A new ITV documentary has unveiled never-before seen moments from the Queen’s personal life – including playful antics with her father King George VI as a child, idyllic trips to the beach with her children and Prince Philip teaching them how to fish.
The Queen Unseen, which aired on ITV1 at 9pm tonight, delved into candid and rare home footage filmed of the royal family to show Her Majesty, 94, as she’s never been seen before.
Marking the monarch’s 95th birthday later this month, the fascinating documentary showed the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, aged just seven, playing with her family at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.
The princess was seen alongside her parents, George VI (then known as Prince Albert, Duke of York) and his wife, Elizabeth, Duchess of York, as well as her sister Princess Margaret.
Playfully running circles around her loved ones, the young royal was eventually stopped by her beaming father who pretended to cut her hair with his garden shears.
Elsewhere in the programme, the mother-of-four was filmed alongside her children, Princess Anne and Prince Charles, as family and friends enjoyed a day at a Scottish beach – building sandcastles, having a BBQ and bathing in the ‘freezing’ waters.
Here, FEMAIL reveals the most eye-opening moments from the documentary – which also included clips of the Queen adoringly watching Prince Philip teach Prince Andrew and Prince Edward how to fish, before feeding horses with her children.
Princess Elizabeth’s father playfully pretends to cut her hair with garden shears
New ITV documentary Queen Unseen aired never before seen footage of the Monarch as a care-free child playing with her father, the Duke of York, before he became kind. In the archive clip, the Duke of York is seen pretending to cut the Queen’s hair with his garden shears (right)
The Queen and a young Princess Margaret can be seen skipping around Royal Lodge on a sunny summer day before her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in December 1936.
The insightful programme showcased a newly discovered film, taken by a friend of the Windsors, which revealed a glimpse of the Queen’s idyllic early years, before her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in December 1936.
Aged just seven, a then Princess Elizabeth was captured running circles around her parents George VI (then known as Prince Albert, Duke of York) and his wife, Elizabeth, Duchess of York, while her sister Princess Margaret dutifully followed.
Spending time together outdoors, in what appeared to be a hot summer’s day, the family were seen at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, now home to the Queen’s son Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.
The young Queen, wearing a summer dress similar to her sibling’s, danced around near her parents until she was eventually stopped by her beaming father who pretended to cut her hair with his garden shears.
‘It’s lovely. The King looks so happy, of course he wasn’t King there,’ said Lady Glenconner, who was a Maid of Honour at the Queen’s coronation and a lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. ‘He’s pretending to cut Princess Elizabeth’s hair with his shears. They’re so sort of natural and happy.’
Princess Elizabeth gleefully skips outside her Wendy house
Called Y Bwthyn Bach, or The Little House, was a play den for the Queen and subsequent generations of her family for nearly nine decades after it was gifted to the royal family
Another scene from the garden showed Princess Elizabeth leaving The Little House – the miniature thatched, whitewashed cottage in the grounds of Windsor’s Royal Lodge, which is tucked away from public view in the south side of the gardens.
Called Y Bwthyn Bach, or The Little House, it has been a play den for the Queen and subsequent generations of her family for nearly nine decades.
The two-thirds size cottage, which measures 24 feet long, eight feet deep and with five feet high rooms, was presented to Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret in March 1932 on behalf of ‘the people of Wales’ on the occasion of Elizabeth’s sixth birthday.
‘There’s the cottage… They absolutely adored it. The most wonderful present,’ said Lady Glenconner, 88. ‘The height of the children, they could easily get in and out. The Queen Mother used to squash in there too.’
Speaking on the footage of the Queen with her father at Windsor, Lady Glenconner added: ‘The King always said, a very famous thing, “us four”, and they were very much “us four”. Lovely, lovely film.’
The Queen heads to the beach with Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Princess Margaret
The Queen and Princess Margaret could be seen running on the beach with Prince Charles on the recording of the family getaway
The Queen and Princess Margaret didn;t hesitate to get their feet wet and to walk in the sand with the young royals during the holiday
As a young mother, the Queen was a relaxed and caring parent away from the camera. This clip shows her and the Duke of Edinburgh watching Princess Anne and Prince Charles play during a family holiday in Scotland
This picture show a care-free Queen in her car having her chat with her sister Princess Margaret during the family holiday away from the public eye
A relaxed Queen was also shown playing chefs and cooking during a family barbecue next to Princess Anne during the holiday
The royal family with the Glenconner family on a boat during the beach holiday in Scotland, which was filmed in 1957 by friends
Elsewhere in the programme, the Queen was captured alongside her children Princess Anne and Prince Charles, as well as other members of the royal family such as Princess Margaret, enjoying a day at a Scottish beach in 1957.
The group – dressed in colourful jumpers and vibrant hats for a windy day at the seaside – were seen building sand castles, having a BBQ and bathing in the ‘freezing’ waters.
At one point, the Queen sat elegantly in a car while her energetic children bounded up to her to seemingly see what she had brought with her as they looked in the vehicle’s back seats. Her Majesty’s sister appeared just as lively, bouncing on her feet while looking away from the camera.
In the segment, Princess Margaret was also seen carefully manoeuvring her niece and nephew as they piled into a vehicle, before the children were then captured playing in the sand.
Later, Her Majesty was seen dressed in a bright orange cardigan and light blue head scarf as she took control of the barbecue, while a young Princess Anne stood next to her drinking some juice.
The video was filmed around the time of Lord Altrincham’s (who was later known as John Grigg) attack on the Queen’s mannerisms, calling her style of speaking a ‘pain in the neck’ in 1957.
Lady Glenconner commented on the footage, which included her mother, saying: ‘Oh here they come. Lovely, Prince Charles and my mother. She’s wearing dark glasses. She used to love going on the boat.
‘They’re now all on the beach making sandcastles. It’s always funny because when the Queen is there, everybody who normally wouldn’t make a sandcastle, suddenly that’s the most favourite thing they want to do.
‘Here they are bathing [in] freezing water,’ she says, adding: ‘The Queen’s very practical. The Queen looks so relaxed with them all, and they’re having such a good time.’
The Queen and Prince Philip enjoy a romantic sleigh ride in Canada in 1951
At the start of the programme, the Queen and Prince Philip were filmed taking a traditional sleigh ride during their Canadian Tour in 1951, pictured above
A young Queen with horses while on a Canadian Tour in 1951. The Queen and Prince Philip took a traditional sleigh ride filmed in colour for a movie called Royal Journey, which was the first colour feature film made in the country
The Queen showed her candid side as a newlywed woman during this trip to Canada with Prince Philip in 1951 before her coronation in 1953
At the start of the programme, the Queen and Prince Philip were filmed taking a traditional sleigh ride during their Canadian Tour in 1951.
Unknown to the then 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth, she was only a few months away from losing her beloved father, King George VI, in 1952.
The 1951 footage comes from a documentary movie called Royal Journey, the first colour feature film ever made in Canada – the rushes had to be flown to New York to be developed.
The young princess and the Duke of Edinburgh were seen covered in snow on their sleigh ride during the official tour, while in another shot she gently patted one of their horses.
The Queen, Prince Philip and their children happily feed horses together
As the Queen allowed less formal family photocalls, she was photographed feeding horses with Prince Philip, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward
With this horse photocall, the Monarch was answering public calls to see a more intimate side of the family and to see more of the royal children
Feeling more confident as both monarch and mother when in her 40s, the Queen began to allow more photocalls of a less formal nature, revealed the documentary.
The first of these were films, aired only in cinemas at the time, which showed Her Majesty and Prince Philip being hands-on, caring parents while on holiday in Scotland with their two youngest children Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
Smiling at one another and appearing completely content, the family were seen feeding several horses. The Queen placed out her hand, filled with carrots, to one of the well-behaved animals.
Royal author Jane Ridley commented: ‘All of these images [and videos] begin to appear so we now get a sense of the Queen as a family woman, as a woman with a young family on holiday in Scotland.’
The Queen watches Prince Philip teach Prince Andrew how to fish
Never before seen footage showed in the documentary found the Duke of Edinburgh teaching a young Prince Andrew how to fish during a holiday in Scotland
The Queen looked on with Prince Edward as Prince Philip and Prince Andrew edged above the water in hopes of catching some fish
The young princes can be seen playing with the Queen’s corgis in the water during this family holiday in Scotland, which was filmed at the time
The monarch looked delighted, watching her middle son learning how to fish and putting bait on his fishing rod during the family holiday
In another candid moment, Prince Philip was captured teaching a teenage Prince Andrew how to fish while on holiday in Scotland.
The beaming duo were filmed enthusiastically talking to one another while the Queen – surrounded by her beloved corgis – watched with a smile on her face. Meanwhile, Prince Edward was spotted riding his bicycle before asking his mother to help him fish.
Lady Glenconner commented on the ‘sweet’ moment, saying: ‘The Queen looking very lovingly at [Prince Philip and Prince Andrew].’
Broadcaster Wesley Kerr said: ‘I think Philip had an enormous amount of time for [for his children]. I think he taught them lots of useful things like to fish and to sail.’
The Queen and a young Prince Edward visit a village store to buy ice cream
An extract from the 1969 documentary Royal Family, which aired on the BBC at the time, shows the monarch buying ice-cream for a young Prince Edward
The Queen was recorded chatting away with the shop keeper, asking her for an ice-cream for her youngest son, saying this is what he most wanted
The controversial fly-on-the-wall documentary about the Royal Family that was ‘banned’ by the Queen for ‘cheapening’ the image of the Firm was also mentioned in the programme.
Viewers saw the Queen in a village store buying an ice cream for five-year-old Prince Edward and handing over a half crown — 12 and a half pence — in payment.
The film, simply titled Royal Family, caused a sensation when it was broadcast in June 1969, the result of a year of filming of the Queen and her closest relatives, taking in visits to Balmoral, holidays on the Royal Yacht Britannia and a behind-the-scenes look at official engagements and overseas tours.
Commissioned by the Royal Family, the film was re-broadcast in 1972 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Queen’s accession and then, apparently on Palace orders, it was locked away to never be broadcast again in full.
Prince Philip crashes head-first into pool as he tries to sit on a lilo during 1953 Commonwealth Tour
The Duke of Edinburgh struggles to climb onto a lilo in the pool on Christmas Day 1953, in a rare and unseen private home movie which was filmed by the wife of New Zealand’s Governor General, Sir Willougby Norrie, whom they were staying with
The Duke of Edinburgh pulls 10-year-old Sarah Stephenson along on the lilo on Christmas Day 1953. Sarah was the daughter of New Zealand’s Governor General, Sir Willougby Norrie, whose wife filmed the visit by the Royal Family to the country
A young Queen filming with a Cine Camera at an outdoor swimming pool on Christmas Day 1953. Taking a break from the gruelling seven-month Commonwealth tour, she and Philip stayed with New Zealand’s Governor General, Sir Willougby Norrie
Queen’s 40-year friendship with New Zealand dairy farmer Don Ferguson explored in new documentary
The documentary also highlights the Queen’s 40-year friendship with New Zealand dairy farmer Don Ferguson, with whom she co-owned a herd of Jersey cows after meeting him at an agricultural show in 1975.
He would regularly ring the Queen and let her know if their animals had won any prizes at the various cattle shows he attended.
On a visit to the country in 1990, the monarch made a point of detouring to visit him – and her cows.
Mr Ferguson’s widow, June, recalled how when visiting the paddock the monarch referred to her husband’s bad language. Mrs Ferguson noted that Philip ‘swears like a trooper’.
She says the Queen remarked to Mr Ferguson that ‘all husbands swear, don’t they?’, which made Mrs Ferguson laugh as her husband barely uttered a curse in his life.
The Queen at Windsor Castle in 1992 with a cow called Elizabeth
He served with distinction in the Royal Navy and was mentioned in dispatches, but a humble lilo proved to be Prince Philip’s downfall in footage filmed of the young Queen and her husband off duty at Christmas in 1953.
It was shot by Patricia Norrie, the wife of the then Governor-General of New Zealand, Sir Willoughby Norrie, who was hosting the couple on the local leg of a gruelling seven-month Commonwealth tour.
It featured along with footage of the Queen smiling, and the video also showed the Duke of Edinburgh pulling the Norries’ daughter, ten-year-old Sarah Stephenson, along on the lilo – who narrates what happens in a trailer for the programme.
The trip had proved a gruelling one for the young monarch, who had been crowned earlier in the year, and she and Philip were said to have relished the chance for a little downtime.
According to Ms Stephenson, it was ‘terribly exciting’ to have the royal party staying at their home and the royals mucked in with the rest of the family.
In a segment, narrated by Mrs Stephenson, she said: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh is trying to get on this lilo, and he has to have several attempts. The royal couple knew that we were filming, and they didn’t seem to mind that we were.
‘And the Queen also had an identical camera to my mother. She was also taking similar shots. That was the Queen’s smile, which my mum very cleverly caught. Great fun, we loved it.’
Sir Willoughby and his wife gave the Queen and Philip a stocking each for Christmas – containing a dog’s lead for the Queen and a blue and white Wedgwood ashtray for Philip, which caused much amusement as it had his wife’s head on it.
After lunch they went to the private pool along with the Queen equerry at the time, Johnny Spencer, later Earl Spencer and father of Princess Diana.
According to Mrs Stephenson, towering Philip – wearing tiny dark ‘budgie smuggler’ swimming shorts – tried several times to get on the lilo, but each time plunged into the pool roaring with laughter.
Always mindful of her public image, Queen didn’t join in, but happily watched her husband from the patio, her own video camera in hand, comfortable to film and be filmed.
Queen visits Belgrade after leader asked to meet her for his birthday
A young Queen with President Tito in Belgrade in 1972. The image shows a light-hearted moment for the Queen and President Tito during her first visit to a communist country. During her stay, informal footage captured them in off-guard moments
Rarely seen footage of a young Queen eating an orange with President Tito during her visit to Belgrade in 1972. The Queen is rarely seen on camera eating – she very much disapproves of that – but happily tucked into the piece of fruit
With almost 70 years of royal globe trotting under her belt, the Queen is the country’s most experienced international statesman.
And her skills were most definitely needed when she visited Belgrade in 1972 after the Yugoslav dictator Marshal Tito personally asked to meet her to mark his 80th birthday.
Footage shot by Tito’s personal cameraman shows the monarch, on her first visit to a communist country, charming her host.
Among the light-hearted moments is the time they shared a golf buggy together – and even an orange.
The Queen is rarely seen on camera eating – she very much disapproves of that – but happily tucked into a piece of fruit and offered her host a segment. The visit was considered a rousing success.
Broadcaster Wesley Kerr tells the documentary: ‘Britain absolutely has been well served by the Queen in terms of her mastery of diplomacy, the absence of slip-ups.’