Five leading British actresses play the Queen at pivotal times in her life in this groundbreaking drama documentary series which examines the social history of Britain through the prism of key events in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Mixing dramatised scenes from behind palace doors with news archive and testimony from royal insiders, each episode will focus on turning points in the reign of Elizabeth II - a period of monumental social upheaval. Actress Emilia Fox (Silent Witness) leads the line-up to portray the Queen in the opening film set in 1955, as Princess Margaret's affair with Group Captain Peter Townsend exploded into public view at the time of the coronation. The second film covers the early 1970s when Britain came as close to being a republic as it ever has in modern times with civil unrest, IRA threats and a kidnap attempt on Princess Anne with Samantha Bond (Emma, Miss Moneypenny to Pierce Brosnan's James Bond) as the Queen. Susan Jameson (New Tricks) takes on the hidden conflict between the Queen and her first female Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher, who set herself in opposition to Crown and Commonwealth over sanctions against South Africa, while 1992 focuses on the Queen's Annus Horribilis with Barbara Flynn (Cranford). Diana Quick (Brideshead Revisited, Kingdom) concludes the series in 2005 as the Queen - the ultimate survivor and pragmatist - ushered in the last chapters of her reign by eventually accepting Prince Charles marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles.
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