The epic six-parter The Royal House Of Windsor continues, telling the gripping family saga of the world’s most famous dynasty over the last 100 years.
The third episode, airing on Wednesday 8 March 2017 at 9.00pm on Channel 4, reveals how Prince Philip was frustrated by having to give up his beloved naval career in exchange for a lifetime of trailing after his wife – but channelled his energy into becoming the Windsors’ most radical moderniser.
When Elizabeth is catapulted on to the throne, her husband wants to assert his rights by having his children bear his surname of Mountbatten. But the young and inexperienced Queen faces formidable opposition from her mother, grandmother and the most powerful man in the land, the PM Sir Winston Churchill. They want the Royal Family to retain the very English name ‘Windsor’, and the Queen gives in. Philip deals with this blow by launching a series of radical modernisation projects: overhauling the management of Buckingham Palace and refitting the Royal Yacht. But he’s thwarted at every turn by the palace old guard who distrust him and dislike change.
In 1956, the Prince responds by setting off alone on a four-month world cruise, giving rise to rumours of a rift in the royal marriage. By the 1960s the Royal Family are looking tired and out of touch, so Prince Philip embarks on his most ambitious modernising scheme yet. He harnesses the medium of television to revamp the royal’s image. They appear in a fly-on-the-wall documentary Royal Family. It’s a tremendous success, watched by two thirds of the British population. But with the benefit of hindsight, the documentary opened Pandora’s Box. The people had seen the Royal Family in their off-duty clothes. Soon they wanted the dirty laundry.
Producer and Director: Nick Tanner
Executive Producers: Denys Blakeway, Nick Bullen
Series Producer: Leonie Jameson
Production Company: Spun Gold Television
The Royal House Of Windsor Episode 3 (of 6) airs on Wednesday 8 March 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on Channel 4.