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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
Home movies reveal Queen's life
The Queen
The Queen has had a lifetime of cameras following her

Home movies shot by and featuring the Queen are to be shown publicly for the first time.

She first took up a camera shortly after her marriage to Prince Philip, but also features in films from WWII.

Her footage will be shown in a BBC documentary, which followed 12 months of her life, ahead of her 80th birthday on 21 April.

BBC journalist Andrew Marr said the home movies look like other people's - except that royalty is the cast.

"What is moving is that they look so much like other people's home movies - it's just that the worried-looking toddler might be Prince Charles, and the exhausted young woman on the sofa has just yanked off a crown," he wrote in the Radio Times.

He said footage from Malta shows the newly married Queen and Prince Philip enjoying "about the only almost-ordinary time of their lives, mostly away from the media".

Tracing the Queen's public and private life over the past 80 years

"She's given a movie camera and begins what seems to have been a lifelong habit of making films.

"We see her as a small girl with her father and, in the war, learning to strip engines and drive an ambulance."

Other footage includes black and white images from Coronation Day, 2 June 1953.

While the nation could watch one of the first live outdoor broadcasts by the BBC, the private footage shows the entire Royal Family enjoying the historic event at Buckingham Palace.

The informal scenes show the family relaxed, laughing, and sometimes playful with the young Prince Charles and Princess Anne darting underneath the train of the Queen's coronation gown

As the documentary followed the Queen, the BBC gained exclusive footage of events during her working year.

The recent footage includes a confidential briefing with Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2005 and a visit by former prime minister John Major to collect his knighthood in June 2005 at the palace.

The Queen also has an interest in photography, as does her husband, and ancestors.

As part of the Queen's birthday celebrations, an exhibition of photographs from her life is on display at Windsor Castle.

It ranges from the first photo of her, aged five weeks, to her 80th birthday portrait.

The two-part documentary will be shown on BBC One at 2100 BST on Sunday, 9 April and Sunday, 16 April.



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