallow. His "got the t-shirt' comment about the Queen was frankly demeaning from a man of his rank and stature. He reminded me of a young teacher who was trying to get "down with the students" and it falling flat on its face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think she was just terribly nervous. They did an "interview" with her (not an actual interview obviously, these would all have been highly rehearsed with questions/answers known in advance) and used different parts of that interview throughout the documentary.

      I actually think an early part of her interview must have been used at end of doc because you could actually hear her voice trembling, which would have been more likely when she first sat down, and would have settled down as she got more comfortable talking.

      It will only get easier the more she does! She still has a lot to learn and adapt to, and not to be morbid, but the Queen will only be with us for a few more years, the time to get comfortable with everything is now. William and Kate's life will change dramatically with the Queen's passing.

      Delete
    2. Yes I also thought she was very nervous. It certainly doesn't seem like she's been in the royal family five years. Kate was completely different to the other royals interviewed. She needs to relax! But as Claudia said, the more she does the better she will become. Kate's done two engagements with the queen so far - why not do more while she's still around and pick up some tips? Look at how far Sophie has come. I'm amazed by her improvement. She seemed like a true born royal in this interview.

      Also, as many have said, Kate should drop the facade and just be herself. Everyone wants to see the real Kate. It's obvious she's holding back.

      Delete
    3. I noticed the quavery voice too, Claudia. I always hate that, and mine kept quavering even after my nerves were calmed when I first started to speak in public. I don't do it any more, but I absolutely hated it when my voice did it!

      Delete
    4. "meanderings" is an appropriate way to describe what she does. She did do that in the engagement interview as someone mentioned.
      so frustrating. I still haven't deciphered everything she said.

      Delete
    5. Well said Claudia. I watched the program with a tinge of sadness. Tomorrow my husband and I go on what may well be our last visit to see his mum 1300 miles away. She is 94 and, at 90, was as spry as the Queen. But 4 years have wrought huge changes in her and now we can only hope her suffering ends soon.
      As for her accent, I know my accent changed significantly depending on where I am. When I am home in Montreal, a slight French inflection creeps in. Back among my friends in England my vowels round. And here in Arizona they flatten. I agree that she sounds very nervous but I am sympathetic to her.

      Delete
    6. I agree she was really really nervous.

      Also, though I do not want to find her excuses why she has a kind of limited vocabulary and all the swallowing of words and etc. but she is at home with the kinds for a quite a time now, hardly has any work to do, so in this kind seclusion, she hardly uses or needs eloquent vocabulary. I hope nobody with a baby takes this as an insult. It is my experience.

      Once somebody suggested reading can broaden not just your mind but the vocabulary as well. Maybe she needs to do that exactly, reading and moreover taking part in royal life and work more.

      I can't imagine how this shoe would fit her if she had to step up and do more sudddenly.

      Delete
    7. Agreed with Claudia that she was clearly nervous. I completely understand, since speaking isn't my forte either, and I tend to ramble if I'm not reading from a script. In trying so hard to be eloquent and careful with my words, I end up sounding the opposite!

      While some criticisms of her that I've heard seem almost personal in nature, as though her lack of speaking skills or eloquence in some way are a personal vice, I'll simply say that I hope that this is something that she continues to practice and get professional help with, since she'll be called upon to speak many times in her role as a member of the royal family.

      Delete
    8. So sorry to hear about your mother-in-law Valerie, things can go downhill very quickly in older people and it can be stunning and frightening to witness. I've been there and understand, sending you the very best wishes to help you through it.

      I do think people forget how old the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are, and she has had a stressful, demanding life. Yes her mother had great longevity, but apart from the stresses of the abdication, she had a fairly pampered, cushy existence in later years, with her daughter the Queen footing the bill for most of it!

      Labelo, I agree, more work & more experience will make her better every day. No one wins Wimbledon by playing tennis once a week! As the saying goes "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice."

      :)

      Delete
    9. Claudia,

      The Queen Mum was also, in addition to the abdication, very Instrumental in WWII for boosting morale and risking her life by staying in London during the bombings. Remember hitler
      supposedly called her England's most powerful weapon. I think she, along with Phillip, were and are a strong undergirding for the Queen. The Queen has had a lot of help but she also moved forward daily with that help. Surviving in a war can build determination and a very strong sense of duty. Hers was definitely augmented by that. She's never shirked responsibilities "big" or "small".

      I agree that W/K should get to it and stop playing around with the idea of duty. It will only be harder the longer they wait to become "full time" royals. They are getting the privileges of that now so they should put forth full effort now. William has the perks for being a full time Royal, not a helicopter pilot. That is a noble Job, but it it is not what he is receiving the perks to do. Kate needs to show the children that duty is very important to her and not a take it or leave it concept. That's not the definition of duty. The children are going to be called upon to fulfill their roles dutifully. They need role models for that. In addition, I think the Queen and Phillip could really use more of W/K's help.

      Delete
    10. Absolutely Anon 22:15 and I should have clarified that, thank you. I often lump the abdication/straight into the war together, since it was so close in time. That was a difficult period for her, and my parents quoted her line about leaving the King many times! And of course her husband died at a relatively young age, which I can't even imagine.

      Delete
  41. Kate's sentence construction was a bit off to say the least. She is going to be criticized one way or the other. She should just drop the facade and be herself. She is going to have to do that sooner or later. She says one thing and in the same sentence contradicts herself. Like she is trying to be everything to everyone. When asked in the engagement interview if the proposal was a surprise, she said I thought perhaps maybe he'd have thought about it..... but, no, it came as a total shock. ? And when asked about Diana, it is really twisted and confusing and she faded off again. She does that a lot. Just be real and answer the questions. Use Harry as an example Kate. Live your life as you. Fully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have thought this for a while, but don't believe Kate actually knows her true self. She met William when she was so young -- 19? -- and has been waiting for him/with him ever since. As far as I have read, she has not ever worked, either to earn an income or as a regular volunteer, etc., and really just seems to have lived her life for William. I personally believe that because we are hearing from her more often, we are seeing the real Kate -- someone who isn't overly brilliant or well-spoken and who has really shaped her life around someone else. It's almost as if her growth as a person was stunted because she couldn't really be a "normal" person. Although she has myriad material things, in a way, I feel sorry for her. Watching her in the documentary was quite sad to me. I hope she becomes more confident as she grows older.

      Delete
    2. 05:48. BINGO

      I think you have said what the mystery of Kate is and the cause of it. She is living a rather one dimensional life. That explains so many things.
      Outside of a miracle, I don't know how she can ever change. I believe William is really domineering in the marriage just as he was in the dating days. I think the St. Patrick' Day decision was his and his alone. I think his decision to go to Seville was a total surprise to Kate and the Middletons who were already unhappy that he was originally staying home from Mustique to complete the Cambridge studies, let alone go hunting in Spain. I also believe she was kindly appeased or placated about that by the Queen, who loaned her that huge diamond necklace for the art gala immediately following Seville and Mustique. I believe she had no say in his weekend in Africa either. After Kate planning the wedding, they got in the carriage after the wedding and the first thing she said to him wasn't I love you so, or thank you for such a lovely day, but instead, are you happy now?, as if her efforts had had to placate his misgivings. She lives an insular life now due to the senior Royal status and that doesn't afford a lot of the experimental change necessary for her to become better rounded as a person. Probably the only place where she is allowed any leeway, if that, is with the children. Even at that, she has to have some counsel in public speaking. Her interview was a study in what not to do. It really detracted from the excitement and anticipation I had about there being an upcoming documentary.
      I am sure I am not alone in that. Whoever let her portion be filmed like that needs to return to film school. She is a Duchess, and will be the Princess of Wales and Queen Consort. She is a public servant and needs to learn public speaking immediately so she won't come off as some reticent, silly, pampered, shy schoolgirl. Key word here being reticent. Many of us have had to learn public speaking and overcome our reticence, etc. When you realize it really isn't about you but the people you serve it becomes a lot easier. She doesn't need to waste a very powerful world platform. She needs to optimize it powerfully with skill, determination and and purpose. Outside of a miracle that will never happen. Thankfully, I believe in miracles.

      Delete
    3. Anon 19:06 very well put, "when you realize it really isn't about you but the people you serve it becomes a lot easier" !

      Delete
    4. *experential not experimental

      Delete
    5. 19:42, Thank You for taking the time to provide a "transcript" of a portion of Kate's interview. It showed in black and white why I was going "huh???" when listening to her interview.

      Delete
  42. Theresa, from Paris28 March 2016 at 22:46

    What a wonderful documentary. Really amusing, touching and inspiring. I have always been in awe of Her Majesty. This tribute was really lovely to watch.

    On the other hand, it does show up some failings in the younger generation. The sense of duty seems to have gone out the window and that is a pity. I do believe that the generation of the Cambridge's hasn't really grasped all that goes with the monarchy.
    I join those who found the Duchess' eloquence lacking. She seemed extremely nervous speaking. Sometimes you could hardly understand her, swallowing her words. Which is a bit silly, considering the interview was recorded (couldn't someone have given her at least a glass of water ?) She must grow into the job a bit more quickly now. And I also do agree with the commentator who said she spoke a lot about herself.
    I don't like to criticize the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but I must sadly admit they are getting to be a bit of a disappointment in my opinion. You can't gush about the Queen at 90 being so fantastically hard-working and an example of duty and fortitude, and not seem to be doing much to follow in her footsteps. The absence of the Duchess on St Patrick's day seemed with hindsight all the more surprising. And please don't let the children be an excuse. No, the Cambridge's must step up. Both of them. And fast. Sorry if my opinion doesn't please some readers. It just makes me a bit sad to see such a difference between what they say and what they actually do. I hope in the coming months they will prove me wrong !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many that agree with you here Theresa. More and more people are coming to be disappointed with Will and Kate. Imagine talking about how hard working the queen is and how well she's served the people, and failing to fulfill your duty on St Patrick's day to spend time with your kids? Or William, who works part time and also does few engagements? Their lack of embarrassment over the situation amazes me.

      And then Kate does the interview, sounds incredibly nervous, talks a lot about herself, and people ask why? She has not embraced the new life she has entered into. I can assure you that no other royal who has married into the family would sound like that after five years. And don't everyone start to say they're only second in line. Sofia of Sweden, who is sixth or seventh in line, gave a speech in limited English at a conference in Africa just a few months after her wedding. It can definitely be done if you are willing.

      Delete
    2. Sophia's husband is 4th in line to the Swedish throne.

      Delete
  43. Kathleen from New Mexico, USA28 March 2016 at 22:53

    Thank you so much for posting the link to the documentary so quickly! As an American, I feared I wouldn't be able to see it or would have to wait (much like Downton Abbey and other BBC favorites).

    I agree with most other readers that I was very pleasantly surprised by how open and articulate qualities of the Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. Sadly, no matter how much I like Kate, I couldn't keep up with her train of thought and really wanted her to stop mumbling. She seemed much better prepared for the last speech I heard her give in November, for Place2Be than she was for this interview. It is obvious that practice/preparation went a long way for her Place2Be Speech, and one would have thought the same techniques in preparing her would have been used for this interview which more people were going to hear.





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am amazed at the quality of Kate's interview. The thoughts were jumbled, the words mumbled and sentences faded. I wish someone would have been coached in diction, thought construct, and presentation before showing up in a documentary. Hers was the worst. A speech teacher would have flunked her. No offense to her fans. She just needs help.

      Delete
  44. The Queen had a good role model in her mother. She had the undergirding and guidance of her mother until
    2000?. And let's not forget she has an army of hired employees. Her heart is to serve and she has, but she has had help. She and her mother both were to the manor born so that helped a lot also, coupled with the fact that she had learned as her grandfather/grandmother and father were on the throne. And, of course, there was the war, where England fought for it's very survival. That had an influence for sure, along with Phillip's support. She has a good heart and has inner fortitude from her faith. All those things combined have created the Elizabeth we have today.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I do not read as much into the comments by family members as others have but Catherine does mumble a bit and does need more practice at speaking clearly on the fly. There is an art to preparing for possible questions, whether for an interview or a dinner party. One can be taught how to listen to a question and focus on a way to respond. Also slowing down and thinking before starting to speak can help. Some people do this naturally very well, others need to learn. If she does not have someone she should get someone in to help her with that as she will be speaking without prepared notes but for interviews and at important functions and with important people more and more over the coming years. ali

    ReplyDelete
  46. Just watched, and saved your lovely post until after, Charlotte. Thought it interesting that Kate wore the same outfit as she wore for the filmed promotion of her patronage...same day? Her hair looked the same as well. I have been following her closely for years...was surprised and a bit disappointed at her nervous, rambling delivery. Practice will make perfect I suppose, but wish she were more of a natural. Harry was meltingly wonderful as always, Will rather odd, PB and PE shockingly articulate, and Sophie a revelation. God save the Queen!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Canadian Friend29 March 2016 at 02:16

    Hi, Charlotte,

    Thank you for your excellent post and the link to the documentary. I really enjoyed both.

    I was really very struck by how awkward both Kate and William were in comparison to all the other young royals. Harry, Beatrice and Eugenie were all delightful and quite genuine.

    William and Kate seemed very scripted. William's script seemed full of comments that were stilted and almost inappropriate (the t-shirt comment). He seemed very uncomfortable. Prince Andrew was the only other participant who seemed equally awkward. He was rather needlessly animated as if trying to seem very affable.

    Kate's syntax was very jumbled and she sounded as if her mouth was full of marbles. She can have a plummy accent as she has socialized with the aristocracy for years. It just seems odd that her manner of speaking would seem so affected, especially in comparison to the York girls who have been raised in very rarefied circles.

    It just struck me as quite weird. Otherwise, it was an interesting and flattering portrait of HM.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I finally was able to sit down and watch the program in its entirety. It was wonderful to watch. I always get very emotional when they play the speech she gave when she says " I say to now that though my life be short or long I ....." . It just always gets me that at such a young age she was fully aware of her destiny.


    It also hit me after all these years of following the BRF just how very much William looks like the Queen. In her 20-30s the resemblance is striking.

    I was very impressed with the York girls. Thinking they should be utilized more in the Firm. Eugenie sounds so much like Sarah.

    Ah Sophie.... I just find her to be a breath of fresh air. I admire her much and I know she and Queen are very close.

    Harry... well he is just a joy and so much his Mother and yet he is also a Windsor.

    Kate .... she was nervous. Some of the clips she is very posh. Then some she seems to have loosened up a bit. For me I feel she does have a closeness with the Queen.

    It was just lovely and I will watch it many times over. 90 years? As an American with deep roots in Wales and Scotland I found myself verklump. ... I personally cannot imagine a world without our Queen. She is beyond amazing. If in fact the monarchy is indeed anointed by God....then God knew exactly what He was doing when He placed Elizabeth II on the throne. She has carried the Commonwealth through many changes. Her loss and I hope it's ages away will be felt across the globe.

    Just a delight watching and thank you Charlotte for all your hard work keeping all of us informed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her passing will create a huge void. I will be pleasantly surprised if the monarchy survives her. Long Live The Queen

      Delete
  49. I really enjoyed the documentary.
    I think that the Cambridges are in a difficult situation and I believe they are doing as they are told.
    I can't believe that The Cambridges did not think there would be negative press with Kate not attending the St Patrick's day event. So why did she not attend? This must be steered from BP and Prince Charles. Seems like an odd decision, not to mention disrespectful to the military, to not attend. I have to admit I've felt for awhile they they are being steered wrongly, but that these are not their decisions. If they took on a greater public role, the press would be everywhere. And, at the moment, the press should be on Charkes, but it is not. Let's see how much coverage the India trip gets? My guess is front page, everyday. So too would have been the Shamrock ceremony, or any event Kate does for that matter. It's almost like the Cambridge decisions re: which events and how many events are designed to attract as little attention as possible and even negative press. I do not understand the wisdom of this kind of thinking, but that's how it seems. As soon as William is Prince and Kate is Princess of Wales, it will be a very different story. At that time, I've no doubt that they will be everywhere but for now, it's desirable on a number of fronts for them to be visible as little as possible to allow others to shine. I'm curious as to how others see this :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually we have discussed this many many times on the previous posts on this site. We have debated the Shamrock Crisis till most of us have some bald spots on our heads and our nails are stubs. Just kidding.

      Anonymous 03.45 with all due respect this topic has been beaten to death. I suggest that you peruse previous posts in the last week or so and you will get a great idea about how we all feel.

      Delete
    2. Caroline in Montana29 March 2016 at 22:41

      I agree with what you are saying about the press. I think they are trying to get Charles and Camilla to the forefront, but myself like a lot of others don't really care for them so much. The St. Patrick's day ordeal didn't upset me in the least and i thought that the Irish Guard was so pleased and happy to have William there, I don't remember them smiling like that when it was a lady handing out Shamrocks. I think the queen is all for letting them have a few years to raise their children in the country, just like she got a chance but hers was cut short when her father died. They are 2nd in line, not next so i think they should be allowed to have this firm foundation. as to the documentary, i watched it last night and thought it was delightful. I had no problem understanding anyone, and there was a super cute moment when the queen and some other folk (politicians?) were passing some military men standing at attention and one was William on the end of the row, could not tell what they said to each other, but they both had big grins on their faces after!! I also loved the way that everyone invited to the garden party was a volunteer and or had spent their lives in service. It is clear that Kate does have a lot more to learn and the time to learn it. so I think before we get to ahead of ourselves we should just wait and see. my 2 cents.

      Delete
    3. Anon 3:45, I disagree with Diane Brown. You have given us some interesting ideas to consider. I am not sure I think the Cambridges are as controlled as you suggest, but.I do think there is an effort to keep the spotlight on C&C.

      Delete
  50. I don't know what some of you are talking about.. i could understand kate fine i had no problem with it and i thougt she came across very well. Everyone who i know who watched on tv said the same. (her accent was only thick in the first five minutes after that fine)

    ReplyDelete
  51. Annette New Zealand29 March 2016 at 07:36

    Just a few comments. There are several garden parties held at Buckingham Palace each summer plus I think, one in Scotland at Holyrood House. Unless it has changed in recent years, Commonwealth subjects can apply through their High Commissions to attend either a garden party or Trooping the Colour. However you do need to be in London for most of the summer to have a good chance of getting on the list. My girlfriend and I were living in London quite a few years ago and were fortunate enough to get invitations - she got a seat for the Horse Guards Parade to watch Trooping the Colour while I got an invitation to a Garden Party. I went with an Australian Friend who had also been invited. (We had to buy hats I remember.) Enclosed with the invitation were instructions as to when and where to attend plus a pass for our taxi to take us into the forecourt at Buckingham Palace. We went in a side entrance and were shown through some corridors before exiting into the gardens at the back of the Palace. The first hour or so before the Royal family come down the steps we were free to wander around the beautiful garden and listen to the Army band playing. There is a buffet afternoon tea set up in temporary pavilions to one side so we helped ourselves to this. As it got near to four o'clock the Royal equerries ushered the crowd into long corridors leaving space down the centre for the Royal family members to walk along. Each family member chose a separate corridor. Various people were picked out to stand at the front to be personally introduced by the equerries. (They come along just before the family member gets to you and ask for your name and where you were from.) We didn't get to meet the Queen - I think she is probably reserved for the most important guests but there was an opportunity to meet other family members. We met the Duke of Edinburgh who was very nice. I know the equerries also attend formal receptions and are there to make introductions. There used to be very strict instructions about curtsying or bowing and how to address the Queen, waiting until she spoke first etc but my impression from watching videos nowadays is that that has been considerably relaxed in recent years especially with younger royal family members. However the sorts of chats the Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry have with various people just don't happen with the Queen. You will notice she is much more formal although always very polite, gracious and charming. Coming from a country where we don't have much of an upper class I personally think curtsying etc is quite ridiculous in our modern age and any relaxation of these rules is a good thing in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was so nice Anett. Thank you for sharing.
      Can Americans apply? :)

      Delete
    2. Annette New Zealand30 March 2016 at 02:25

      I don't know. It is worth enquiring through the US embassy in London if you are going to be in London (or Scotland) in summer.

      Delete
  52. Just finished watching on youtube. I just adore seeing the Queen going about her business. I teared up seeing her look at her portrait at the beginning. I don't think anyone will ever be able to fill her shoes. So interesting to hear the difference between Eugenie & Beatrices' voices! Poor Kate seemed nervous and muddled a bit, timid almost. You'd think she would be more confident in speaking her mind by now. Fantastic to see inside the Diplomatic reception. All so beautiful! Steph in Aust :)

    ReplyDelete
  53. It seems William and Kate had completed their most important duty of their first five years.
    1. Bringing back the image of the almost forgotten British Monarchy alive and kicking around the world. Every generation has had interest in British monarchy in one form or another within the context of history. After Diana’s death, interest in BRF faded until the big come back of her son and his fiancée.
    2. They have given birth to the heir and the spare.
    3. Kate had helped “sell” products she wears and/or favors, which is good for the retail industry.
    4. The couple has joined the growing trend of marriage between royals and commoners.
    5. The interest in them had also helped refresh an interest in the countries they visited or will visit.
    6. Young couple and/ or families of their generation who are fans might find something from the strength of the couple’s long years of relationship and ongoing family upbringing.

    Otherwise the honeymoon with the global public seems to be gradually fading.

    The Queen is admirable obviously. Her looks feeding the horses is the sweetest. Her funny comment “Will there be anybody when we open the doors”, at the diplomatic dinner was adorably an interesting humor.

    One cannot be uncomfortable with Charles being a king provided the British monarchy will continue. He cannot be disregarded or condemned anymore because of his “moral mistake”. It seems he tried to please Queen, country and self, all at the same time while eluding him and others. He had paid his due by now after 25 years. Well, being human is not easy all the time, for all the people and at the same time.

    From the BRF who contributed remarks for this documentary, I end up being a fan of Sophie, and depending on what she is talking about, I might listen to her all day. Nice clear voice, speech and naturally comfortable and confident with herself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Anon15, Sophie was fantastic, so natural and at ease, as if she was speaking to her mother or a friend.

      I know a lot of people chalk it up to her PR background etc, and certainly she is an older, more experienced woman, but it's worth remembering what early royal life was like for her. She had an awful time publicly after her terribly bad judgment and indiscretion, and she has worked her way back with great diligence and humility. In my experience the British public will forgive just about anything if you're seen as remorseful, and a hard worker, as working hard is real life for most of the public.

      The same could be said for Camilla, who maybe had the worst entry into royal life! But again she kept her head down, worked hard, and earned respect.

      As you get older you know one thing for sure, life can be messy! People make mistakes, some more serious than others. But your mistakes don't define you, how you recover from them does.

      "The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And the road back with humility."

      Delete
    2. You have an interesting view point although I did not see Sophie’s comfort level that way as in talking to a family member. True, she looked that at ease which can be attributed to many factors.

      IMO: As the clarity of her voice, speech and what she was saying drew more and more attention, it turned into an interesting storytelling on nature, place and picturesque Balmoral when she described the scenery. Then it was her description about the Scottish dance, which was displayed, and her conclusion “you have to be there to experience it”. She came through as someone telling you about a favorite place of the queen, many times spent there, almost like a tour guide promoting a place, the cultural heritage dance of part of GB, and this in the brief time that was allocated for her remark. There was also no destruction in her presence, appearance or anything that took attention away.

      Delete
  54. Throughly enjoyed the documentary, which should be viewed as the producer's portrayal of his/her vision of the Queen's 90 years. The interviews have been spliced and diced to form comments to illustrate the 90 year achievement and shouldn't be looked at in isolation. How sad we can't just enjoy the spectacle and tribute to a remarkable woman.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Sarah from Calif.29 March 2016 at 14:10

    Love it Charlotte! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thank You Charlotte for this post!!I was truly impressed by the life HM has led and all that she has accomplished. However, I am puzzled by a few things in the video, one would be Camilla and the amazing amount of video footage she got. It looked like a fake PR move to me.. the amount of video footage she got could've been given to Edward or Anne, IMO.
    Also, Kate's accent is so swirly that its hard to catch what she is trying to say. And the hair looks so schoolgirly.
    All in all it was a very insightful video and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it,Thank You Charlotte!XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thanks for the great post!! Typically I'm a lurker but I had to say how much I appreciate the site.

    I loved hearing from Eugenie & Beatrice. I think Kate was tense which led to some of her sentences being 'mumbly'. (I would be tense as well knowing that what I say and how I say it is being preserved for all time.) The practice of breathing and making yourself speak clearly and slowly always seems unnatural in the beginning but it's putting it into practice which will help.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I watched the documentary on You Tube and enjoyed it very much. I have a few comments:
    I am a baby boomer, growing up at the tail end of that generation. Diana was my contemporary. I have two boys, the same ages as William and Harry, both married now. The eldest about to have his first child. My mother was born in the same year as HMTQ in Scotland. I am Canadian.
    In my opinion, constantly comparing W&K’s work ethic to that of the Queen is misguided and can only lead to the friction and negativity that we see in almost every single post these days. My parent’s generation and mine tended to “live to work”. We took duty and work very seriously and many of us sacrificed time with family to get ahead and to make their lives better. Today’s generation definitely wants no part of that and wants to “work to live”. But they also have very deep beliefs and concerns about the world they live in and are invested in finding ways to make it better. I look at W&K and Harry and I see millennials, text book millennials. As for W&H, they were raised by Diana to “follow their dreams”, told they were “special”, allowed to be as normal as possible given their royal status. As a result they are confident and tolerant, but with a sense of entitlement – your typical millennials. Not only am I a baby boomer, but I’m an employer as well, and I found millennials as employees extremely frustrating. They have great expectations and demand versatility and flexibility in the workplace. Until I stopped comparing them to my generation, I found myself constantly on edge at work. Once I saw them for who they are and what they can contribute, and learned to admire them for demanding a fulfilling life, I’ve figured out a way to work with them and to tap into the best of them. And there is plenty of that. As a generation, they tend to be optimistic, engaged and team players. W,K&H exhibit all of that.
    As a community on this blog, it would be nice if we would look at the younger royals as who they are rather than who their parents and grandparents are and give them a chance to forge their own way. This is where I get frustrated with the comments here. Those of us who are older, tend to look at W&K, compare them to the Queen, Prince Phillip, and Charles and want to slap them upside the head and tell them to “get with it”. But that’s only going to frustrate us, and keep us at odds with those on this blog who are contemporaries of William and Kate.
    There will be potholes along the way and W&K are certainly experiencing one now, but they will weather this storm. Right now they are clashing, seriously clashing, with the previous generations. But I’m actually interested to see how they shape this traditional institution so that the new generations embrace it as much as we did. But it won’t be us that they have to impress, it will be their own generation and George and Charlotte’s generation and so on. I think Kate’s remarks on the documentary say it all – the Queen provides “gentle guidance”. Not a steam roller – but a gentle hand that allows them to make it their own while at the same time embracing some of the important traditions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marny I am a millennial and I disagree with your characterization of an entire generation with such a broad stroke. Yes, there are some who are the way you describe. There are also many hundreds and thousands who are passionate and creative individuals working at the cutting edge of science and technology, educators, entrepreneurs, etc. People who are driven to drive civilization forward through their creations. They work 60-80 hours a week not because they have to, but because they want to. I am not saying everyone does or should. But there are many who also live to work.
      I understand and appreciate the sentiment behind your posting, but you may find that not many millennials would either identify or agree with WK&H and their lifestyle. We are inheriting a bankrupt state, a broken social security system. We will be supporting huge number of pensioners, many of us will choose not to have our own children because of the fact. The world today is full of sadness, poverty and tension. We recognize that and most of us try to do our part. Not many of us are sympathetic to the hundreds of excuses being given to William and Kate.

      Delete
    2. Wonderful insight Marny. Thank you for raising these points and highlighting the difference in generations. As a manager I found the new generation to be very frustrating too and can see a lot of the old ways changing due to this new generation. I did just as you suggested, took them for what they were instead of trying to make something that they aren't.

      Thank you for a fresh perspective on the issue.

      Delete
    3. Thank you. Well said.

      Delete
    4. Julia from Leominster29 March 2016 at 20:26

      I agree with some of what you are saying Marny with one crucial difference. I don't disagree with you on the millennials, I've worked with them myself - but there is a problem. The most successful royals have NEVER embodied their generation.
      Think of George VI and the queen mum and remember the roaring twenties, the bright young things, the time of Goodbye to All That and Vile Bodies. Neither George VI or the queen mum fit in with those times. Edward VIII however, was seen as much more in tune with his time and well....
      The same thing post WWII - the supposed era of stay at home mums (although also the time of Mrs Thatcher's rise and my own mum was a working mum) and the jet-setters. The queen did not fit into her time. She seemed stodgy. Princess Margaret did and well...
      The same thing with the sixties and seventies - Anne and Charles were seen as out of touch with the "do your thing" free love, generation. Most of us may still know an aging hippie or two out there - it's not so fun to see in old age - but the majority of that generation, like every one before it, had to buckle down and go to work. Today Charles and Anne are much admired for their work ethic - but that wasn't typical of their times until later.
      The same thing with the eighties - Diana managed to step outside of her time and her appeal was broad, particularly among the young but the really "in touch" royals, the modern royals were supposed to be Andrew and Sarah - she wasn't a "shy" virgin but a girl with a past, a working girl and well...maybe they embodied the eighties a little too well.
      And now William and Kate...
      They seem the least popular with their own generation among those I know who have to work and probably resent it, especially, the mums who have concerns about childcare.
      This mood is always fluctuating but I don't believe ignoring it will assume that everything will be all right later. No royal has ever succeeded by taking more than they gave and that is timeless, because of the privileges they are offered.
      I've noticed on this blog that there is no unity of opinion that belongs to one age group. Jean of Lancaster who used to post here thought Kate could do nothing wrong and she was one of the oldest. Royalfan is the same generation as Bluhare and me, so are you. Among younger posters, there seems to be an equally wide gap. I respect all viewpoints but recognise that they are individual - but what concerns me most is that I'm not convinced the new generation are embracing William and Kate. There was far more overall interest in the time of Diana - today Harry's charisma picks that up but to succeed William and Kate are going to need to be ahead of the game - ready not for who their generation now is - but what they will become. And the one thing I'm hearing from so many parents of my generation is - "we gave them too much, and now we're having to crack down and say, you have to go out there, get a job and take care of yourselves." So gentle guidance may not help if William and Kate take the path of Andrew and say, we're going to do as we please...
      The European royals are essentially the same generation and they are out there working like mad - they feel the threat of republicanism much more than William and Kate seem to feel and perhaps for that reason the danger may be less. Mette-Marit was a party girl but she's a full time princess now, Frederic and Mary met in a club, but are now much admired royals, with Mary taking on important issues of the day. Victoria married her personal trainer - we even have a realty star - but they are all out there doing - and are accepted and admired for that. It's not hard to see them as the future of royalty - but William and Kate?

      Delete
    5. Marny, thank you so very much for your insight into today's generations and their varying challenges. I find it very interesting to see how you personally handle the differences and very much appreciate your outlook on our community!

      Delete
    6. Julia,

      The world that William and Kate are facing is no tea party. They had better get to it now fully
      and be entrenched and prepared. The bullies of the world are assessing and strategizing. It is not just another day at the races. If we are seeing the monarchy's weaknesses, including those of William and Kate, we are not the only ones. Personally, I don't think the bullies of the world would particularly like the idea of Harry being King. He could and would prove formidable. Harry as smart as he seems, is even smarter, IMO. The time to stop playing games is now. The Royal family needs to think about the world today and plan accordingly. It doesn't seem that they are. Harry said recently that they all do pretty much as they please, everyone doing something different. Sounds like the lack of a game plan, lack of cohesiveness. Not the best scenario.

      Delete
    7. Marny, I appreciate your comments. You put into words the frustration that does exist as W&K are analyzed, and graded in every post. :)

      Julia, I was a bit younger than Diana, but I followed her from the beginning and I recall plenty of times when HER approach was viewed with skepticism because she believed in the monarchy being more in touch with people, and more relevant overall.

      If success in the RF was based on work ethic alone, why does Charles have a separate checkbook for his PR expenses? Would Ann be welcomed and loved as Queen? I'm not suggesting that it's a popularity contest, but there is more to it than adhering to a rulebook with yellow and worn pages.

      To be fair, the BRF needs to be "graded" as a whole, with each member playing his or her part as defined *today*. Not forever, but today.

      Delete
    8. True, Anon 21:35, it isn't a tea party.

      Diana was hounded by paparazzi, but I cannot imagine how it would make her feel to see her sons and daughter-in-law subjected to internet bullying on a daily basis.

      Delete
    9. Caroline in Montana29 March 2016 at 22:52

      That was very well worded and I thought indeed a great explanation. It gives me much to think about. I am the tail end of Generation X and have a hard time with the Millennials myself. As far as William and Kate I think long term and not right now, now, now, it is a long game and not one you can quit. I think they are doing fine.

      Delete
    10. RF, the "bullying" will always be there. If they do their jobs correctly there number of supporters will help offset that. If your reference to bullying was directed at me you missed the mark. I was talking about factions who have stated they want the British throne. They came very close with Dodie. If the BRF doesn't want critiqued they need to retire to the private sector.

      Delete
    11. No, Anon 1:02, my reference to bullying was a general one. And I would not include intelligent debate/critique in that category.

      Delete
  59. My reaction: yes it was very vanilla and had the usual sugary sweetness to it that one expects. But you have to really hand it to the Queen - unmatched in her sense of duty.
    I liked Sophie the best. Absolutely top notch presentation. She gets more and more handsome by the day too. I was also impressed with Eugenie although I don't care for her voice. She seems like a strong personality, not likely to be a pushover. I bet that she is going to be very successful professionally - mark my words, she is no lazy bum. I got the impression that she is a driven individual and will go after what she wants.
    I have to say that I am a bit amazed at the reaction to Kate's part of the interview - I thought there would be more platitudes about her but everyone is being quite candid. Although, I do agree with the overwhelming majority who feel that she needs practice and should stop being so nervous. I also agree that she does tend to bring herself up in the interview all the time - it got on my nerves as well. Why does she do that ??
    I was intrigued by one of William's comment where he praises Philip for not "overstepping the mark". Wow ! Where did that come from? I thought that William was inured to that kind of mindset, but I guess not - being born a prince they really drill it into your head that you're the second coming huh ! So he also gets Kate to not overstep ? I wouldn't be surprised especially in light of Kate's last comment "For once I am in control". It could explain why Kate seems to be stuck in arrested development as a 21 year old - William controls every thought it her head ! I hope that is not the case, but I would not be surprised if this ever came out.
    I was also supremely irritated by William's flippant comments about people fainting and fancy dress at the diplomatic reception and others. He seems to see humor in places where there isn't any. Why is it funny if someone is emotionally overcome? Why is it funny if someone wears their national dress which is different from Britain's? Is he so completely intellectually lacking that he does not understand how insensitive he is. He is so incredibly gauche. I just came away having a strong feeling of dislike for him. Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lecia,

      William comes off as not wanting to be a royal, sort of beside it all only, as a would be "comic commentator". Given his childhood I can't blame him but that approach just doesn't work. Many seem to forget that even his own mother said William does not want to be king. I think it is very obvious. Everything is to "surreal" for him. Not his cup of tea.

      I thought Sophie's comments were condescending and pompous, mockingly so. Next to Kate's comments I thought hers were the worst. Sort of in the attitudinal position of when she (Sophie) said she was the savior of the royal family and when she showed her true colors in her published critiques of the Royal family and others. I noticed a mocking disdain for the common folk. I picked up on the same attitude from Peter. I thought the York girls came out of the blue as winners. And Harry, Ahhh, Harry, he's a natural, and did I mention, very handsome. :) I even liked Camilla's contribution as brief as it was. Andrew sounded like a little boy. I was disappointed in the documentary as an historical instrument. As a little "love you notecard" to granny from the family it was sort of cute at times.
      I was expecting a lot more.

      Delete
    2. Lecia, I totally agree with you. William's comments are flippant, arrogant, and ignorant. I could not believe that he called the formal traditional dress of other cultures "fancy dress." Kate seemed very nervous and was hard to understand at times. The York princesses, Sophie (etc.) were interesting and articulate. What a contrast.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous 21:19 After watching the programme I totally agree with your opinions especially on Sophie there was certainly a barely disguised distain of the "common folk" in parts of her comments delivered with an empecable speaking voice

      Delete
  60. Very interesting insights Marny, with some valid points. Reminds me of a great observation Kim made recently, that the "discord" in the comments may be the difference between older and younger readers... I think maybe also between younger, single women, and women who have been married, had children, etc.

    And it's certainly possible that the monarchy will look very different in future generations, if it survives that is.

    Because one thing I think we always have to keep in mind in any discussion, is that these are taxpayer funded public officials we are talking about. They are supported by the taxpayer and expected to perform a public role in return. Just as elected officials receive a taxpayer funded salary, office space, and often housing, in return for doing a public job.

    So even millennials who become politicians and public servants can't expect to be part-time mayors, or MPs, congressmen, presidents or prime ministers! One thing that I was really reminded of watching this documentary, is that it's not possible to have a part-time royal life if you want to do it well, and earn the public respect and admiration.

    I often hear American political analysts saying "the voters have a funny way of deciding what's important to them" -- I doubt the British public will ever support a part-time or less than committed Head of State.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had the same impression while watching the documentary, Claudia. There is no way to be an effective royal on a part time basis. As a matter of fact, being the HM is even more than a full time job, I would say. I was struck when the Queen said something to the effect that it is much easier when one recognizes and accepts one's duty, and just gets on with it instead of fighting against it. Once she realized what she had to do, she just did it. Very simple, yet wise, premise and very true.

      Delete
    2. That very line struck me too Erika! And made me think of William who claimed in a recent interview that maybe he could be King and an air ambulance pilot. Good Lord!

      I've often thought William makes life much harder than it needs to be, and ends up creating the very circus he's trying to avoid.

      One example is obviously the press, I understand why he hates them, I understand he didn't ask for any of this, but I feel like he needs to make peace. Even if he gave up his place in line, he'd still be followed by photographers. He's already famous, he needs to realize the press are always going to be there and figure out a way to deal with it. And he should know by now, if he has important causes he wants to highlight, messages he wants to get out, having at least some of the press on your side is key. More flies with honey as they say... :)

      Delete
  61. Annette New Zealand29 March 2016 at 21:07

    I found it quite fascinating that the Queen seems always to have a handbag with her even when she is working in her office or receiving the Prime Minister in the Palace. Perhaps she is a long way from her private quarters and needs something to hold essential items. As I understand she doesn't carry money or a credit card it would be interesting to know what else she has in it. ( Makeup, tissues, spare pair of tights?)

    ReplyDelete
  62. Loved the documentary. It made me quite emotional. I have high regard for HM and wonder how she'll fare when her "strength and stay" ends his days. I'm sure she'll carry on but it'll be very tough and different. (The balcony appearance after the jubilee service without PP (he was ill) just made me realise what's in store.) The family does seem like it's found some measure of emotional strength and depth since the turmoil of the 80s and 90s.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Regarding Kate's speech, I have read many post from people who have met her, say she is very natural and down to earth, even articulate. The fact that she was mumbly would seem to speak to the fact that she was nervous...but wouldn't you think the interviewers might have given her a "heads-up" on what questions would be presented to her? That way she could have been practiced and been more relaxed with her delivery.

    ReplyDelete
  64. So from many comments here it seems Kate is too common and unpolished and unprofessional, while Sophie, William and Peter are too royal and uppity. It just seems that no one but the Queen can win. Remember that Diana had a speaking coach years after she became PoW, so some might want to give Kate a break; it was after all, only her second interview ever. On another note I found it odd that Edward was missing. I don't even recall seeing him in any footage other than family footage growing up (versus an official engagement like we saw with the Queen, Sophie, and Anne at the WI celebration). In fact, we hardly ever see Edward in recent years except at a wedding it seems. It seems Sophie's the one going on tours and engagements and speaks. I wonder what Edward does?

    ReplyDelete

Comments are most welcome! Constructive discussion is always encouraged but off topic or hateful remarks will not be published. If you wish to share your name and where you're from without using the sign in options, simply select the "Name/URL" option on the drop down menu and insert your name, and if you wish the country/state you're from. You can leave the URL blank.

If there are a large number of comments, it is necessary to click the 'Load More' button at the end of the comments section to see the latest additions.