Before she was Queen Elizabeth II, the 14-year-old royal gave her first-ever radio broadcast at the behest of her father, King George VI. Following the blitz on England during World War II, Elizabeth was tasked with giving a speech during the BBC program, Children's Hour, to the young evacuees who might have been listening. “Thousands of you in this country had to leave your home and be separated from your fathers and mothers,” she said on Oct. 10, 1940 with Princess Margaret sitting by her side.
Now fans can hear the triumphant moment that made Elizabeth’s father swell with pride in an exclusive clip from the Smithsonian Channel’s three-part special, Private Lives of the Windsors, which premieres Monday night.
Over three episodes -- “Rebellion,” “Family First” and “War and Peace” -- the docuseries goes inside one of the world’s most famous families, revealing the inner lives of Queen Elizabeth’s parents, uncles and aunts. Thanks to first-time access to personal diaries and letters, the ups and downs of the first generation of royals ever to be thrust into the spotlight are revisited.
While Elizabeth’s speech can be heard in the third episode, which covers the family’s decision to stay in England despite being urged to evacuate to Canada, the other episodes go inside some of the bigger scandals and secrets kept hidden at the time.
Viewers of The Crown or the Downton Abbey movie, which featured the queen’s grandparents, will enjoy Private Lives of the Windsors. It serves as a precursor to Elizabeth’s reign and life covered on the Netflix scripted drama, which only briefly touches on King Edward VIII’s short reign and abdication of the throne so he could marry a twice-divorced American woman and thus changing the course of history for the rest of the family.
Of course, Queen Elizabeth II has had many triumphant moments in the decades since her first radio broadcast. Even now at 93, she’s enjoyed renewed interest and celebration as the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world’s longest-serving female head of state.