About Royals at War

The King and Queen chose to stay in London during World War Two, despite the palace being bombed nine times. Jennie Bond examines what it was like for the Royals at War

Royals at War

Continuing Yesterday’s year-long strand of UK premiere documentaries detailing and celebrating Britain’s spirit during WWII, Royals At War takes an in-depth look at the involvement of members of the Royal family between 1939-1945, a sometimes forgotten part of the story of the war.

By 1939, monarchs no longer rode to war at the head of the army. However, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother) still played important roles as father and mother to a nation that was crying out for strong figureheads and even stronger leadership.

Jennie Bond was the BBC's Royal Correspondent for 14 years

Jennie Bond was the BBC's Royal Correspondent for 14 years

Both the King and his Queen stayed in London during the Blitz and survived the bombing of Buckingham Palace, taking tours out to the devastated areas of the city to show solidarity with their people. This harrowing experience prompted the Queen to write to her mother-in-law: “Now I can look the East Enders in the eye”.

Younger members of the Royal Family also played their part in the war effort – Princess Elizabeth was an army driver and Prince Philip served in the Royal Navy alongside Lord Mountbatten, while the King's brother, the Duke of Kent, was killed while flying with the RAF.

In this unique one-off documentary, illustrated by newsreel footage and a substantial Royal collection of photographs (as well as narrated by Jennie Bond), Royals At War uncovers the contributions both large and small from those in the family. And, 70 years since Buckingham Palace itself was targeted three times in a week by the Luftwaffe, we’ll see how the Royals helped to turn the tide.