Follow Vogue Arabia

6 Things We Learned About Queen Elizabeth in This New Documentary

Queen Elizabeth II watching Andy Murray in 2010. Photo: Getty

Queen Elizabeth II watching Andy Murray in 2010. Photo: Getty

Even though she’s spent her entire life in the public eye, there’s still much to learn about Queen Elizabeth II, as the new documentary Queen of the World proves. The film, which aired recently in the US and UK, gives viewers exclusive access into Buckingham Palace, and explores the Queen’s role on a global stage.

But what exactly was uncovered about her in the program? Below, the most fascinating tidbits.

1. Her coronation gown and the Duchess of Sussex’s wedding veil shared something in common.

For her May 19 wedding, the Duchess of Sussex had flowers representing the 53 countries of the British Commonwealth embroidered into her veil (plus a California golden poppy). As it turns out, Queen Elizabeth did a similar thing for her coronation day. Although her dress designer, Norman Hartnell, originally suggested including flowers from the United Kingdom, Elizabeth chose to incorporate flowers from the eight countries in the Commonwealth at the time.

2. She holds the record for longest journey by a monarch.

After her coronation, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip traveled 40,000 miles throughout the Caribbean, the Pacific, Asia, and Africa in six months. According to the documentary, “This extraordinary trip is still the single longest journey ever undertaken by a reigning monarch.”

3. The Queen has a ton of family photographs throughout Buckingham Palace.

Yes, the interior of Buckingham Palace is filled with fine pieces of furniture and priceless art. But one of the documentary’s best Easter eggs? The various family photographs in Buckingham Palace. In one scene alone, eagle-eyed watchers will spot a picture of Prince Harry and Prince William posing in military uniform, an engagement portrait of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and a shot of Prince Philip.

4. She used to host a movie night on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

While it was still in service, the Queen and her family used to sail around the world on the Royal Yacht Britannia. And while much of their time was spent hosting dignitaries for formal dinners and parties, they’d occasionally have a movie night at sea. The dining room doubled as a royal cinema.

The Queen, recalled a royal yachtsman, “didn’t like cowboy films,” so they requested “quite modern movies at the time.” One of them? “I remember being responsible for bringing Dr. No on board,” Commodore Anthony Morrow told the documentarians.

5. The Queen was an avid home-movie maker.

Viewers may be surprised that some of the archival footage used in the film was shot by the monarch herself—“the Queen was an early home-movie enthusiast,” the documentary explained. One standout snippet? Prince Philip rushing down the waterslide on the Royal Yacht, and Princess Anne scrubbing the deck.

6. The Queen originated the walkabout.

The “walkabout”—or, when a royal goes out to greet the crowd at an engagement—wasn’t always something the Windsors did. Back in the day, you’d be considered lucky to get a glimpse of them driving by.

But that all changed in the 1970s, when the Queen decided to “shake things up” at an appearance. She went outside to talk to the crowd, and since then, all other royals have followed suit.

Now Read: The Duchess of Sussex’s Wedding Dress Featured This Romantic Detail

This article first appeared on

View All
Vogue Collection