Monday, 12 January 2009 6:05pm
The House Of Windsor: A Royal Dynasty is a new three-part series that follows the Royal family’s life stories. They are woven into a fascinating tapestry set against the major events of nine decades. The narrative is built on remarkable – in some cases previously unseen – archive film including rare 1930s colour footage of a Coronation, a Silver Jubilee and a Royal tour of Canada.
Witness the triumphs of the crowned heads calmly steering their country through two world wars, their moments of public splendour (the fireworks that saluted George V’s Silver Jubilee and the tide of love that swept Elizabeth II aloft on her Golden Jubilee), their days of personal joy (Prince William’s graduation day, Prince Harry’s passing-out parade) and their days of sorrow (the failed marriages and the deaths of Princess Margaret and Princess Diana).
The Windsor dynasty was born in 1917 during the darkest days of World War One. Criticised for being a blood relation of the German enemy, the reigning Monarch, George V, suddenly changed the family name from Saxe-Coburg to the resoundingly English, Windsor. Episode 1: The First Windsors follows the reign of George V and his devoted wife Queen Mary. The couple were a dedicated but deeply conservative couple, shocked by modern fashions in dress and manners. They were suspicious of their eldest son, Edward, and his passion for everything new.
George’s first great crisis came during the Great War when he was forced to change the Royal name. His second crisis haunted the last ten years of his life. His belief that his son Edward would be a disastrous King proved right. Edward VIII would be forced to abdicate in 1936 after less than a year on the throne. But, proud to be the King of a ‘wonderful people’, George stirred loyalty and affection throughout the country.