Continuing the Royal Family–themed content push in the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, Channel 4 has commissioned The Real Windsors (3 x 60 min.), an in-depth look at three generations of “The Firm,” from UK indie Spun Gold TV.
Featuring interviews with many of those who have worked with the Royal Family over the years (some of whom have never spoken on camera before), as well as rarely seen archival material, the docuseries examines the extent to which the public images of the monarch and monarchs-in-waiting align with their private selves. The Queen herself is the focus of the first installment, which investigates how her dedication to the Windsor “brand” has entailed a good deal of difficult, behind-the-scenes decision-making in the face of the many scandals involving members of “the Firm” over the decades.
Part two of the series turns to the next in line for the throne, Prince Charles, whose “approval ratings” with the public have fluctuated violently since the revelation in the ’90s of his long-running affair with his now-wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and very public divorce from the late Diana Spencer. Covering his work in environmental activism, cultural preservation and charitable activities, the doc speculates on how his reign may differ from his mother’s, and whether the public is ready to accept him as king.
The series concludes with a spotlight on Charles’ first son and hairline apparent, Prince William, who along with his wife Kate, has projected an image that balances duty and tradition with a more liberal and progressive public stance on such issues as mental health, racism and LGBTQ+ rights. But the doc questions whether the private William nevertheless aligns more closely with the conservative outlook of his grandmother, and theorizes on how this might affect his behavior when he wears the crown.
“This series will show the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William as you’ve never seen them before,” said Channel 4′s Louisa Compton, who commissioned the series along with her fellow commissioning editor Nevine Mabro. “Each episode is packed full of revelation and insight, and will be the perfect accompaniment to a momentous year for the Royal Family.”
A Spun Gold TV production for Channel 4, The Real Windsors is produced and directed by Peter Gauvain, Nick Blakemore and Kim Lomax, and executive produced by Teresa Watkins. All3Media International has worldwide distribution rights.