I was able to watch ITV’s documentary about Queen Elizabeth II, Our Queen at 90, I’ve pulled some quotes from the program. The documentary was a look at the Queen’s life and had video of her from the past year, videos from her entire life, and interviews from various members of her family – such as Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (in her second ever interview), Prince William, Kate Middleton (in her first sit-down interview as a royal), Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
I have not quoted the whole thing, but I got many quotes from various family members. Since this is a Kate Middleton-centric blog, I have quoted all of Kate’s interviews. The quotes are listed in chronological order, so the various family members’ quotes are broken up in parts.
“I said to my mother the other day, I said you realize that when you reach 90 that I shall have known you for 68 years. She had to laugh a little bit.
“But when you think that all these years the Queen has been on the throne that in itself is a huge accomplishment. Coping with so many different challenges and complications and always being there in that remarkable way. Steadfast.”
“It’s very special of adding a little girl to the family, very lucky that George got a little sister. The Queen she was really thrilled that it’s a little girl, and I think as soon as we came back here to Kensington she was one of our first visitors here. I think she is very fond of Charlotte, always watching what she’s up to.
“George is only two and a half, he calls her ‘gan-gan’. She always leaves a little gift or something in their room when we go and stay and that just shows her love for her family.
“She’s been very generous and not sort of been forceful at all in any of her views, but she’s just I feel she’s been there sort of a gentle guidance for me. The most memorable engagement for me I suppose was an away day to Leicester. I went without William so I was rather apprehensive about that. I think there’s a real art to walkabouts. Everyone teases me in the family that I spend far too long chatting. I think I’ve still got to learn a little bit more and to pick up a few more tips, I suppose!
“She was very supportive, in fact she took the time to make sure that I was happy and looked after for that particular occasion which probably in everything that she’s doing is very small element shows just how caring she is really.”
“Growing up, having this figurehead, having the stability above me has been incredible. I’ve been able to explore, understand, slightly carve my own path. So I greatly appreciate and value that protection almost. She’s never dictated what we should do; it’s that quiet guidance. It’s sometimes never seen but it’s always there. And I think that has allowed me personally to explore and understand more about who I am and what I have to do.”
Princess Eugenie on HM’s wardrobe:
“You know lots of my friends will say, ‘oh she’s just the best style person there is’. She looks great in her clothes. The style is something that is very unique to her. Elegant, classic, she’s got wonderful happy color to her at all times. I think that’s the word: happy.”
Sophie, Countess of Wessex on HM’s wardrobe:
“Don’t forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are, two, three, four, 10, 15 deep and somebody wants to be able to see that they saw a bit of the Queen’s hat as she went past. She needs to stand out for people to be able to say, ‘I saw the Queen’.”
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on HM’s love of horses:
“If I need to ask about a horse there’s no better person to ask, I mean she is the tops. You couldn’t find a better expert. When she watches on the our horses run I can ring her up and say, ‘What do you think about the race, should it have gone a bit further or should it have been a bit shorter?’ And she’ll say, ‘Well you know I think if you gave it an extra furlong you might see a better result.’ Horses respond to her; they love her. It’s a two-way relationship, they both love each other. She has that wonderful smile which lights up her whole face and you can see the real joy she gets from it.”
Princess Eugenie on Balmoral:
“It’s the most beautiful place on earth, I think. And I think granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands.”
Sophie, Countess of Wessex on Balmoral:
“It is a magical place. Apart from the midges, but it is a magical place. It’s a sense of freedom for her. It’s the one place she really can relax and settle in and just be there and be herself and take the dogs for a walk or go riding. And it’s just this beautiful big skies, big hills.”
Princess Beatrice on Balmoral:
“There is a sense where she can just take a little bit of a step back you know you can catch your breath, because you know her schedule is incredibly busy so I think it must be quite nice to have a few days off if the Queen ever has a day off which I’m not sure.
“The sense of history and the sense of love that Queen Victoria and Albert built into Balmoral is you can feel it everyday. It’s a very family place.”
“I suppose what’s really struck me is her love for the simple things in life. You would expect a lot of grandeur and a lot of fuss and things but actually what really resonates with me is her love of simple things, the lack of fuss, and I think that’s a special quality I think to her.”
“I’ve been asking her for years what her secret is, she won’t tell me.
“It is just incredible to know that someone at that age appreciated exactly what was expected of them and to basically put duty ahead of everything else so early on in her life is quite remarkable.
“People have always said ‘do you feel as though you are following in her footsteps’. Well that is exactly what we are doing. There is nowhere on this planet that I can think of where she hasn’t been in the last 90 years. She’s been everywhere. Sometimes it is quite hard because I go to a place where she hasn’t visited for maybe 20 years, maybe 15 years, and you just think to yourself how can I ever fulfill this huge expectation that comes with her and with being a member of her family.”
Prince William on the diplomatic reception:
“At first you think your at some sort of fancy dress because it’s just unbelievable colors and different varieties of dress it’s just incredible, it’s very surreal and there’s a lot of people, a lot of hands to shake, a lot of different cultures and languages.
“It’s also a diplomatic minefield and you have to be careful what you say and who you say it to and I had my first diplomatic reception was a little bit awkward, I may have mentioned to two particular countries who don’t get along I got the wrong one muddled up so that was quite embarrassing but my grandmother’s very cool about it she was she laughed about it and thought it was all quite funny. Luckily there wasn’t any fallback. It was okay.”
Duchess Kate on the diplomatic reception:
“She remains so calm and collected all the time as well, so she always seems so dignified and so calm. I think everyone feels that they’ve had some quality time with Her Majesty and also a personal connection and I think that’s a real skill.”
Sophie, Countess of Wessex on the Women’s Institute 100th anniversary:
“Lot’s of Queen Bee’s and the ultimate Queen Bee there as well. There was a huge sense of patriotism and pride. I think this really was the icing on the cake for them to have the Queen there.
“I think that really must have appealed to her sense of irony because of course the Women’s Institute was all about providing and producing the most beautiful cakes and she had the honor of being able to cut the centenary cake which proved to be somewhat trickier than she anticipated. I don’t think she could actually get the knife in to begin with and then it got stuck. She couldn’t actually get it down either. With her innate sense of fun, I think she rather enjoyed that moment, as did we all I have to say.”
“She really cares, and she is hugely thoughtful. I can remember being at Sandringham for the first time at Christmas and I was worried what to give the Queen as her Christmas present. I was thinking what do I give her and I thought back to what would I give my own grandparents and I thought I’ll make her something, which could have gone horribly wrong, but I decided to make some actually it was my granny’s recipe of chutney, and I was slightly worried about it, but I noticed the next day that it was on the table. I think such a simple gesture went such a long way for me and I’ve noticed since she’s done that on lots of occasions, and I think it just shows her thoughtfulness, really, and her care in looking after everybody.”
[my own transcription of the video below]
You can watch the show online at ITV here.
Here is the YouTube video of the show (while it is still up – it may be removed at some point).
Some quick thoughts that stuck out to me:
- It was great to hear the Queen say stuff. We so rarely get to hear her speak, and she was actually quite funny.
- Kate is really inarticulate. I can barely understand half the words she says. She was by far the hardest/took the longest to transcribe.
- Eugenie has a much raspier voice than I was expecting. I’m wondering if she always sounds like that or if she had a cold when she did her interview.
- Beatrice has a much higher, wispier voice than I was expecting.
- Though I have quoted all of Kate’s lines and not all of the others, Kate really did get more airtime than anyone else – like way more. I don’t know why that is.
- I think it’s interesting that both Kate and William talked of HM’s gentle/quiet guidance and that she hasn’t pushed them to do anything.
- I loved what Sophie had to say about HM’s color choices and that she chooses colors to stand out in a crowd so that everyone can see her.
- I wonder if HM really was totally cool that William could have potentially been very rude to two countries at the diplomatic reception.
- I remember the WI cake cutting incident; it was funny.
Here are various clips from the show that were released ahead of time – in case you don’t want to watch the entire hour and a half long program.
“I said to my mother…do you realise that when you reach 90 I shall have known you for 68 years, she had to laugh"https://t.co/xFYtnESteZ
— BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) March 19, 2016
The Queen feeds her horses at Windsor, including one she describes as a 'prima donna' #Queenat90https://t.co/IZV7hfSt6e
— BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) March 27, 2016
The Queen: 'I'm rather a fair weather rider. I don't like getting cold and wet'. A clip from @ITV's 'Our #Queenat90'https://t.co/dAuEp0hMF5
— BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) March 27, 2016
The Duchess speaks of HM's love for family & reveals that George calls his great grandmother ‘Gan-Gan’ #Queenat90https://t.co/JyRSdYI7do
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 19, 2016
On Sunday 27 March at 8pm @ITV will broadcast a two-hour landmark programme celebrating our #Queenat90https://t.co/uAqOlkW2ki
— BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) March 19, 2016