What to Watch – Elizabeth: Our Queen

Steve Teers cut the first two episodes of new 8-part docu-series Elizabeth: Our Queen produced by ITN Productions, which premieres on February 6th on Channel 5.

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-serving monarch in British history in February 2017, celebrating 65 years on the throne. In this brand new Channel 5 documentary the Queen’s friends, Royal Household members, advisors and former Prime Ministers discuss her accession to the throne and her time as the British leader.

Steve shared with us some cool insight about his time working on the programme:

I really enjoyed working on Elizabeth: Our Queen. It was in complete contrast to recent fast turnaround ‘salvage’ jobs! I have the honour of kicking the whole thing off, having edited episodes 1 and 2 – from her early days before the abdication of Uncle Bertie to the glamour of the late fifties, overseeing the evolving commonwealth, mingling with the likes of Marilyn Monroe, and managing her mischievous sister…

Despite being down in the windowless bowels of the edit suite, it was a privilege to be allowed the time to trawl through hours of fascinating historical archive, hear countless anecdotes of royal intrigue from the mouths of the lords and ladies who were there, and be able to unhurriedly craft montages with a certain regality appropriate to the subject.

It’s an old story, told many times, but whereas the fanciful dramatisation of Netflix’s The Crown might look like the £10 million each episode cost to produce, we felt our unique access to historical figures and their insightful recollections gives our documentary something of an edge. It’s also incredibly easy to edit the sync when spoken by a nonagenarian in a clipped version of Queen’s English rarely heard these days.

When the time came to show an assembly to series producer Viscount Charles Colville, director Mick Gold and I were a little nervous. It’s not every day a sitting member of the House of Lords gets to vet your work. Charles had a charming, if not slightly intimidating way of barking his instructions, so when his first reaction was to say it was ‘beautifully edited’, it did make us feel it had all been worthwhile!

We were very close to getting royal approval – which would have meant access to the personal Royal Archive collection of TQ (that’s ‘The Queen’ as she appears in press officer-speak). It would also have meant TQ would have personally vetted every episode of the programme, which would be a rare thing. Apparently she passed on this occasion but that actually gave us a freer hand to have some fun with the more scandalous royal tales!

Steve Teers