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Last Updated on September 14, 2022 by Stefanie Hutson
Nearly everyone will know the sad news by now – Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96. Having celebrated her Platinum Jubilee earlier this year, she was the longest reigning British monarch and very nearly the longest reigning monarch in the world. She dedicated her life to service, and she certainly delivered on that promise.
In the days since her passing, we've received many, many emails and private messages asking for viewing recommendations – shows about Queen Elizabeth's life, family, and the history around it all. To that end, we've put together this two-part guide.
In the first section, we look at shows about Queen Elizabeth and her reign – and in the second, we offer suggestions relating to her family, recent British history, and the unique array of properties they own.
While we've tried to offer a wide variety of suggestions, we've also chosen to leave out quite a few titles which seemed to support controversial opinions or dwell on the more tawdry, salacious details of various members of Queen Elizabeth's family. That's not to suggest a monarchy should be above scrutiny, merely that this is neither the time nor the place for that sort of content.
UPDATE: Live coverage schedules have been announced. You can read the full details for PBS and BritBox HERE. If it's important to you, we strongly recommend getting a direct subscription to BritBox ahead of time, as the live events don't always show up right away through the distribution partners.
Tributes & Documentaries About Queen Elizabeth II
The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II – 2012 – This is where it all began, with Queen Elizabeth's sudden coronation in 1953 after the death of her father. In this 2012 documentary, we get an insider's look at what went on that day. Watch it HERE on BritBox
A Queen is Crowned – 1953 – Narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier, this feature-length documentary is the only full-length technicolor coverage of the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's historic reign. Watch it HERE on BritBox
A Tribute to Her Majesty The Queen – 2022 – Featuring interviews with her children and others who've known her, this tribute takes a look back at a long life dedicated to service of crown and country. Watch it HERE on BBC Select or BritBox.
Cameraman to the Queen – 2015 – For nearly 20 years, Peter Wilkinson has enjoyed a high level of royal access as he captured both state events and personal moments. This short documentary is a tribute to the effort, discretion, and loyalty involved in his work. Watch it HERE on BritBox or True Royalty.
Age of Elizabeth – 2022 – This hour-long documentary takes a look back on Queen Elizabeth II's lifetime of public service. Watch it HERE on BritBox
Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen – 2022 – Though her face is known around the world, few know much about who Queen Elizabeth II really was. With the help of rare footage and body language experts, this documentary attempts to learn more about what she was really like. Watch it HERE on BBC Select.
The Queen's Speeches – 2022 – Over a lifetime of service to her country, the Queen has given a great many speeches. This hour-long documentary takes a look back at some of her most iconic public speaking moments. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts – 2022 – Acclaimed director Roger Mitchell offers a look back at Queen Elizabeth's reign and personal life. Watch it HERE on Showtime.
Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebration – 2022 – An all-star cast helps celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 70 years of service. Watch it HERE on BritBox.
Queen Elizabeth: The Unlikely Queen – 2021 – Queen Elizabeth II wasn't born to lead her country, but she certainly rose to the challenge and delivered on her promise to serve for all her days. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
The Making of a Queen – 2012 – After her father died, Queen Elizabeth II was unexpectedly thrust into a role for which she hadn't had long to prepare. This documentary looks at how she transformed from young mother and princess to the monarch a nation grew to love. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
The Queen at War – 2020 – This documentary takes a look at how Queen Elizabeth II served her country during WWII, and how the war shaped her. Watch it HERE on PBS Masterpiece or PBS Living.
The Queen at 90 – 2016 – Downton Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern narrates this celebration of Queen Elizabeth's life and reign on her 90th birthday. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
When the Queen Spoke to the Nation – 2022 – This film takes a look at Queen Elizabeth's ever-popular Christmas speeches and some of the other times she addressed her country. Watch it HERE on BritBox.
Gentlemen, The Queen – 1953 – This vintage film provides an up-close look at the early years of Queen Elizabeth II’s life, including King George VI’s coronation, her first broadcast, the war years, and her engagement.
Watch it HERE on BritBox or True Royalty.
Picturing Elizabeth: Her Life in Images – 2022 – Over the course of her lengthy reign, Queen Elizabeth became the most visually represented person in history. From newspapers and souvenirs to stamps and currency, her face has been almost everywhere. Watch it HERE on BritBox.
Elizabeth at 90: A Family Tribute – 2016 – In this feature-length documentary, members of the royal family watch and comment on previously unseen footage of the monarch's life. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
Queen Elizabeth: A Lifetime of Service – 2009 – No monarch in history has completed more foreign visits than Queen Elizabeth II. This hour-long documentary takes a look back at her diplomatic work. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
Queen Elizabeth II: Her Glorious Reign – 2022 – This feature-length documentary takes a look back at how Queen Elizabeth's commitment to duty has transformed her into a figure of strength and dignity throughout the world. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
Elizabeth & Philip: Love, Marriage, & Country – 2021 – For more than 70 years, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip maintained a commitment to each other and their country. This documentary looks back on their lives together. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
Elizabeth – 2022 – This nine-part series walks us through every decade of Queen Elizabeth's time on the throne, and it includes interviews with some of those who've known her. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
Elizabeth: Passions & Pastimes – 2022 – This film celebrates the interests Queen Elizabeth pursued away from her professional duties. Watch it on BritBox.
Queen Elizabeth: Reign Supreme – 1997 – This brief documentary offers a look at Queen Elizabeth's years on the throne – from the perspective of the late 1990s. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
Days of Majesty – 1993 – This feature-length film celebrates the first 40 years of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Watch it HERE on BritBox.
Our Platinum Queen: 70 Years on the Throne – 2022 – No British monarch has served her people as long as Queen Elizabeth, and this feature-length documentary looks back at her reign from the period just before her Platinum Jubilee. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
The Queen Unseen – 2022 – This brief programme features a variety of photos and footage that haven't been made public in the past. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
My Years with the Queen – 2021 – Lady Pamela Hicks opens up about her life growing up with the British Royal Family. Watch it HERE on BBC Select.
The Story of Queen Elizabeth II – 2002 – Though a bit older, this programme focuses on Queen Elizabeth's life and reign up to the early twenty-first century. Watch it HERE on Freevee.
Elizabeth I & II: The Golden Queens – 2020 – Though separated by hundreds of years, Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II had a great deal in common. This two-part documentary takes a look at the qualities and circumstances that unite them. Watch it HERE on BBC Select.
The Majestic Life of Queen Elizabeth II – 2012 – Following along from the death of her father through the marriage of Prince William and Catherine, this documentary offers a look at the first 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign. Watch it HERE on Amazon Video.
A Tribute to Her Majesty the Queen – 2022 – This feature-length documentary takes a look back at Queen Elizabeth's life in the aftermath of her death. Watch it HERE on BBC Select.
Queen Elizabeth II: Above All Else – 2022 – Over the course of an hour, this documentary takes a look at the ways in which the world has changed over Queen Elizabeth's reign, and how she has dealt with the challenges she's faced. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
The Royal Beat | Queen Elizabeth: A Tribute – 2022 – This hour-long programme offers a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in the aftermath of her passing. Watch it HERE.
Other Documentaries About the Modern Royal Family
Though not specifically about Queen Elizabeth, these programmes feature a variety of other modern royal topics – her family members, the history surrounding her reign, and the properties where she spent much of her life.
Prince Charles at 70 – 2019 – This documentary takes a look at Prince Charles’ ongoing charity work and his future role (now present role) as monarch of the United Kingdom. Watch it HERE on PBS Masterpiece.
Charles: Fifty Years a Prince – 2019 – The now King Charles was fortunate to enjoy more than 70 years with his mother in his life – as well as decades to prepare for the job that would eventually come to define his life. This short documentary follows along as he completes one of his annual tours of Wales. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
Prince Charles: The Making of a King – 2022 – King Charles spent more time as heir to the British throne than anyone in history, and unlike his mother, he knew he was destined to be king from birth. This documentary takes a look back at how that destiny shaped his life. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
Prince Charles: Inside the Duchy of Cornwall – 2019 – Back in 1337, the Duchy of Cornwall was established to provide income for heirs to the throne – and roughly 700 years later, it continues to do just that. The land and people associated with the Duchy of Cornwall currently generate more than £21 million in yearly income for the man lucky enough to have inherited it (and with the death of Queen Elizabeth, that will be Prince William going forward). Watch it HERE on Acorn TV or True Royalty.
The Queen & Charles: Mother & Son – 2020 – This short documentary takes a look at some of the most important moments in the shared lives of Queen Elizabeth II and her son, now King Charles III. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
A Very Royal Christmas: Secrets of Sandringham – 2021 – Each year, Queen Elizabeth and her family would converge upon Sandringham Estate to celebrate the Christmas holiday. This documentary takes a look at what Christmas there is like. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
Queen and Country – 2012 – Trevor McDonald walks us through some of the British monarchy’s greatest traditions and institutions. Watch it HERE on PBS Masterpiece.
A Century of the Queen Mother: 100 Years in 100 Minutes – 2000 – This documentary takes a look at Queen Elizabeth's mother's long and interesting life. Watch it HERE on Amazon Video.
Prince Philip: The Plot to Make a King – 2016 – This one-episode special tells the story of what went on behind the scenes when Queen Elizabeth II fell in love with Prince Philip. Royal courtiers felt Philip was rough, poorly educated, and unlikely to make a good or faithful husband. Many disapproved of his German roots and ambitious family. The film takes a look at moves towards the marriage beginning in 1939-40, when the future queen was just 13. Watch it HERE on PBS Masterpiece or PBS Documentaries.
The Windsors at War: Royals on the Front Line – 2018 – This brief programme takes a look at how the Windsors contributed to the war effort during WWII. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
The Windsors: A Royal Family – 2018 – This four-part series takes a look at four generations of Britain's current royal family. Watch it HERE on PBS Masterpiece.
Royal Paintbox – 2014 – Hosted by Prince Charles himself, this documentary takes a look at rarely seen art created by British royals from the past and present. Watch it HERE on PBS Masterpiece.
Inside Balmoral – 2017 – More than just a royal home in Scotland, Balmoral is said to be one of the Queen's favourite places in the entire world – and now, sadly, we know it to be the place she chose to spend her last days. This three-part docuseries looks back at how Balmoral helped to shape Queen Elizabeth's life. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
The Queen's Castle: Four Season – 2016 – This documentary follows along through a year in the life of the world's oldest inhabited castle. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
Princes of the Palace – 2013 – In this feature-length documentary, we see royal biographers discussing what they've learned about the men being shaped and molded to serve their public. Watch it HERE on Freevee.
The Royal Family Collection – 2015 – In celebration of Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, this series of episodes looks back at Queen Elizabeth's life, along with some of the most important moments in her reign and the properties she called home over her years as monarch. Features BBC presenter Fiona Bruce. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
A Royal Guide To… – 2022 – The British royal family is known for following a number of strange traditions. Some royal babies are christened in holy water from the River Jordan. Little boys wear shorts until they’re eight. This series takes a look at the reasons behind the rules. Watch it HERE on BBC Select.
The Jubilee Pudding – 2022 – When Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, a contest was held to determine what would serve as the official pudding of the event. This short documentary takes a look at the lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle that ultimately won. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
- Need the recipe? You can get it HERE. Fair warning – it's an incredibly lengthy process! Scroll to the bottom of the recipe page for shortcuts if you don't have time to do it all from scratch.
Secrets of the Royal Gardens – 2022 – Over the course of four episodes, enjoy an unusual level of access to a variety of impressive royal gardens. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
Secrets of Iconic British Estates – 2013 – This docuseries takes us on a tour of some of Britain's most spectacular stately homes, including Althorp, Chatsworth, and Hampton Court. Watch it HERE on PBS Masterpiece or PBS Living.
Prince Edward & Sophie Rhys-Jones – 1999 – Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones, a commoner who would go on to become one of Queen Elizabeth's closest friends. This programme takes a look at the couple's romance. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
Kensington Palace: Behind Closed Doors – 2020 – This two-part series offers a behind-the-scenes look at a palace that has been one of the primary homes of royal family members for centuries. Watch it on True Royalty: Part 1 | Part 2
The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet – 2021 – Along with the Queen's close friend Sir David Attenborough, Prince William helps to seek out those who've come up with solutions for the world's environmental woes. Watch it HERE on Discovery+.
Prince William: A Planet for Us All – 2021 – Though no one person can solve the world's environmental problems, Prince William is determined to use his position to help advocate for and amplify those who have ideas to help us all enjoy a brighter future. Watch it HERE on Discovery+.
Crown & Country – 1998 – The Queen's son Prince Edward takes us on a tour of some of the most famous landmarks of British history. Over the course of several seasons, he visits places like Hampton Court, Buckingham Palace, the New Forest, Greenwich, and Brighton Pavilion. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
Secrets of Royal Travel – 2019 – Nigel Havers offers a peek at the stylish ways the British royal family has travelled over the years. Watch it HERE on PBS Living or True Royalty.
Churchill & the Queen – 2022 – Though Churchill was a skilled strategist and statesman, he's best remembered for the rousing speeches that gave hope to a nation. This documentary looks back at his famous speeches and relationship with Queen Elizabeth II. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
Zara and Anne: Like Mother, Like Daughter – 2021 – Like her mother, Queen Elizabeth's daughter Princess Anne has lived a quiet and dignified life of service to her country. This documentary takes a closer look at the much-admired Princess Anne and her daughter. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
Princess Anne at 70 – 2020 – Hardworking and diligent, Princess Anne has been serving her country in the background for most of her life. In this documentary, she talks about what it means to be a part of “The Firm”. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
Lucy Worsley's Royal Palace Secrets – 2020 – Respected historian Lucy Worsley offers us a closer look at three of Britain's great royal palaces: the Tower of London, Hampton Court, and Kensington Palace. Watch it HERE on PBS Living.
Inside the Tower of London – 2021 – From Queen Elizabeth I's time in prison to Queen Elizabeth II's 93rd birthday, this docuseries takes a look at the rich history of the Tower of London. Watch it HERE on Paramount+.
My Grandparents' War – 2021 – World War II was a big part of Queen Elizabeth's formative years, and she even served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service when she turned 18 in 1944. Though this series isn't about Queen Elizabeth's service, it follows a variety of Brits as they trace their grandparents' activity during the conflict – offering historical context for what she lived through as a young woman. Watch it HERE on PBS Living or PBS Documentaries.
Prince Philip: A Lifetime of Duty – 2021 – For a man of his generation, it must have been difficult for Prince Philip to take a backseat to his wife's position – but that's exactly what he did for more than 70 years, providing unfailing support to Queen Elizabeth II. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
A Tribute to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh – 2021 – Made shortly after his death in 2021, this hour-long documentary takes a look back at the man who stood beside the Queen throughout her reign. Watch it HERE on BBC Select.
The Queen's Palaces – 2011 – Fiona Bruce hosts this three-part docuseries which takes a closer look at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and Holyrood House. Watch it HERE on BBC Select.
Prince Philip: Enigma – 2022 – Though he may not have been the husband many expected Queen Elizabeth (then Princess) to choose, Prince Philip stood behind and beside her for more than 70 years. This documentary offers insight into the unconventional royal. Watch it HERE (rent or buy).
The Queen Mother's Blitz – 2020 – This short documentary takes a look at how the Queen Mother helped out during the war effort. Watch it HERE on True Royalty.
Additional Coverage Details to Come…
Streaming services and news networks are scrambling to rearrange schedules and provide coverage details, so there will surely be more to add in the coming days – particularly the live stream of services in London. We'll update this as we know more.