'The Queen at War' - TV Review

I borrowed this documentary from the library as a follow-up to a favourite recent movie, "A Royal Night Out" - I wanted to see how the reality compared to the fantasy presented in that movie. As it turns out, much of this one hour film is also about her family, particularly her mother (Queen Elizabeth, who is now more commonly called "The Queen Mother") and father (George the Sixth). Their covering George and Elizabeth also tied this together with "The King's Speech," another fantastic movie about very much the same period in time. This movie made me respect both of those other movies even more for their extraordinary period accuracy: they probably used the same period footage shown here to create the scenes in their movies.

If you're not a Royalist when you start watching this, you probably will be by the time you're done. The royal family didn't have a particularly strong connection to their people in Britain when the war started, but - fumbling about to figure out what to do in a terrible time - they managed to do absolutely everything right. And this documentary is here to argue that Elizabeth's experiences during the war - which lasted from her 13th to 18th year - were what shaped her into the monarch she is today.

I often conclude these reviews by firmly declaring that something is good or awful, but I feel the need to add some qualifiers in this case. If you're already a fan of the Royals, you may already know this stuff. And for a lot of people, this may feel like a boring history lesson. But covering as it did the period of two movies I love (I've seen each of them about three times), I thought it was an outstanding piece of work.