Royal Family (found British documentary film; 1969)
Royal Family was a 1969 British documentary about Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and the general royal family. For the first time, cameras were allowed to capture conversations and the intimacy of the family in their daily routines and life.
The documentary was shot in 18 months, with a reported total of 43 hours of footage shot for it. It has been known to have aired four times in England; once on BBC One in 1969, once again by the BBC in 1972, and twice on ITV, with a 1969 airing also being known to have taken place in Australia. The documentary has never been shown since due to a request from the royal family itself, who considered that a documentary that portrayed them as normal people was a mistake. Due to its negative reception, hardly any footage of it had been shown or found since.
At the time, only a very brief black and white preview was available. In 2011, 90 seconds of color footage was broadcast as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. While the original footage and outtakes are still preserved and stored away at an undisclosed location, no further footage was known to have been made available, due to it being protected under Crown Copyright.
In January 2021, the film leaked online, and was uploaded to YouTube by an anonymous user who obtained it through an unknown source. This upload would later be taken down following copyright claims from the BBC, but subsequent reuploads have since been made available, with the full documentary currently being available to view on the Internet Archive.
- CNN article about the leaking of the documentary. Retrieved 18 Oct '22