IBA Archive at Bournemouth University

Documents | Correspondence

BBC/IBA Joint Programmes Monarchy (film on Royal Family)

Document Information

File: 3092/3

Box: 3995534

Summary of Document

This file contains mixed correspondence on the BB and IBA’s joint film on the Royal family. The documents date between 5/3/1968 – 27/1/1972. The proposal was made in 1968 for the film, and it was to be in colour and about the constitutional role of the monarchy and the upbringing and training of the Prince of Wales. The idea was founded upon the previous collaboration of the ITA and BBC in 1966 when they produced a film about the royal palaces. The file contains notes from the Lord Chamberlain’s office on 8/3/1968. The notes mention cost covering, the next steps, distribution, governing body to include Prince Phillip and confidentiality. The correspondences indicate areas of dispute between the BBC and ITV on the broadcasting of this film and how they were resolved.

There is a press release indicating the agreed transmission sequence of the 90 minute special “The Monarchy”. The special was divided into 4 programmes aired on BBC1, BBC2 and ITV. They wished to transmit the programme first in monochrome and then in colour, within the first 6 weeks of the official start of colour broadcasting. There is another press release in the file that indicates the change of name of the documentary to “Royal Family” It indicates that the colour version will be first shown on ITV. It also states that at this time the film was still under completion. Neither of these press releases contains dates.

A letter dated 19/5/1969 states that the Queen watched the film with her private secretaries and the Lord Chamberlain and that the committee (including Prince Philip) had already seen the film. After these viewing there were some issues that arose. Advertising for example, was to be positioned at the beginning and the end of the film and in intervals, but these had to be selected carefully. Also it states that a great deal of technical work needed to be done on the programme before it was aired. There is also a letter from Buckingham Palace (27/6/1969) containing messages of congratulations from the Queen (the letters is not from the Queen).

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