When Prince William married Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011, millions of people watched the couple take their vows in Westminster Abbey. Nineteen months later when the couple announced that they were expecting their first child - a child that will one day take the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth realms - the news made headlines around the world. In this insightful documentary, we mark the birth of the great-grand child of Queen Elizabeth II with a fascinating portrait of the life that lies ahead of the child who is born to reign.
Born to Royalty is a feature length celebration charting the history of the Royal babies born in recent times. Narrated by Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Twenty-Twelve), this commemorative film explores the changing way that Royals have dealt with their own children, becoming more hands-on through the generations, and the staff closest to them. Enjoy rarely-seen archive footage and family photographs taken by former Royal Photographer Jayne Fincher, intertwining both grand images and more intimate glimpses. The documentary offers a look at Queen Elizabeth II, her parents and grandparents, and her own heirs, from Charles (and his marriage to Diana), William, and Harry to footage of the newly born Prince of Cambridge.
Now is when I should confess that I am fascinated by the British royal family and was heartbroken as teenager when Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson instead of me. Whether you are a republican or a royalist the whole British Commonwealth was very aware that earlier this year a new heir to the throne would be born when Prince William and his wife Kate became parents.
The Born to Royalty DVD is a TV special that was obviously made while Kate was pregnant in preparation to be aired when she gave birth. This is very evident in although there is footage of Prince George (the same scene repeated shown of when he is shown to the public for the first time) he is never called by name or even referred to as a male. This made the documentary out of date before it aired let alone released on DVD. Since this is all historical I can tell you what is covered in the DVD without any spoilers as most royal watchers will know the facts and have seen the footage before.
I found the DVD to be an interesting insight into the childhoods of the royals from King George VI through to speculation about how his namesake, the wee newborn prince, will be raised. As was expected there was a lot of coverage of Princess Diana as a mother and how she managed to balance the royal life that was expected of her sons with her want for them to have a normal life.
The documentary included interviews with The Queen's cousin about their childhood, several biographers and photographers. There was (as I expected) a focus on how the media has changed over the years. The media were not portrayed in a positive way although there was only a brief comment about how some people blame the media for Diana's death.
I found myself feeling a lot of empathy for the royals and the sacrifices they had to make in their childhood compared to our civilian lives. I shed a tear for several of them both as parents and children for the hardships they endured. Prince Charles and Princess Anne were left at home with their nannies for a six month stretch while their parents toured the Commonwealth. As a mother myself I felt for Queen Elizabeth as much as I did for her children.
At 75 minutes long it is a nice length to watch in an evening and enjoyable for any fan of the British royal family. The price makes it a good gift for Christmas too.
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