Royalty has always held a great fascination for the rest of us, and English Royalty is especially fascinating to many people around the world. Witness the huge audiences for the marriages of Charles and Diana and, very recently, William and Kate.
Windsors From George to Kate offers archival footage that allows the viewer to travel back in time and view the Silver Jubilee for George V in 1935, his very elaborate funeral in 1936, and the coronation of George VI in 1937 following his brother’s abdication to marry Wallace Simpson, events which are familiar to modern audiences through the movie The King’s Speech More footage covers the marriage and coronation of Queen Elizabeth in the 1940′s and 50′s, and the marriage of Charles and Diana, her funeral, and the engagement of William and Kate. The documentary was completed before the recent wedding, and only has a footnote at the end documenting that marriage, plus 8 minutes worth of clips from William and Kate’s wedding in the bonus material.
In addition to these events, there is also footage of a young Elizabeth, births of various Royals, and brief accounts of other modern marriages.
There are no behind-the-scenes videos of royal family life here, and the emphasis is on state occasions and events which were publicly witnessed. My only quibble with the DVD in that respect is that there is a bit too much footage of King George V’s funeral, more than there is for any other event in the time between the 1930s and now. Also, a little more narration and some labeling of videos with dates would have been very helpful for those of us who do not know the timeline of British history that well.
Aside from that, the DVD is a fascinating look at the Royals in public display, especially the footage of the coronations of George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The ritual is very ancient and interesting to see in such a completely authentic way.
There is a 16-page bonus guide that gives a family tree and more information about each of the members covered in the documentary, as well as some explanation of Royal names and titles. Another bonus features offers biographies of the Royals who were the subject of the film.
King George VI Also gets an extra feature, due to the populariaty of The King’s Speech.
Overall, this is an excellent DVD for anyone interested in British history, British royalty, or 20th Century world history. The footage is in excellent shape, very clear and sharp, and if you don’t mind the world being black and white for most of the film, it is as close as it is possible to get to actually witnessing history.