Queen Elizabeth II documentary round-up: the best factual programmes about the late queen - and how to watch

There are dozens of documentaries about the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II available to watch now on BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, Netflix and Disney+

When The Queen died on 8 September the new Elizabethan age came abruptly to an end and the new Carolean age began with the accession of King Charles III.

As TV stations in the UK and around the world interrupted their scheduled programming to give back to back coverage of the Queen’s life, it was impossible to catch all of the newly released content.

Queen Elizabeth II in The Unseen Queen
Queen Elizabeth II in The Unseen Queen
Queen Elizabeth II in The Unseen Queen

Stations had tribute pieces and documentaries ready to air in the event of the monarch’s death and they all dropped within hours of each other.

Here are the best documentaries about the late Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history:

BBC iPlayer

The Queen and Us

This five-part series explores the first five decades of The Queen’s reign, honing in on significant moments in her life and world history.

The series follows the changing social face of Britain and the monarchy and the effects of rapid technological advancement on the country.

Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen

This documentary features never before seen home footage of The Queen and her family and attempts to look behind the public face of the monarch.

Private moments from The Queen’s life are uncovered, including her engagement and Balmoral and her first tour abroad.

A Tribute to Her Majesty the Queen

This feature-length tribute aired after news of The Queen’s death broke and hears from her family, those who were close to her, and major public figures.

It examines The Queen’s legacy and seeks to find what she meant to those who knew her best.

When the Queen Spoke to the Nation

This film looks back at the Queen’s annual Christmas Day and the rare moments when she made special addresses and spoke to the nation.

Using her speeches as a way in, the documentary explores the Queen’s values and beliefs and how they were reflected when she spoke to the country.

The Queen & Us
The Queen & Us
The Queen & Us


Queen of the World

This two-part documentary series offers a unique insight into The Queen’s role as a figure on the global stage.

Crucially, it examines the monarchy’s changing relationship with the Commonwealth in the modern world.

Queen Elizabeth II: The Longest Reign

This was ITV’s planned tribute which aired following the Queen’s death and charts the course of her life.

The documentary uses archival footage to cover the high and low points of the Queen’s 70-year reign.

Queen and Country

This more light-hearted documentary narrated by Alison Steadman looks at The Queen’s love of the countryside.

It explores her favourite haunts in Scotland, Norfolk, and Windsor, and hears from other passionate outdoor enthusiasts who came into contact with her.

The Young Elizabeth

Going back more than 70 years, The Young Elizabeth revisits The Queen’s early life and her close family relationship.

It explores how her mother and father, King George VI, influenced her and shaped the kind of monarch she would become.

All 4

Her Majesty The Queen

Jon Snow narrates Channel 4’s tribute to The Queen in an hour-long special that charts her long reign.

Particular focus is paid to The Queen’s devotion to public service in both the UK and across the Commonwealth.

Royals Declassified

This three-part documentary series offers revelations into less well known parts of The Queen’s reign.

Topics covered include her relationship with a royal courtier later exposed as a Soviet spy, and the conflict she faced over her duty and her family.

Secret’s of The Queen’s Coronation

This documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953, which was prginally broadcast in black and white though also filmed in colour.

It hears from people who played key roles at the celebration as they speak publicly about the event for the first time.

The Queen: Mother and Monarch

This special was released on the evening of The Queen’s death and answers how the monarch balanced her family life with her duty to the country.

It also explores the position of the Queen as a wife and mother in the patriarchal society of the 1950s.

Her Majesty The Queen
Her Majesty The Queen
Her Majesty The Queen


All The Queen’s Horses

This documentary takes a look at The Queen’s lifelong love of horses, and features never-seen-before archive footage.

The intimate documentary sees The Queen at her most relaxed and takes a closer look at the animals she loved.

The Queen: Duty Before Family?

This is another documentary which looks at the Queen’s family life and the occasions that it came into conflict with her public role.

Issues include the death of Princess Diana, and The Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, not being able to choose her own husband.


Elizabeth & Margaret: Love and Loyalty

This two part docuseries hones in on the relationship between The Queen and her sister, Princess Margaret, who passed away in 2002.

The episodes look at their young lives before The Queen became first in line for the throne, and their later time together when their relationship became more strained.

Amazon Prime

Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts

The extensive feature-length documentary was released in June to coincide with The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The documentary was directed by Roger Michell, who directed Notting Hill, and explores the biggest events from The Queen’s reign.

Disney Plus

Being The Queen

This National Geographic documentary chronicles Elizabeth II’s personal and public life through her time as Princess and Queen.

Never before heard recordings from The Queen’s friends and family.