The 8th May 1945 will go down as a remarkable day in Britain’s history. People lined the streets across Britain and partied till the early hours in celebration of VE Day. As people celebrated in The Mall and the fountain outside Buckingham Palace, those inside the palace looked on. Two of those looking out on the rejoicing was Princess Margaret and the then heir to the throne, Princess Elizabeth.
In this new documentary, Channel 4 reveals how both princesses were able to secretly sneak out of Buckingham Palace and join the celebrations across the West End in London. In a variety of never-before-seen interviews from the lucky few who got to join the princesses on their night out, The Queen’s Big Night Out tells some brilliant untold stories about our Queen’s experiences of that memorable evening out in disguise.
The documentary includes interviews with the princesses’ cousin Margaret Rhodes, their lady-in-waiting Jean Woodroffe and Baroness Trumpington, along with enlightening additions from the barmen, security and door staff who were working on that unforgettable evening when the heir to the throne attempted to enjoy her evening whilst trying to go unnoticed in the crowds.
This night would prove to be the last night of freedom for Princess Elizabeth before she took on more royal duties and inheriting the throne just a number of years later.
This documentary will air just in time for the release of a film based on the same theme called A Royal Night Out, which will open in UK cinemas on Friday 8th May. Whilst some have criticised the film for its fictional take on the princesses’ dalliances on their night out, those who like a light humoured royal-related affair (and the chance to see Rupert Everett as George VI) will enjoy this film.
The Queen’s Big Night Out will be broadcast on Channel 4 at 9pm on Tuesday 28th May. It will available to watch on 4OD soon after the initial broadcast.
This documentary was directed by Michael Wadding and produced by Celine Fitzmaurice. Alistair Pegg was the executive producer, and the programme was commissioned for Channel 4 by Rob Coldstream.