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Wednesday, July 24, 2013


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The British monarchy has long been an object of fascination for Americans. I vividly remember watching the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles as a child, and being completely captivated by it! The tradition, the grandeur, the history, and the beauty all seemed the stuff of fairy tales! Now, thanks to the BBC, we are able to get an intimate look at four generations of the Royal Family in their newly-released The Royal Collection. This DVD collection gives viewers the chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at the monarchy, and it is truly fascinating. First in the collection is Queen Victoria's Children, which sheds light on the famed queen (who ruled Great Britain from June, 1937 until her death in January, 1901), through examining her relationships with her husband, Prince Albert, and her nine children. In this riveting, 3-part series, we see a woman with an absolute need to be in control, a woman who saw her nine children as the price she had to pay for her passionate romance with her husband, and a woman who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. Diary entries, letters, photos, and memoirs from Victoria, Albert, and their children are used to create three-dimensional portraits of the characters, and it is truly amazing to see what went on behind closed doors in this seemingly perfect family.  
The next program in the series, King George and Queen Mary, focuses on King George V (who reigned from May, 1910 - January, 1936), and his wife, Queen Mary, who are credited with saving the monarchy in the face of massive social changes after World War I. One of the biggest and most effective changes he made was creating the House of Windsor. Fearing anti-German sentiment after the war, he wisely changed the name from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the more innocuous House of Windsor. With this and other innovative changes, he and Mary of Teck were able to steer the monarchy into modern times. As in Queen Victoria's Children, we are also given a glimpse of the man behind the monarchy - in this case a very strict, conservative disciplinarian, who, nonetheless, had a soft spot for his granddaughter, Elizabeth.  
The third program, The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, is of particular interest to modern viewers, because Queen Elizabeth, more than 60 years after her coronation, is still the reigning British monarch. She is the queen with which several generations have grown up, so it is truly exciting to have a glimpse into what went into her coronation. Although the event itself was a triumph, there was a great deal of political game-playing and jockeying for position by those involved in the planning. Rising tensions threatened to turn the event into a disaster, but the young queen managed to keep calm and hold her regal head high, and the event came off spectacularly well - which was extremely important, as this was the first-ever televised coronation! The story is told through the diaries and papers of those involved in the planning, and it's truly a captivating look at the inside story behind the famous event.  
Finally, bringing us into modern times, the final program in The Royal Collection is How To Be A Prince, which documents Prince William's life up to the age of 21. Since his marriage to Kate Middleton a few years ago, the young prince's face has been a common feature in news features and all kinds of magazine articles, so it's interesting to get more of a detailed look at his life before that. This dvd was made on the occasion of Prince William's 21st birthday, so one has to chuckle about the speculation about what kind of woman he would marry. Beyond that, though it is fascinating to get a look at what it's like to grow up as someone in line for the throne, especially in the new millennium.  
Overall, I found The Royal Collection wonderfully entertaining and informative. There is a wealth of information given, but in an exciting and enjoyable way. Hats off to the BBC on, once again, delivering a top-notch product!

In this picturesque and vital tale of the 19th, 20th, and 21st Century reality of the Royals, BBC walks us through the backgrounds, their alignments, and their progress as a family. In a set of four DVDs and a booklet, BBC paints us a friendly picture of those fascinating and influential individuals from the past, present and will be, the future, the British Royals which now include Prince George.  
Queen Victoria wrapped the fashion world up in black when she lost her beloved Albert. That little fact alone is only a starting point for discovering all about this royal right of passage. "Queen Victoria's Children", a DVD in BBC's "Royal Collection" fills in the family background of this, England's most influential First Family. From their first meeting in 1839 Victoria and Albert fell madly in love and thus an empire was forged in political steel. It was Albert who conceptualized the Royal image of respectability, creating a new PR, and a different sensibility towards the British Monarchy. "King George and Queen Mary" as a chapter in this overview takes us into the masterful reign of these two pivotal personages. Using photographs wherever possible, at times superimposed upon the actual residences and surroundings, the storyline flows. With astute sidebars added via commentary by winsome biographers and historians, their stories are fleshed out for us to appreciate on an up close and personal level. 
The DVD of "The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II" is a BBC re-creation (for those who may not remember) the spectacular coverage of the most plotted, planned, and perfect public ceremony. This is the "greatest public ceremony of the 20th Century", and the BBC brings us to that moment in post WWII time, and the hope for a newly bright future.  
Lovers of costume will have hours of reference and accurate detail available within the whole of the collection: "Royal Collection". Details of the "how's" and sometimes even the backstory of the "whys" are as entertaining as this ongoing modern point of view of the Monarchy. Some may remember the televising of the momentous day that Elizabeth II was crowned, but the accompanying newsreel footage and colorful points of visual references bring the occasion alive for the 21st Century. Included in the boxed set "Royal Collection" is a remarkable booklet that serves as a pictorial record of that day, done to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the 
Coronation. The last DVD in the collection, but not the least is "How to be a Prince" which is now more timely than ever. Prince William, whose face is now familiar to most if not all of the world may well be Britain's new Monarch one day and his son George too. The "steps" involved in becoming a modern heart throb Prince takes us through a logical , whimsical procession starting with #1: having the right parents. With touches of historical notes on other princes in history, and contemporary sport included as a must for any royal activity, such as Polo, called the sport of Kings, the BBC rounds out the requirements of princedom quite nicely.  
With these "lessons of history", behind us, we can now look forward to BBC's next programs, and the future of the Monarchy. Ever fascinated by the Royals, the world gets a good shot in the gossip arm with this collection .

Dreaming of being Queen? Well then you have to watch The Royal Collection by BBC Home Entertainment. This awesome 4 disc set is sure to excite all fans of the Royal family. The set includes Queen Victoria's Children, How to be a Prince, King George and Queen Mary, and The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Each fascinating DVD explores different Royals, letting you in on little know facts and exploring their lives and relationships. Each DVD is put together wonderfully and keeps you entertained throughout. My personal favorite was The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was beyond fascinating with real footage from the coronation in 1953, it really gives you an in depth understanding of the process but also the political climate at the time. All I can say is Queen Elizabeth is one cool and collected lady. Also included in this set is a replica of a booklet from her coronation featuring great photos. There is something for everyone in the Royal Collection set. So get your inner Queen on and watch today.

My husband and I watched a little bit of the Royal Collection almost every night this week.  This collection is unlike anything I have seen about the Royal family before. It really goes in depth providing details about the royal family and the drama that unfolds behind the castle doors. There are four different DVDs inside the collection presenting different perspectives on the monarchy. These four DVDs are titled; Queen Victoria’s Children, King George & Queen Mary, The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and How to be a Prince. The last DVD was my favorite because it featured Prince William and documents his life up to age 21. It was exceptionally thought-provoking to see into the life of a prince and grasp what it is like to be in his shoes. Queen Victoria’s Children was also an extremely interesting DVD. The three-part series focused on the reign of Victoria and the impact it had on her personal life, including the relationship with her husband and children. I really enjoyed watching this because I felt like, having two children of my own, I could relate to some of her feelings about the hardships and joys of raising children. This marvelous collection also features a bonus booklet about the Queens coronation day. I highly recommend the Royal Collection for anyone who is interested in an educational and attention-grabbing experience.


BBC Home Entertainment is releasing an exclusive collection featuring four royal titles, each presenting perspective on the British Monarchy. Included in the set are The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, a behind-the-scenes look at the Queen's 1953 Coronation; King George and Queen Mary: The Royals Who Rescued the Monarchy, a two-part portrait of Elizabeth II’s grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, which examines the lasting legacy of the couple who rescued the monarchy from potential disaster; Queen Victoria's Children, a three-part series exploring the reign of Victoria through her personal relationships with her husband and her nine children; and How To Be a Prince, a program centered on Prince William from 2003. The Royal Collection also includes a replica of a booklet for Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, featuring original photography from the ceremony. 

The Royal Collection arrives on DVD May 21, 2013. Also coming out on May 21 are two DVDs featured in the collection, available for sale individually: The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria's Children.


The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

BBC Home Entertainment releases this fascinating documentary which reveals the behind-the-scenes story of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, drawing on rare archive footage and made using eyewitness accounts of participants and historical experts. The Coronation was seen as an ideal moment for the British Royal Family to establish the meaning of the modern monarchy – reinforcing the idea of continuity and tradition, while establishing the new reign of the young Queen and her modernizing husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. This program shows how, despite tensions, diplomatic incidents, and political wrangling, the Queen kept her demeanor, arbitrated with skill, and stayed true to her vision of a special coronation.

Queen Victoria's Children 

BBC Home Entertainment announce a new three-part series spanning over sixty years which examines one of the most tempestuous of royal relationships, that of Queen Victoria with her husband Prince Albert and their nine children. The series uses a wealth of written material and photos left by Victoria, Albert and her children, including letters, diaries, memoirs, and journals, to bring the subject and characters to life.


Length: Approx. 467 mins /4-disc set


Length: Approx. 50 mins / single disc


Length: Approx. 180 mins / single disc 

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 five core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products and Digital. Under these businesses fall two key brands in the U.S. – digital cable channel BBC AMERICA and BBC Worldwide Productions, the production arm responsible for the smash hit Dancing with the Stars.

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