The Queen’s Magical Home Movies: The Monarch is seen shining alongside her sister and father

The Queen is perhaps one of the most photographed and photographed people in history, but these hitherto invisible images – taken by people who know her best of all – offer a rare glimpse into her most unguarded.

They were taken from hundreds of private, domestic recordings that were released on the BBC for a significant TV documentary marking the platinum jubilee. The program tells the story of her life in her own words before ascending the throne and shows how her family saw her then.

In one touching and carefree shot, young Princess Elizabeth shines in the sun along with her sister, Princess Margaret, and her much-loved father, King George VI, as the wind ruffles their hair.

Together they were shown at HMS Vanguard for a tour of South Africa in 1947, a trip on which Princess Elizabeth turned 21 and made a historic vow of duty to her future subjects.

Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth with her beloved father King George VI aboard the HMS Vanguard in 1947.

Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth with her beloved father King George VI aboard the HMS Vanguard in 1947.

The glorious Princess Elizabeth shows off her new engagement ring shortly after Prince Philip's wedding in Balmoral in 1946.

The glorious Princess Elizabeth shows off her new engagement ring shortly after Prince Philip’s wedding in Balmoral in 1946.

Such memories have a special echo because the 96-year-old Monarch marks 70 years since she inherited the crown, taking over her father’s legacy after he died in his sleep in Sandringham at the age of 56.

Paying tribute to the anniversary of his death in February, the Queen renewed a promise she made in South Africa, vowing to her subjects that ‘my life will always be dedicated to your service’.

The recently released footage, taken by her parents, Prince Philip and the Queen herself, was kept by the Royal Collection in the vaults of the British Film Institute.

But when the BFI began digitizing old film reels, the BBC team took a special approach. They spent months working on more than 400 films to put together the 75-minute program Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen.

The documentary will not feature ‘talking head’ interviews, but will instead rely on newly discovered footage and the Queen’s own commentary, taken from nearly 60 of her recorded speeches. The result shows the Queen’s early life, from her mother pushing her in a wheelchair in 1926 to her coronation in 1953.

In one shot, the princess glows towards a glittering three-carat engagement ring with a diamond on her finger.

Princess Elizabeth inspected the Grenadier Guard Battalion in Hove, East Sussex, May 17, 1944. Princess was appointed Colonel of the Grenadier Guard on her sixteenth birthday in 1942.

Princess Elizabeth inspected the Grenadier Guard Battalion in Hove, East Sussex, May 17, 1944. Princess was appointed Colonel of the Grenadier Guard on her sixteenth birthday in 1942.

The year is 1946, and the 20-year-old is obviously emotional because the ring was given to her by her suitor, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, who designed it himself using jewels taken from his mother’s tiara.

Recorded by a member of the royal family in Balmoral, perhaps even Philip himself, it is a moment of touching intimacy and has never been seen in public before. Few in the royal family could have imagined how important this marriage would be for the future of the Monarchy. Long after that, in fact, no one outside the family knew anything about the proposal.

Although King George VI was pleased with the match, he nevertheless asked the couple to wait a year until Elizabeth turned 21, before announcing the engagement publicly.

There are other playful moments in the footage. One shows her father playing with young Prince Charles and Princess Anne at Balmoral in 1951, which was supposed to be the king’s last visit there.

The second scene contains rare footage of Elizabeth with her uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent, who died in a plane crash in 1942 while in active service.

There’s also a carefree part filmed when the Queen and Prince Philip visited Canada shortly after they got married. They laugh while trying to shoot from the boat, although rocking the waves makes it almost impossible.

Twenty - year - old Princess Elizabeth enjoys a visit to South Africa in 1947

Twenty – year – old Princess Elizabeth enjoys a visit to South Africa in 1947

The BBC hopes the film, which it claims is ‘unlike conventional documentaries’ about the Queen, will attract millions of viewers.

‘The production team had no illusions about how special the approach to this very personal archive is,’ says Claire Popplewell, creative director for BBC Studios.

‘The ability to rely on the self-recorded history of young Princess Elizabeth and her extended family – and to allow the Queen to tell us her story – is the heart of this film.’

Simon Young, BBC’s editor of historical programs, adds: ‘This documentary is an exceptional insight into the deeply personal side of the royal family, which is rarely seen and is wonderful to be able to share with the nation as we celebrate its platinum Jubilee.’

Separately, other images from the Royal Archives published this weekend show for the first time Princess Elizabeth carrying out her royal duties during the darkest days of World War II.

King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (future Queen Mother) and Princess Elizabeth watch a display of sailboats landing from the windows of the Control Tower, 19 May 1944. The Royal Company spent a day with air troops to be among Britain's D-Day Invasion

King George VI, Queen Elizabeth (future Queen Mother) and Princess Elizabeth watch a display of sailboats landing from the windows of the Control Tower, 19 May 1944. The Royal Company spent a day with air troops to be among Britain’s D-Day Invasion

In May 1944, just a month after her 18th birthday, Elizabeth accompanied her parents to spend a day with air troops that would play a key role in Allied landings in Normandy on D-Day next month.

Looking out of the control tower window, she watches a display of sailboats before talking to paratroopers and watches a massive parachute crash.

Another rare image, taken two days earlier, shows Elizabeth inspecting a battalion of the Grenadier Guard in Hove, East Sussex. She was appointed Colonel of the Regiment on her 16th birthday.

Showing the thrift he had shown throughout his life, she was seen wearing the same dress at both engagements.

Historical paintings will appear at the upcoming exhibition Imperial War Museum, Crown And Conflict: Portraits Of A Queen In Wartime, which opens in London on 27 May.

lElizabeth: The Unseen Queen will be broadcast on Sunday, May 29, on BBC1.

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