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Tuesday, August 21, 2012


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-all photos from the BBC-

Americans are absolutely fascinated by The Queen, partly because we don't have one ourselves!  But primarily because of the person Queen Elizabeth is and the role she has played for 60 years. We have been covering the Royal family for awhile and were thrilled to see Prince Harry play polo in New York City on Governor's Island (while wearing a fabulous Ellen Christine of course):
We learn about brands and degrees of quality all the time, and Queen Elizabeth is one of the very best brand ambassadors and keeper of a brand there is: the Brand being the United Kingdom, of course!  Don't take her for granted; we have developed a tremendous deal of admiration and respect for her after watching this great work, twice.  You all need to view it as well at least twice.

The United Kingdom is a nation of traditions.
She is the keeper of them.
She's a veteran campaigner who doesn't even need to run for office.  She needs to be on top of every news item all the time for the last 60 years, and she doesn't have an ounce of quit in her.  With military discipline which we also adore, Queen Elizabeth sets and maintains standards of excellence that we wish everyone in the world strove for with her passion and devotion.  And at age 84, there is no retirement in sight.  There is no such thing as a retired monarch!  Queen Elizabeth's private motto is that she has to be seen to be believed and she certainly gets about, all around the world:
Yes, she's the most well-traveled monarch in history visiting 130 countries and 325 overseas visits.  You're even going to see her in New York in Times Square, the UN and Ground Zero.  
She must engage people within a moment of meeting them (think how fantastic she'd be at trade shows!) and she's the fourth in the new royal dynasty, built by her grandfather, George V.  As you know by our Philippa Gregory obsession, we are captivated by royal history:

As we all know, her Uncle David loved an American more than the throne and 1936 was the year of the 3 Kings for the UK.  If you saw The King's Speech which was an absolutely genius movie, the King Colin Firth plays is her father.  As a child these events must have shaped her outlook and character into being such a monarch to be appreciated and respected, and she certainly has earned it.  She even did a Windsor Castle broadcast herself during World War II.  And in 1952 upon her father's sudden death, she became Queen at the early age of 25, already married with two children.  From Winston Churchill to David Cameron, she's had weekly meetings with every prime minister ever since.  We loved her footage with Margaret Thatcher, whom we also admire tremendously.   She's worked with every US President since Eisenhower.

Queen Elizabeth hardly ever cancels.
Queen Elizabeth hates being late.
She is into excellence, not celebrity, and doesn't accept mediocrity.
We love her.
Queen Elizabeth are you also an ENTJ?
She has a fascinating history that is really brought to life by the BBC in this documentary.  You'll love the videos of her childhood and the cottage that her granddaughter Beatrice shows.  Interesting anecdotes punctuate it all - did you know:
*Her mother took up pistol practice on palace grounds in case she needed to take a last stand against the German paratroopers
*Her desk is terrifically historic-from the revolution it's originally owned by the Bourbons of Paris
*The Queen picked out Prince William's wedding day outfit
The robing room in the Palace of Westminster is another exciting aspect of this work; the robing process includes the Imperial Crown arriving from the Tower of London.  Added to Peachy Deegan's bucket list is one of the Queen's Garden parties we would absolutely die to go especially if Downton Abbey was also in attendance.  You're going to see footage of one of these beauties which serves 27,000 cups of tea and 20,000 cakes and sandwiches.  They look delicious!  The atmosphere looks splendid.  Perhaps one day she might consider one in Manhattan where the weather is less dodgy.

The most colorful royal of all we can see must be Prince Harry.  He'll tell you where he hid the ring for the Royal Wedding.  "As far as I was concerned, I was there to support him [William] and tell him how great he is.  It was his day so I had to lie a bit," he admits on camera with a laughing smile.  Harry will also tell you about William's driving skills which are also worth hearing about.

We found one of the biggest highlights to be her trip to Dublin: no reigning English monarch has been there in a century.  We were also touched that she wore green.  If you think being a Queen must be easy, pay attention to this trip.  She even spoke in Gaelic, which we can assure you is NOT an easy language at all.
We absolutely adored all the footage of the Royal Yacht, Brittania.  It sailed for half a century but is no longer in use.  Even Ronald Reagan was included in the nearly 1,000 state visits on it.  It was the place where she felt the most free.

She's successfully brought the Monarchy into the 21st century; they are even on Twitter
Crowned in the same year of the debut of the Corvette, we all knew she'd be a hit.
This 3-episode work by the BBC is just tops, and you all should watch this!

Our esteemed panelists add:

A first has happened in modern history. For the first time, a monarch has reached her Diamond Jubilee! To mark this incredible occasion, BBC has released a documentary all about the Queen's reign! In the documentary, the Queen is followed by reporter/narrator Andrew Marr and also interviews family members along with some former prime ministers. Watching this documentary gives incredible insight showcasing the Queen and her life on the throne. We get the chance to see close ups of her along with the rare opportunity to listen to her speak! The documentary gives an intimate portrait of Britain's Monarch and her impact on the world. Instances like her trip to Ireland and the Middle East show us why the Queen is a woman like no other. It is so informative, detailed and riveting. It truly engrosses you into the Queen's story and life overall. Make sure to pick up a copy today! 

Ever since I watched the royal wedding (Princess Diana and Prince Charles), I have been fascinated by the Royal Family. Watching BBC's "The Diamond Queen" was such a treat. Andrew Marr's documentary is fabulous! A three part series totaling 174 minutes, "The Diamond Queen" gives an intimate, detailed look at the life of Queen Elizabeth II. Part One focuses on the day to day duties of the Queen and features interviews with other Royals. Part Two details the Queen's efforts to make the monarchy more modern and the challenges that she faced. Part Three features the highlights of her 60 year reign. Taking the throne in 1952 (!!!), Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for 60 years! This is the first time in modern history that a Monarch has reached her Diamond Jubilee. Andrew Marr's documentary is so very well done. It is thorough, intriguing, touching, informative and absolutely enjoyable. I highly recommend "The Diamond Queen"; it is not to be missed!

This past school year, one of the teachers that works closely with me got all dressed up for The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Because she was dressed up, the kids wanted to know why. After she explained it, the students wanted to learn more. After watching the BBC "The Diamond Queen" DVD, this would've been perfect to show to my class. While I wouldn't watch it all with my students, many of the interviews and movies about the Queen as a child were enthralling. There is so much history and learning to be had while watching this movie. What I enjoyed the most was watching the interviews with her grandchildren. They so love and admire her, that I think it is something that my students could connect with. I think this would be a perfect addition to any classroom that is studying England and The Queen. I can't wait to do another unit of study like this so I can bring this DVD in to watch again.

Whom You Know gives The Diamond Queen by the BBC our Highest Recommendation.


Length: The Diamond Queen is approx. 180 minutes + bonus features/ single disc

BBC Home Entertainment is proud to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee year, the 60th year of her reign, with the new DVD releases, The Diamond Queen.

Marking The Queen’s 60 years as Head of State of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth, The Diamond Queen tells the story of the young girl who never expected to reign over the United Kingdom. Sixty years after she acceded to the throne, this landmark documentary hosted by Andrew Marr looks at her role within the Monarchy and what she has accomplished for her country and her people both at home and abroad. Told over three hour-long episodes, it features interviews with prime ministers, world leaders and members of the Royal Family, and closely follows The Queen’s working engagements around the world for the period of more than a year and a half.

About BBC Worldwide Americas:

BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBC Worldwide Americas brings together all of BBC Worldwide businesses across North and South America. The company exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the UK license payer, and invests in public service programming in return for rights. The company has seven core businesses: Channels, Sales and Distribution, Content and Production, Consumer Products, Digital Media, Magazines, and recently formed Brands, Consumers & New Ventures. Under these businesses fall two key brands in the U.S. – digital cable channel BBC America and a bi-coastal production arm responsible for the smash hit Dancing with the Stars for ABC.

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