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Join the BBC cameras as they go behind the glitter of Buckingham Palace and the pomp of Windsor Castle for a close-up look at the minutia of the monarchy. Culled from a year of unprecedented access to Queen Elizabeth II, the documentary trails the queen as she interacts one-on-one with her family, her staff, her public, and international heads of state. Go behind closed doors for Christmas with the royal family, eavesdrop on cocktail chatter with Ron and Nancy Reagan, and catch unguarded moments when the queen pilots her own jeep or romps with her dogs. Elizabeth R. is a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse into the everyday life of a queen.
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Queen Elizabeth II allowed BBC cameras to trail her for a year of "unprecedented access," but don't expect to see any unguarded moments in this 110-minute documentary. Set against the backdrop of the burgeoning Gulf War, the largely unnarrated video explores the life of the quiet, careful queen as she sits for portraits, discusses world affairs with her personal secretary, and takes the grandchildren out for a pony ride at Balmoral. Viewers get a glimpse of life behind the pageantry as Windsor prepares for one of its many balls and the audio is left on as she makes the rounds with the 130 attending ambassadors, including one from Kuwait whose brother-in-law has just been murdered. The queen demonstrates an astounding ability for graceful chit chat, which seems constantly required of her. Whether making small jokes with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, talking to her portraitist about his odd father, or meeting with the families of soldiers, she clearly makes an effort to address each individual. There are no great revelations here, but fans of the royals will enjoy and cynics will come away with a grudging respect for the reserved queen. --Kimberly Heinrichs
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