In celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years of reign, a new documentary featuring never-before-seen footage of the royal is set to premiere May 29.
Titled “Elizabeth: the Unseen Queen,” the 75-minute BBC television documentary will focus on the early years of Queen Elizabeth’s life, from her birth to her coronation at the age of 27 in 1953. The film features several home recordings from the Royal Family, which have until this point been privately held in the British Film Institute vaults.
Queen Elizabeth gave BBC Studios permission to access footage and the producers and editors viewed over 400 reels of film. The home recordings include previously lost newsreel and several behind-the-scenes recordings of officially sponsored state events.
According to the BBC, the documentary will feature never before seen footage of notable events in the Queen’s life, including Prince Philip’s 1946 visit to Balmoral Castle, shortly before the pair’s engagement became public. Other major moments that will be depicted in the film include rare captures of the Queen with her uncle Prince George, the Duke of Kent, and footage of the royal family at Blamoral in 1951, a year before King George VI passed away. The film will combine the footage with newsreel audio and public speeches from the Queen, in lieu of traditional narration or interviews.
“We are honoured that The Queen has entrusted the BBC with such unprecedented access to her personal film collection,” BBC commissioning editor for history Simon Young said in a statement. “This documentary is an extraordinary glimpse into a deeply personal side of the Royal Family that is rarely seen, and it’s wonderful to be able to share it with the nation as we mark her Platinum Jubilee.”
“Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen” is directed by Simon Finch, with Julia Harrington and Harvey Lilley executive producing. Clare Sillery, the BBC head of commissioning for documentaries, commissioned the project, while Claire Popplewell served as the creative director. BBC Studios produces. The film will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.