tv CNN Special Report CNN September 10, 2022 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
the war between charles and diana through the press pull down the whole monarchy. >> here she was undermining the throne, undermining the dentist or. >> when you unleash the demons of the press you cannot keep them at bay. nobody dreamed that it would end in such a shocking way. ♪ >> should begin monica 25 years
old. >> is your majesty willing to take the oath? >> for more than seven decades queen elizabeth the second dedicated her life to her country. >> the queen took about that her duty was a lifelong commitment. she put duty above all else. she loved her younger sister but she could not give her permission to marry somebody who was divorced. she sacked her son from the family firm. >> she survived extraordinary crises. >> princess diana has died. >> the issue surrounding charles and diana rocked the monarchy to its core like no other crisis. >> the future of the monarchy hung in the balance. >> she revolutionized the british monarchy. >> the monarchy should expect to be free from the scrutiny of those who give it their loyalty and support. >> she steered the world through
78 years of tumultuous change. her legacy will be the fact that we stop a monarchy. tonight is cnn special report, a queen for the ages. elizabeth the second. >> i found it impossible the burden of responsibility and to discharge my duty as the king as i would wish to do without the help and support of the woman i love. >> december 1936. after less than a year on the throne, king edward the eighth abdicated to marry an american divorcee. throwing the british monarchy
into tumult. >> it was in the morning mist shock people felt so left down and could not believe it. >> the reverberations were felt around the world. but perhaps nowhere more than those left to deal with the fallout. the new king george the sixth. his wife elizabeth and daughters princess elizabeth and princess margaret. >> for princess elizabeth it had ramifications well beyond for what he did everybody else in the country. >> suddenly her father was thrust into the limelight he became a monarch and princess elizabeth became heir to the throne. >> elizabeth became heir presumptive at just ten years old. >> princess elizabeth life changed overnight. her father was king. her mother was queen, they moved into buckingham palace.
more like an office building for a house. >> while her father adjusted to a role that he was never destined for, so did elizabeth. >> neither of the two princesses were terribly well educated to be quite honest. >> i think all of her parents wanted her to sign her name nicely. >> shooters were brought and to prepare her as future head of state. but more than anything else, it was her father's example that taught her how to be sovereign. >> her father really did have a singular place. he showed her duty and service and action and that was especially dramatic during world war ii. >> with the onset of the war the family had to put duty first. elizabeth and margaret were sent to windsor castle while her
parents the king and queen remained in london. >> her parents very early on we are not leaving england, buckingham palace was bombed nine times in several times the king and queen were there and escaped being killed. there was an enormous amount of courage. >> with her father as a model of a devoted monarch in her own inherent sense of responsibility. princess elizabeth seemed like a perfect fit for the crown. >> she was always well beyond her years and had a sense of duty and responsibility. >> elizabeth appeared to follow the advice after the marriage proposal from prince philip of greece. >> it was not like the men that her mother would've preferred that she married.
his family were impoverished, he had an unconventional education and had gone from a very progressive boarding school in scotland. he was unusual. >> the two met when elizabeth was a young girl and kept in touch throughout the war years with occasional visits. >> he was not entirely a popular choice in the royal family sp speak. she married prince philip in 1947. >> she was captivated to him, no doubt that she wanted to marry him. >> the one time when the queen stepped out of character to some extent and to do something which she wanted to do. >> it was a happy time for the newlyweds. philip resumed his naval career and was stationed in bolter
where the two lived normal lives. >> she was able to drive around a little car, they danced at the finisher hotel. they went to polo matches in the sinema and it must've been a glorious time. >> it was also short-lived the king's health was deteriorating in the couple began to take on more royal duties. elizabeth and philip took over a toll that was planned for her father. >> you see the very sad scene of the king looking terrible waving goodbye to his daughter. it must've been a terrible moment for both of them. they must've realized it was a strong chance that they had never seen each other again. >> the planned six-month tour beginning kenya. days into the trip, her father, king george vi died. unaware of his passing,
elizabeth spent the night in the kenyan treetops watching the animals. in a way, it's almost symbolic, the sun rises and she does not realize, she goes up the tree as princess elizabeth and comes down the tree thinking she's princess elizabeth but she's become queen. as soon the news reached her elizabeth and philip returned home. >> is a very dramatic scene when you see the queen coming down the steps to meet the ministers and they're all down there with top pass on and black overcoat. you can't help thinking that is almost a beautiful sad young green coming down the steps to claim her kingdom. >> back in the uk preparations get underway for the current nation. the ceremony were elizabeth would be officially crowned and anointed queen here at westminster abbey.
one question loomed large over the plans, with the ceremony be broadcast on television. >> what it was suggested to the queen she was very much against, she got cameras would be intrusive and they thought they would violate the thousand year tradition of the coronation. >> as the queen was a traditionalist, she was also open to modernization. it was her husband who condensed her to allow cameras into the ceremony. >> what are the great things about the queen is that she always had an open mind. if someone came to her with an argument that was very well buttressed, she would listen in if it was a persuasive argument she would change her mind and that is what she did with the
coronation. >> the day of the coronation. millions of people across the globe watched the sacred ceremony. >> that was the moment when the whole of the nation and the commonwealth, arguably the whole world recognized her as queen. >> is her majesty willing to take the oath? >> it was a solemn ceremony and it was so meaningful to elizabeth. she took her bow so seriously. >> she vowed to god to make a lifelong commitment and he goes back to that moment. >> i'm certain the reason she never advocated was because she made the commitment to god in the solemn ceremony of her coronation ♪ ♪ >> coming up. modernizing the monarchy. >> the whole cost of the rain has been moving the queen
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>> she and prince philip what have four children. prince charles, princess anne, input the rigors of charles the error of. >> elizabeth and philip were doing for charles what her mother and father had done for her which was just is a uniquely influential position enhanced with her often meant putting royal duties first. the exhibit the second set out on a massive around the world tour while the children stayed behind in london.
spanning nearly six months, she and prince philip to the indian ocean. >> they traveled over 40000 miles more than 13000 hands. she saw nearly 7000 curtsies. she gave 261 speeches. it was enormously ambitious beyond important because she wanted to be seen as the head of the commonwealth. >> during her father's reign what even the british empire transformed into the modern commonwealth of nations. a volunteer association of independent states but still headed by the king and queen
elizabeth. >> what did you like about the commonwealth, was a large family of nations who joined up together because they wanted to and had huge benefits for everybody involved. >> the links with the outside world hardships or planes to columbia did the queen travel. >> the queen remained head of state in several commonwealth countries including the united kingdom. not head of government. an important distinction meaning she had no political role and required to remain mutual. >> she stated above politics very effectively. that was very, very difficult. >> it was so instinctive to her to know what the limits were. you have to be quite political to be apolitical. she understood politics and took a great deal of interest in it. >> during her reign the queen had more than a dozen prime
ministers from all walks of political life. >> that was one of the reasons for her success. she didn't alienate anybody by being politically partisan. >> while the queen worked closely with all of our prime minister's. it was her subjects she took an oath to serve. >> she has always wanted to communicate directly with the people. i think she understood that is what modern monarchy should be. >> she used the media to connect with people. >> i think it's one of her guiding her life. it was to move with the times to understand what people were talking about. to understand the importance of television in the 50s and 60s. >> following the success of her televised court should. the queen came around to the idea of moving the annual
broadcast the television as well. >> i can only paraphrase. i cannot lead you into battle but i give you my heart and i share my thinking with you in this new way. she hoped this would enable her to have a more personal bond with her subjects and with the people of the commonwealth nations around the world. the queen took things a step further when she went on her first official walkabout. what we now recognize as a commonplace for oils gutfeld revolutionary in 1970. >> instead of just meeting the officials and the heads of everything she could meet ordinary people. the public really appreciated it and enjoyed it. i think she enjoyed it.
>> approved her effective the whole cost of the reign has been moving the queen forward from being this very distant figurehead to somebody that is more approachable. >> but by far the most intimate look of the queen came months earlier with the bbc documentary royal family. >> elizabeth was very forward thinking and she did embrace the new technology and embraced television. but i do think she took some persuading to that the cameras and on her family life. >> with prince philip on board she agreed to the fly on the wall style documentary. the filming last the year when they did something like 75 sessions with her in various members of the royal family.
they worked at 172 countries. >> the film was received very well. >> the public loved the royal family film. it was fascinating. we were glued to our television sets. it was riveting. >> the documentary was seen by 350 million people across the world. however, shortly after it first aired it all disappeared and the queen never participated and another project like it again. >> she was well aware that a monarch needs to be seen to be believed. if you see too much of the family being like any other family then maybe you start to question whether they are so special.
>> when elizabeth came queen her faith was just not a choice it was the responsibility. >> the queens was extremely important to her. her faith underpin terrain. you cannot underestimate how deep her faith was. >> 's reigning monarch the queen was head of church of england defender of the faith and bad to exemplify the tenets of the communion. >> i think the queen did her
best to balance duty and family responsibilities were there must've been times and it was quite difficult. >> that balance came to a head when her sister princess margaret informed the queen of her intention to marry air force officer and war hero peter townsend. >> prince's margaret to mary peter townsend was controversial because he was divorced and the church of england did not recognize a remarriage to those people. it was a huge issue. >> as a royal in the line of succession under the age of 25. princess margaret needed her sister's permission to marry. without the queens permission parliament could approve the marriage but divorce was still taboo in the prime minister winston churchill made it clear his cabinets were unlikely to approve the match. >> it was pretty firm prime minister of advice that this would be a difficult thing for a member of the royal family to
marry a divorcee. >> the queen was also personally opposed to divorce. especially after the chaos of her uncles decision to advocate the throne to marry a divorcee. >> members of the royal family grew up with the specter in their lives that they must never ever allowed to happen again. >> the queen was torn. >> she loved her younger sister and wanted her to be happy. >> townsend was sent away to the british embassy in brussels on an assignment for two years when he returned princess margaret was faced with the choice. >> peter townsend returns from diplomatic duties to call in prince's margaret. >> the only way that margaret could marry him was for her to renounce her title and everything that went with it. at the end of the day she felt that she can do that so they broke up to her everlasting
disappointment and sadness. i think the queen struggled but with princess margaret she put duty over family. >> and fortunately for the queen that would not be the last time the royal marriage would rock the very foundations of the monarchy. >> here comes the coach. >> when the queen son prince charles married lady diana spencer in 1981 the queen was thrilled. with diana by his side the royal couple look like a fairytale had come to life. but out of the glare of the public i it was a very different story from the start. the relationship was rocky. >> the queen was not aware of the extent of charles and diana's problems for quite a long time. they did not confine in his
parents they could see diana in the first few years manifesting disturbing behavior but they put it down to jitters about being in a new life and having trouble adjusting to new life. >> 11 years in it became clear to the queen how precarious a son's marriage was. secretly working with a biographer on until all book diana unloaded more than a decade's worth of scandal and unhappiness for the whole world to read. >> it was a devastating book the queen found it very difficult. i think they were both absolutely furious with diana because she had washed her dirty linen and public. >> even after charles and diana formally separated in 1992 the queen urged them to work on their marriage. a divorce between the future monarch and head of church and his wife without huge
ramifications. >> that divorce presented extraordinary constitutional crises from a time that you can have a separated king and queen crown one day. that was an enormous worry with the future of brita under british monarchy. >> when diana sat down for a televised interview 1995 on the bbc program it was clear to the queen that the marriage was over. >> smiles hiding pain or anger that their daughter-in-law's interview may cause them. >> the queen said enough this is so damaging to monarchy and so damaging to your children. she told them that they must seek an early divorce. >> which is seismic. >> the queen does want to divorce and angry and frustrated with the public's disagreements. >> the queen wrote a letter suggesting divorce, that is not just a divorce and the royal family. that is the future queen. >> the marry of the prince's
wales and princess of wales is right within the succession. it is a matter of state, as a matter of survival and progress of the institution. >> for decades after watching her sister walk away from a marriage over a divorce it was the queen the head of the church of england who intervened and told her son divorce was only way forward. >> it was deeply sad this is a marriage breaking down. >> the queen writing about model today head of estate and miseries over divorce to fundamental questions about the monarchy's future. >> some experts argue they will need all hands on deck to relaunch their image. >> i think divorce in the '90s was certainly not unprecedented. i think society had moved on by that. i don't think it was a huge socialist issue. >> once again the queen have proved herself to be a modern
monarch. >> things have evolved but that in no way was the skill of the raid thanks move with the times. as part of the way in which a monarchy either survives or d dies. >> coming up the chronic crisis. >> it was the most dangerous week of her entire reign. the future of the monarchy newly hung in the balance. ♪ what??? ♪ (...it folds in half.) you see i love my phone. i would never switch to samsuuu... (gasping) ♪ (vo) a thin painted line. the only thing between you and a life-changing accident.
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>> i remember a phone call from windsor saying there was a small fire. at that stage we had no idea how big it was but it rapidly became apparent that it was a major problem. >> windsor castle one of the most famous landmarks in britain in the queen's favor home was up in flames. robin was a queens assistant private secretary and his team had to tell the queen. >> immediately she said it must go down. >> the images walking with the firefighters and she looked so
upset understandably was a true portrayal of how she was feeling at the time. >> it was horrendous to see something in flames like that. >> the fire with a combination of what are the most difficult years of the queens reign. >> the year that she famously called her it was a horrible year. >> three of the four children, the marriages broke up. >> including her son prince andrew marriage to sarah ferguson. >> fergie was caught with a financial advisor sucking her toes while she was on bathing topless. >> the family was turning onto a soap opera and goblets at the royal family in today's society is outdated and should be done away with. >> there was public outrage at the thought that the taxpayer money might be used for the restoration. >> you are looking at this family, the holidays and they got in the castles in the public purse was going to have to fork out for this.
>> following bitter criticism, the queen prepared to adapt and modernize. >> new institution city monarchy, whatever should expect to be free from the scrutiny of those who give it their loyalty and support. >> she recognized that we needed as an institution and she needed to listen and she was a good listener. >> days after the fire the monarchy made massive changes the queen started paying income tax in the open buckingham palace to tourist and would use the profits to help pay for the restoration of windsor castle was. >> there were a lot of changes. in a way i think eventually the phoenix rose from the ashes. >> the queen turned public perception around but a few years later she would face the greatest test of her reign. >> were getting were the french
government has informed all of us that princess diana has died. >> this happen suddenly. so the first instinct was the one that any family would make would be to look after the boys. >> the queen and prince charles requested at bar merrill balmore patacsil to comfort them in private. there was an overwhelming outpouring of public grief. >> we are today the nation in britain in a state of shock and mourning and grief that is so deeply painful for us. thousands of britons lined the streets outside of king's intent and buckingham palace. >> the country went completely mad. people grieving for this lovely woman that they had never met, they all felt that they knew.
>> it was a nation in shock. >> he was with the cleanup balmoral castle. >> i recall feeling none of us really knew what was happening and how best to respond to it. >> the british press demanded a public response from the queen. >> people wanted the monarch but she felt the place that she needed to be was with her grandsons. >> what do you think that said about her. >> it was an occasion where she put family before duty. >> family before duty, something the queen had rarely done before. >> it was the most dangerous week of her entire reign. >> i think the future of the monarchy really hung in the balance. >> at what point did you realize you had to respond in some way. >> very early on the communications were not great.
>> in retrospect he was safely doing everything right you just were not communicating it. >> i think we were slow in getting some of the decisions. >> days after diana's death the queen broke the protocol and had the union flocked lowered to half staff and she returned to london where she met with mourners outside of buckingham palace. >> she drove down constitution hill and to much to everybody's surprise got out of the limousine she had the duke spoke to the crowds. >> that night the queen gave a live address to the nation. only the second of her reign. >> what do i say to you now, your queen and as a grandmother, i say from my heart. first i want to pay tribute to diana myself. she was an exceptional and gifted human being. and good times and bad she never lost her capacity to smile and law nor to inspire others with her warmth and kindness.
>> she saw as a moment to try to set the record straight about her feelings of the princess of wales. >> once again the queen had changed the national narrative. in the years following diana's death the world's overwhelming love for the princess lived on in the royal family continue to face harsh criticism. >> there were many people who felt strongly that in some way the princess had been treated unfairly or critically. >> in terms of the stability of the monarchy the issue surrounding charles and diana rocked the monarchy to its crisis. >> the queen realized there were lessons to be learned. >> diana was a unique combination of breathtaking beauty with a palpable sense of
vulnerability. she had an uncanny ability to connect with people. she was a hugger in a family that was not known for hugging. she was willing to break barriers and i think that was something that members of the royal family had done. she was right in there with them. >> her informal style was something we could learn from. i remember those discussions. >> what things would you do differently? >> i think the image of the princess of wales going to see an hiv patient and the ability to capture that moment. i think the whole royal institution looked at and said we could do this kind of thing better. >> the monarchy would have to adapt to survive. coming up. >> what do you think the
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here is a monarch who came to the throne at a very young age who has managed to take her country through the transition after the war of a major british empire and brought it to a different sort of country. >> over more than seven decades at reign the queen became the nation's consoler in chief . >> the queens message to president bush at the time of the twin towers tragedy, she spoke of grief being the price that we pay for love and i think that expressed for the british people and for many people around the world what
people felt. >> a few years later during the terrorist bombings in london the queen went to hospitals and visited people. grenfell tower fire, she was there. >> there was always this feeling that the politicians are there because there was a photo opportunity. the queen and other members of the royal family are there actually because they want to express their grief and their solidarity with those people who have suffered. >> she was unifying as a force. >> she was the first monarch to visit ireland. that was in 100 years. >> to all those who have suffered -- >> she expressed her extreme sympathy and regret for these actions that have been a major part of the bloody history
between ireland and britain. it was the most significant visit of her reign. >> and she brought world leaders together. >> she used her power of influence and subtle persuasion to keep the commonwealth united on the matter of apartheid and figuring out a way to end it in south africa. >> there's the queen. she is coming out on the balcony. >> the longest reigning monarch in history she kept the crown relevant and stable and alive. >> her reign has been a time of such change and so many customs of our society have a changed and she has seen us through these things in a pragmatic way and at the same time being this
slightly mysterious figure above it all not taking a position in politics with a good sense of humor. >> what would you say was the greatest part of her death like the greatest threat to her reign? >> it would have been if it didn't move with the times. >> putting duty and religion ahead of her heart, margaret had her example of her sister the queen. >> the monarchy also survived because it put duty above all else even in her final years when her second son prince andrew was linked to convicted sex offender, jeffrey epstein. >> is there any way you could of had sex with any young women in any of jeffrey epstein's residences? >> that crisis showed how much back on the queen had because
within days of that disastrous tv interview she had sacked her son from the family. >> she stripped him of his military and titles. she also put duty over family when her beloved grandson prince harry chose to step down as a working member of the royal family. >> harry's intention had been trying to keep one foot in each . i don't think that he wanted to give up royal duties entirely in epic was the queen that forced his hand there and said you have to be all in or all out. >> until her death, queen elizabeth ii was all in working well into her 90s never relinquishing her role and dedicating her life to serving her country. >> is your majesty willing to take the oath? >> the queen took a vow in the early stages of her life that her duty was a lifelong
commitment. the queen would never have contemplated breaking that valve to her subjects because it just wasn't in her blood. >> what will her legacy be? >> her legacy i think will be the fact that we still have a monarchy. >> the ability to move with the times and to maintain popular appeal for as long as she did. to retain a sense of stability. to deal with crisis upon crisis and still maintain national affection and for a woman in a man's world in the early 1950s to take on that role and command such respect for as many decades as she did, i don't think any other monarch achieve that. >> sure made head of state in 15 countries. head of the commonwealth with 2.4 billion people in 54 countries. all of that time she was a world figure and she was
actually in charge of ruling the country but she set a tone. she steered britain and i think also the world in terms of that image that she had. that iconic image and the example that she personally set. she largely steered the world through 70 years of tumultuous change and has been a fantastic example are for the best of britain. you might have heard of carvana and that we sell cars online. we believe buying a car should be something that gets you hyped up. and that your new car ought to come with newfound happiness and zero surprises. and all of us will stop at nothing to drive you happy. we'll drive you happy at carvana.
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