Controversial documentary about royals ‘banned’ by the Queen resurfaces on YouTube

A controversial documentary on the royal family that was allegedly ‘banned’ by the Queen in 1972 has finally resurfaced online.

Journalist Seth B. Leonard pointed out that the documentary, Royal Family, was available again on YouTube, 49 years after its alleged ban, but the BBC has since taken the video down.

Between 1968 and 1969, a documentary crew was allowed into the home of the royal family to record their everyday lives, in the hopes of making them feel more relatable to the public. The finished documentary aired on the BBC and ITV, with over 45 million viewers tuning in across both networks.

Scenes from Royal Family include the Queen having a garden party and Prince Charles practicing the cello.

However, just three years after it first aired, the film was placed in the royal archives, meaning that the documentary was effectively barred from being shown again unless the Queen gives permission.

The film became controversial after there was concern that letting people witness the daily life of royals would “cheapen themselves, letting the magic seep out”.

David Attenborough was among its critics, as he argued it would “kill the monarchy”. The consequences of airing the documentary were so bad that the Queen decided to not deliver a Christmas message that year, fearing “overexposure” of the royal family.

Filming of the documentary was depicted in the fourth episode of season three of Netflix’s The Crown.

Unfortunately, since the BBC quickly took the video down, it’s no longer available to watch (for now). At least you can take some solace in the fact that nothing on the internet ever really goes away.

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