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Continuity and change
Erin Bell and Ann Gray

INTRODUCTION British television has had a long, and not always happy, relationship with the Crown, but since Richard Cawston’s documentary The Royal Family (BBC, 1969) the Windsors have acknowledged the necessary evil of allowing the cameras in to record less formal aspects of their life and work. The Queen herself has since been the subject of three such observational

in The British monarchy on screen
Mandy Merck

public expects of her. Members of the royal family are in an entirely different situation. Their role is to symbolize the unity of a nation; to provide an element of continuity in a necessarily changing society. This is history, not The Archers , 1 and their affairs ought to be treated as such. 2 Thirty years

in The British monarchy on screen
Editor: Mandy Merck

Moving images of the British monarchy, in fact and fiction, are almost as old as the moving image itself, dating back to an 1895 dramatic vignette, The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Led by Queen Victoria, British monarchs themselves appeared in the new 'animated photography' from 1896. Half a century later, the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II was a milestone in the adoption of television, watched by 20 million Britons and 100 million North Americans. At the century's end, Princess Diana's funeral was viewed by 2.5 billion worldwide. Seventeen essays by international commentators examine the portrayal of royalty in the 'actuality' picture, the early extended feature, amateur cinema, the movie melodrama, the Commonwealth documentary, New Queer Cinema, TV current affairs, the big screen ceremonial and the post-historical boxed set. These contributors include Ian Christie, Elisabeth Bronfen, Andrew Higson, Steven Fielding, Karen Lury, Glyn Davis, Ann Gray, Jane Landman, Victoria Duckett, Jude Cowan Montague, James Downs, Barbara Straumann, Deirdre Gilfedder, Jo Stephenson, Ruth Adams, Erin Bell, Basil Glynn and Nicola Rehling.

Contemporary ‘British’ cinema and the nation’s monarchs
Andrew Higson

the monarchy – in paintings, prints, films, books, magazines, television programmes, on the Internet and so on. The public image of the monarchy is not consistent across the period being explored here, however, and it is worth noting that there was a waning of support for the contemporary royal family in the 1990s, not least because of how it was perceived to have treated Diana. Support waxed again in

in The British monarchy on screen
Outdoor screens and public congregations
Ruth Adams

or were studying for postgraduate qualifications. Four were not native to the UK, but all were living in the UK when they attended the events in question. The relatively international nature of the group reflects the demographic of the student body of my university, but is also indicative of the British royal family’s global appeal. Several respondents commented on the relatively high proportion of foreigners

in The British monarchy on screen
Queen Victoria, photography and film at the fin de siècle
Ian Christie

Secretary, would soon become closely involved with the royal family, photographing their children in early 1854 and taking formal studies of the couple, including the well-known double portrait in court dress of 1854. Later that year, he left for the Crimea, apparently at the prompting of Prince Albert (if not the Queen herself) to photograph the war, in the hope that his record would counteract reports appearing in

in The British monarchy on screen
Open Access (free)
Royal weddings and the media promotion of British fashion
Jo Stephenson

was shown wearing their ‘£175 taupe Shola dress to meet the Obamas’. 4 The royal family is a central feature of Britain’s projected identity and a unique selling point of the national brand created to promote its exports. The relationship between the Windsors and the fashion industry can be seen in a number of British Fashion Council (BFC) initiatives. Following the death of Princess Diana in 1997, the

in The British monarchy on screen
Open Access (free)
Mandy Merck

– action adventure, costume drama, the ‘biopic’ and melodrama – with which it is portrayed in fiction film? How do these understandings shift with the international production and consumption of such fictions? What connections are drawn between royal celebrity and movie stardom? How is the deference with which the British royal family has historically been portrayed in its national media affected by the greater informality of

in The British monarchy on screen
Open Access (free)
An allegory of imperial rapport
Deirdre Gilfedder

establishment of what has long been termed in Australia, a ‘bunyip aristocracy’. 2 It also revealed the complexity of an entirely independent Australia’s relationship to the British monarchy. This return to royal honours comes in the wake of a series of mediated public relations ‘successes’ for the British royal family in the twenty-first century. In Britain the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the

in The British monarchy on screen
Open Access (free)
The King’s Speech as melodrama
Nicola Rehling

instances of cruelty reinforce the Prince’s own belief that the Windsors are not a family but a ‘firm’ – a reference to the beginning of the royal family circulating as a brand in the global marketplace. The pressures of the nuclear family and the impossibility of reconciling private desires with patriarchal power and duty – that is, the stuff of family melodramas – are rendered more acute for royals since

in The British monarchy on screen