“If we make people see us as people, it will be easier to accept the system, to feel part of it,” Philip said in 1969. While Carnaby Street and King’s Road swarmed with crowds in the years of the Swinging London fever, and a generation that didn’t he had known the World War, and he hated the Vietnam War, he went crazy for the Beatles songs, he wore the mini and dreamed of peace and love, the idea of ​​the monarchy faded with its ancient ceremonials. He talked about it with Uncle Dickie, a progressive who used to look beyond the horizon. He found support in Elizabeth’s new communications officer, William Heseltine, and with the help of director John Brabourne began to think around the revolutionary idea of ​​showing the queen’s everyday face. Thus was born Royal Family, the TV documentary that brought the queen and the family off the pedestal, returned to current events because it reappeared after decades on YouTube at the beginning of 2021. Before returning to the shadows for a “copyright claim”, unleashing the (haggard ) republican frond.

The Titanic and the monarchy

The work of “popularizing” the monarchy had already been started by Queen Victoria with Prince Albert. But with Elizabeth, advised by Philip, Buckingham Palace truly became both home and operational headquarters, no longer the sanctuary of a house that looked to the past. The veil of sacredness had been torn. And also Filippo, in the months of filming, was caught by the eye of the cameras in his daily activities, by the passion for flying planes and helicopters, up to the hours spent in the company of painting. It went on TV in June 1969, a few days before Charles was invested as Prince of Wales on July 1, at Caernarfon Castle. Everything had been calculated by Filippo so that the solemnity in plaster of the ceremony was preceded by the opening of the Windsors to the world, thanks to the TV. “The Republicans object that trying to modernize the monarchy is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” Sunder Katwala, longtime secretary general of the Fabian Society, a historic think tank on the Thames, explained to me. But if you accept that there is a constitutional monarchy for the foreseeable future, then that’s right. And in the history of the Windsors, changes have always been brought about by the wind of events ». The day after the broadcast, Cecil Beaton noted: “The queen has come up with some bossy, authoritarian, but most of all the beautiful person that she is emerged ».

The friends counts of Carnarvon

What Philip wanted: to restore to the world the authentic image of the woman he had loved since that day at the naval college of Dartmouth. Speaking of Elizabeth, Henry Lord Porchester, Earl of Carnarvon, was very close to the sovereign. “They used to go to the races,” the wife of Lord Henry’s son, Lady Fiona, told me, explaining, “Today Her Majesty is godmother to my husband Geordie and was very attached to her mother Jeanie.” One thing is certain, with few other people outside the Firm the sovereign has been so close. And the Queen Mother wouldn’t have minded at all as a son-in-law. But Elizabeth gave her heart to Philip forever.

April 10, 2021 (change April 10, 2021 | 9:30 pm)

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