Royalty documentaries

Explore the history of the British monarchy with our collection of Royal Family documentaries. From Henry VIII and Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III, stream BBC Royal Family documentaries with BBC Select.

Elizabeth and Philip: Love and Duty

Kirsty Young offers a unique view of the life together of the Queen and Prince Philip as they celebrated their seventieth wedding anniversary in 2017.

From their fairy tale 1947 wedding, the couple enjoyed the longest royal marriage in British history. They experienced moments of pride and survived challenges, often played out in public, but kept their love affair and the nation strong throughout.

Elizabeth I and II: The Golden Queens

Watch Elizabeth I & II: Golden Queens on BBC Select

This fascinating royal history documentary explores the parallels between Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II. Both became monarch at 25 but what unites and what divides them? Historians analyse the moments that define their reigns. Despite the centuries between them, could they share any surprising characteristics?

Queen Victoria and her Nine Children

Queen Victoria and her nine children

When her beloved husband Prince Albert died at a tragically young age, Queen Victoria found herself bereft, running an Empire alone and the single mother to nine small children. This three-part history documentary explores how Queen Victoria’s grief changed her as a mother and a monarch.

Queen Victoria’s coping mechanisms were quite extreme. She hid herself away from public life and began to focus on her children, micromanaging everything from what they wore to who they married. But her meddling would lead to resentment and tragedy.

Elizabeth & Margaret: Love and Loyalty

Elizabeth & Margaret: Love and Loyalty

Princess Margaret is dismissed as a party-going rebel who embarrassed her sister Queen Elizabeth due to her scandalous life. But, as this fascinating documentary reveals, behind closed doors Margaret sacrificed her own happiness for her big sister and the crown. And when Elizabeth became the most famous woman in the world, the pressure threatened to destroy their relationship.

Ep 1: Sibling Rivalry
Their bond was inseparable, but something soon threatened the sisters’ relationship.

Sisters Elizabeth and Margaret were raised as ‘extra royals’. No one thought that Elizabeth would become queen, so the siblings were treated like twins, even dressing in identical outfits. This fascinating history documentary delves into their early years in the royal household. When Elizabeth fell in love with a handsome prince, the sisters’ bond was threatened, and Margaret’s partying began.

Ep 2: Scandal and Salvation
Was Princess Margaret’s scandalous love life a sacrifice to save her sister the Queen?

With Elizabeth now queen, the relationship between the royal sisters is under pressure. She is forced into a life of duty, learning to reign whilst juggling motherhood and marriage. But as this intriguing history documentary reveals, Margaret feels compelled to seek solace elsewhere and her love life starts to make headlines. But was she sacrificing her own happiness to save her sister?

The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I

The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I

In 1558, Elizabeth took the throne of a deeply divided England after her siblings Edward and Mary died. The Protestant queen allowed Catholics to continue with their faith as long as they were discrete and loyal. Peace and prosperity followed, and English culture flourished. Under Elizabeth, the seeds of Empire were sewn but despite her successes the Virgin Queen had to guard against numerous plots.