Watch Being the Queen
- 1 Season
Being the Queen is a riveting and comprehensive 2020 documentary produced by the National Geographic Channel. It provides an insightful portrayal of the personal and political life of one of the most recognisable and enduring figures in contemporary history, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The documentary, part of the renowned National Geographic Channel’s slate of high-quality factual programming, spans the entirety of the Queen's remarkable life up to the 2020s. It progressively unveils the true story behind the headlines, through tales of international diplomacy, national crisis, private heartache, and resilient monarchial duty. Being the Queen, in its meticulous construction, shines a probing light behind the ostentatious splendour and traditional pomp and pageantry associated with British monarchy. It seeks to humanize the stoic and composed figurehead, presenting an overview of the personal growth, familial responsibilities, and daunting challenges she has faced in her mammoth reign of over seven decades. Divulging into Queen Elizabeth II's ascension, the documentary uses a wealth of both extremely well-known and rare archival footage. These treasures range from previously unseen private family films, to worldwide footages that have defined modern history. This immersion into a variety of sources brings forth the historic moments, the private trials, the public celebrations, and the deep-seated dilemmas that have shaped the reign of Britain’s longest-serving monarch. A major highlight of Being the Queen is the exclusive interviews it features, adding layers to this in-depth documentary. These involve conversations with esteemed biographers, royal insiders, and individuals who have had rare, close-up experiences with her Majesty. Through their recollections and reflections, the programme paints a respectful, yet deeply engrossing insight into the Queen's worldview, personality, and modus operandi. Navigating fluently across decades, the documentary covers the political turmoils, social changes, and personal tragedies that the Queen has navigated. It touches upon her relationships with 14 different Prime Ministers, and her role in managing the delicate balance between the monarchy and the government. Simultaneously, Being the Queen does not shy away from peering into the royal family's internal dynamics. It explores the Queen's transformation from a young woman thrust onto the throne following her father's untimely death, to a mother wrestling with the pressures of bringing up a family in the public eye, to a grandmother forced into the role of the monarchy's stabilizing element in the face of scandal and tragedy. Aside from its factual recounting, the documentary also intrigues with its focus on the Queen as an ordinary woman behind her extraordinary title. It shows how she, like any other woman of her generation, navigates the complexities of marriage - in her case, to Prince Phillip, the longest-serving consort in British history. The Queen's well-documented passion for horses and the countryside, her deep faith, her love for her dogs, and her winsome sense of humour flash intermittently, adding warmth and relatability to her otherwise larger-than-life persona. Being the Queen emerges as a thoughtful exploration of duty and sacrifice, illuminating how Queen Elizabeth II has had a profound effect on British national identity and how her steadfastness and dedication have ensured the monarchy's survival in an era brimming with vast changes. This documentary is a historical tour de force, a cultural revelation, and a portrait of quiet personal strength under the most public of spotlights. It explores an extraordinary life marked by extraordinary times with an extraordinary resolve that generations have come to associate with the crown, and more implicitly, with the Queen. At the heart of this documentary lies the broad dichotomy between public duty and private life, between constitution and family, between tradition and evolution, themes that have been a recurring backdrop of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. The documentary manages to do an impressive job, narrating an at once singular and universal human journey of resilience, patience, duty, and adaptability over time. In essence, Being the Queen is more than just a biography of a monarch; it's a captivating study of a regal institution's enduring relevance and an intimate portrait of an iconic woman’s unwavering commitment to her role.