Inside Buckingham Palace, TV review: It seems Prince Philip had an ingenious way of getting rid of his mother-in-law

The new three-part Channel 5 series was a potted history of royal gossip brought to life via interviews and some very strange dramatisations

Amy Burns
Wednesday 24 February 2016 23:20 GMT
Katriona Brown and Tom Williams in ‘Inside Buckingham Palace’
Katriona Brown and Tom Williams in ‘Inside Buckingham Palace’

For a programme billed as going Inside Buckingham Palace, this new three-part Channel 5 series did nothing of the sort. Even scenes that looked like they could have been filmed inside the London landmark were labelled as reconstructions.

So not, as the title suggested, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about life inside (one of) the royal residences, this was instead a potted history of royal gossip brought to life via interviews with those on the peripherals and some very strange dramatisations.

We all love a bit of gossip and the Royal Family has generated a fair few scandals in its time. Whether this programme offered insight into any new ones or not probably depends on your knowledge to begin with. I'm happy to admit my own understanding of the subject is slim to none (veering more towards none) so it was pretty much all news to me.

I delighted in hearing how the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, caused shock waves by trying to marry a divorced servant – although disappointed to learn that, under pressure from her sister and her aides, she eventually called it off.

The details about a 1974 assassination attempt on Princess Anne – which resulted in her bodyguard Jim Beaton taking three bullets before a passer-by intervened – were worthy of a Liam Neeson film plot. The Channel 5 dramatisation, however, was slightly less exciting.

I think my favourite snippet came from journalist Christopher Wilson though. He claimed that Prince Philip chased the Queen Mother out of the palace by turning the central heating off in her rooms. "She was gone within a week," chuckled Wilson.

The suggestion that when Charles finally takes the throne he will ditch Buckingham Palace altogether and hand it over to the British public was, once again, news to me. Apparently, he's not too keen on paying for the £150m repair job that it's in desperate need of. Sadly for us taxpayers though, we'll end up footing it either way.

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