Relaxed Queen smiles by the pool in rare home footage shown for first time

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·5-min read
From Factual Fiction

THE QUEEN UNSEEN
Thursday 8th April 2021 on ITV 

Pictured: A young Queen wearing sunglasses and holding a Cine camera on Christmas Day, 1953: In the middle of a gruelling 6 month tour, The Queen and Prince Philip spent Christmas at a private house, as a guest of the Governor General of New Zealand, Sir Willoughby Norrie

The Queen is the most famous woman in the world, yet as she reaches her 95th birthday she remains an enigma. In this unique film, we lift the mask of royalty to reveal the remarkable woman behind the throne. To learn more about the hidden private Elizabeth Windsor, who has sacrificed so much for crown and duty and discover how she has coped with increasing public demands to reveal every aspect of her private self.
 
Using unseen home movies, intimate informal archive and recently digitised ‘lost’ material from some of the 116 countries she has visited, we’ll uncover the real Elizabeth Windsor.  In rare off-duty moments we’ll discover The Queen on holiday, as a mother, wife, cook, animal lover, farmer, and expert horsewoman.  This remarkable footage shows her true passions and some of the unlikely, unknown friendships she has forged away from the public eye.

(c) Factual Fiction.

For further information please contact Peter Gray
07831 460 662 peter.gray@itv.com  

This photograph is © Factual Fiction and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme. THE QUEEN UNSEEN or ITV. Once made available by the ITV Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the Transmission date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website https://www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
A young Queen wearing sunglasses and holding a Cine camera on Christmas Day, 1953 in New Zealand. (The Queen Unseen/ITV)

A young and relaxed Queen as she's never been seen before will be revealed in a new documentary.

The Queen Unseen uses previously unreleased footage and photos including home video style clips, to show what she is really like behind closed doors.

Photographs from her tour in New Zealand, just months after she was crowned Queen, show her relaxing by a pool with her husband, Prince Philip, and recording her own memories on a Cine camera.

In one clip, she watches on as Philip tries to get to grips with a lilo in the pool, falling off as he attempts to relax.

The footage was taken on Christmas Day when they were guests of the governor general of New Zealand and his family.

The programme comes as the Queen approaches her 95th birthday later this month.

From Factual Fiction

THE QUEEN UNSEEN
Thursday 8th April 2021 on ITV 

Pictured: A young Queen films with a Cine camera 
at a private house, as a guest of the Governor General of New Zealand, Sir Willoughby Norrie (not shown) on Christmas Day, 1953

What: In the middle of a gruelling 6 month tour, The Queen and Prince Philip spent Christmas as guests of the Governor General of New Zealand and his family. The Queen spent much of the visit filming with her beloved 16mm cine camera, enjoying being behind the lens for a change.

The Queen is the most famous woman in the world, yet as she reaches her 95th birthday she remains an enigma. In this unique film, we lift the mask of royalty to reveal the remarkable woman behind the throne. To learn more about the hidden private Elizabeth Windsor, who has sacrificed so much for crown and duty and discover how she has coped with increasing public demands to reveal every aspect of her private self.
 
Using unseen home movies, intimate informal archive and recently digitised ÔlostÕ material from some of the 116 countries she has visited, weÕll uncover the real Elizabeth Windsor.  In rare off-duty moments weÕll discover The Queen on holiday, as a mother, wife, cook, animal lover, farmer, and expert horsewoman.  This remarkable footage shows her true passions and some of the unlikely, unknown friendships she has forged away from the public eye.

(c) Factual Fiction.

For further information please contact Peter Gray
07831 460 662 peter.gray@itv.com  

This photograph is © Factual Fiction and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme. THE QUEEN UNSEEN or ITV. Once made available by the ITV Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the Transmission date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website https://www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
A young Queen films with a Cine camera at a private house, as a guest of the governor general of New Zealand in 1953. (The Queen Unseen/ITV)

Remembering the visit, the daughter of then-governor general Sir Willoughby Norrie, Sarah Stephenson, said: "There was one time when my sister and I were taking our dogs for a walk, the Queen saw us and said she wished she could come with us."

The Queen and Philip were with the governor-general and his family on Christmas Day, with the family giving them a stocking each on Christmas morning.

She revealed: "In the Queen's stocking there was a dog lead and in the duke's stocking there was a Wedgewood ashtray, and my father said 'the duke will be pleased because it's got his wife's head on it'. He thought it was terribly funny."

Footage by the pool also includes John Althorp, who was Diana's father. He was the Queen's equerry on the trip.

Stephenson said: "The Duke of Edinburgh is trying to get on this lilo and he has to have several attempts."

Saying that she didn't think the royal couple minded them filming, she added: "The Queen was taking similar shots. That was the Queen's smile which my mother cleverly caught. Great fun, we loved it."

From Factual Fiction

THE QUEEN UNSEEN
Thursday 8th April 2021 on ITV 

Pictured: The Queen and Prince Philip in New Zealand
In 1953
The Queen caught smiling at Prince Philip, while talking to one of the dignitaries at an engagement during their tour in New Zealand in 1953-54. Prince Philip was a great source of support, making the Queen laugh during a gruelling tour.

The Queen is the most famous woman in the world, yet as she reaches her 95th birthday she remains an enigma. In this unique film, we lift the mask of royalty to reveal the remarkable woman behind the throne. To learn more about the hidden private Elizabeth Windsor, who has sacrificed so much for crown and duty and discover how she has coped with increasing public demands to reveal every aspect of her private self.
 
Using unseen home movies, intimate informal archive and recently digitised ÔlostÕ material from some of the 116 countries she has visited, weÕll uncover the real Elizabeth Windsor.  In rare off-duty moments weÕll discover The Queen on holiday, as a mother, wife, cook, animal lover, farmer, and expert horsewoman.  This remarkable footage shows her true passions and some of the unlikely, unknown friendships she has forged away from the public eye.

(c) Factual Fiction.

For further information please contact Peter Gray
07831 460 662 peter.gray@itv.com  

This photograph is © Factual Fiction and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme. THE QUEEN UNSEEN or ITV. Once made available by the ITV Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the Transmission date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website https://www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
The Queen caught smiling at Prince Philip, while talking to one of the dignitaries at an engagement during their tour in New Zealand in 1953-54. (The Queen Unseen/ITV)

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The footage also shows how much the Queen relied on her husband to help her with her duties, particularly if she did find them boring.

Piers Brendon, royal historian and author, revealed her concern about how she looked when she wasn't smiling.

He said: "She felt that she had to smile all the time, she couldn't smile all the time, nobody can smile all the time.

"She said to a friend 'when I'm not smiling I look cross, I'm not cross but I look cross' and one journalist said she looked bored."

Royal historian Jane Ridley said: "Philip has come to rescue her when he has seen her looking rather bored and not taking part in the conversation, and then you can see her looking at Philip, she looks adoringly at him actually, he's her pillar, he's her rock.

"He was able to break the ice and cause a kind of thaw in the formality that surrounded the Queen." 

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Read more: The Queen is opening up her Buckingham Palace garden for summer picnics

As well as footage from the middle of her tour, there are clips of the Queen in the UK, preparing a family barbecue, and playing on the beach.

Childhood friend Lady Anne Glenconner said the Queen is "very practical" and on the beach looked "so relaxed".

One clip shows her as a child, with her sister Princess Margaret, at Royal Lodge in Windsor, before her father was even king.

It contrasts the difficulty she faced when she had to balance the Crown and her life as a mother, showing how things were different when she had her younger sons, Princes Andrew and Edward.

From Factual Fiction

THE QUEEN UNSEEN
Thursday 8th April 2021 on ITV 

Pictured: Queen in red dress at the back of the train in New Zealand 1953
During the Queen's visit to New Zealand, the Royal Train Ð complete with feather beds Ð became home from home for the royal couple - taking them to 110 functions in 46 towns and cities. Part of a gruelling six-month tour of the Commonwealth soon after the Coronation.

The Queen is the most famous woman in the world, yet as she reaches her 95th birthday she remains an enigma. In this unique film, we lift the mask of royalty to reveal the remarkable woman behind the throne. To learn more about the hidden private Elizabeth Windsor, who has sacrificed so much for crown and duty and discover how she has coped with increasing public demands to reveal every aspect of her private self.
 
Using unseen home movies, intimate informal archive and recently digitised ÔlostÕ material from some of the 116 countries she has visited, weÕll uncover the real Elizabeth Windsor.  In rare off-duty moments weÕll discover The Queen on holiday, as a mother, wife, cook, animal lover, farmer, and expert horsewoman.  This remarkable footage shows her true passions and some of the unlikely, unknown friendships she has forged away from the public eye.

(c) Factual Fiction.

For further information please contact Peter Gray
07831 460 662 peter.gray@itv.com  

This photograph is © Factual Fiction and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme. THE QUEEN UNSEEN or ITV. Once made available by the ITV Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the Transmission date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website https://www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
The Queen in a red dress at the back of the train in New Zealand in 1953. (The Queen Unseen/ITV)

Ridley said: "She does things like altering her schedule of the time of her regular meeting with the Prime Minister M so she will have time to play with the babies and put them to bed

"She wouldn't have dreamt of doing at the time when she became Queen.  

"She has become much more confident and her confidence in the role of Queen allows her to do these things and give priority to her children."

From Factual Fiction

THE QUEEN UNSEEN
Thursday 8th April 2021 on ITV 

Pictured: Queen with Prince Andrew as a baby at Balmoral in 1960
The Queen with 7- month old Prince Andrew, in some of the first pictures in colour taken of the young Prince. With the arrival of her third child, the Queen spent more time with her family.

The Queen is the most famous woman in the world, yet as she reaches her 95th birthday she remains an enigma. In this unique film, we lift the mask of royalty to reveal the remarkable woman behind the throne. To learn more about the hidden private Elizabeth Windsor, who has sacrificed so much for crown and duty and discover how she has coped with increasing public demands to reveal every aspect of her private self.
 
Using unseen home movies, intimate informal archive and recently digitised ÔlostÕ material from some of the 116 countries she has visited, weÕll uncover the real Elizabeth Windsor.  In rare off-duty moments weÕll discover The Queen on holiday, as a mother, wife, cook, animal lover, farmer, and expert horsewoman.  This remarkable footage shows her true passions and some of the unlikely, unknown friendships she has forged away from the public eye.

(c) Factual Fiction.

For further information please contact Peter Gray
07831 460 662 peter.gray@itv.com  

This photograph is © Factual Fiction and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme. THE QUEEN UNSEEN or ITV. Once made available by the ITV Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the Transmission date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website https://www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
The Queen with Prince Andrew as a baby at Balmoral in 1960. (The Queen Unseen/ITV)

Read more: More people want Prince William to be next monarch than Prince Charles, poll shows

The Queen Unseen will also include clips of the rarely seen 1969 film Royal Family, which was withdrawn after the Queen reportedly decided she had shown too much of her family. 

The film was uploaded onto YouTube earlier this year, but was taken down within a few days.

The programme will also explore how the Queen felt the pressure early on in her reign to give more of her personality away, particularly as Lord Altrincham had said she came across as a "priggish schoolgirl" and didn't show who she really was.

The Queen Unseen is on ITV at 9pm on 8 April.

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