Secrets of the White House

Secrets of the White House

Episode 2  |  SBS  |  October 22, 2016

The White House is probably the most famous building in the world: a living symbol, an icon of democracy, and home to one of the most powerful people on Earth. It's where the president of the United States of America charts the course for the country, and where a family lives in the national spotlight. As the iconic monument reaches 200 years of history, this documentary celebrates through the stories of the First Families who have called it home, and through the recollections of workers, historians and members of the press who have spent time within the illustrious building. Standing at the epicentre of global politics, in the heart of the nation's capital, the story of the White House is the story of America itself.

The White House is probably the most famous building in the world: a living symbol, an icon of democracy, and home to one of the most powerful people on Earth. It's where the president of the United States of America charts the course for the country, and where a family lives in the national spotlight. As the iconic monument reaches 200 years of history, this documentary celebrates through the stories of the First Families who have called it home, and through the recollections of workers, historians and members of the press who have spent time within the illustrious building. Standing at the epicentre of global politics, in the heart of the nation's capital, the story of the White House is the story of America itself.

Princess Elizabeth grew up in the Piccadilly home of her parents, the Duke and Duchess of York. The Abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, in 1936 appeared to be a catastrophe to her family, catapulting her nervous father onto the throne as King George VI. Elizabeth became heir to the throne aged 10, and seemed to be a shy girl with a limited education.

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history, but she was neither born nor educated to take on that role. At the age of 10 her life was turned upside down, when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated, catapulting her into the position of heir to the greatest empire the world had ever seen. At the age of 21, she broadcast to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth that her whole life would be devoted to service - a pledge she renewed 60 years later at her diamond jubilee.

As monarch she has appointed 13 prime ministers, from Sir Winston Churchill to Teresa May, and despite the best efforts of some politicians she has kept above the political fray. Her greatest achievement has been to transform the British Empire into the new Commonwealth of diverse and independent nations. During her reign she has experienced family tragedy and triumph, often having to choose between supporting her family and doing her duty as monarch. 

This eight-part series interviews the Queen's prime ministers, members of the royal household and closest friends, to build a uniquely personal picture of Elizabeth, the woman, the mother, the Queen.

Elizabeth

History, Civics and citizenship

Years 9-10, 11-12 History, Civics and citizenship
28:48
Princess Elizabeth grew up in the Piccadilly home of her parents, the Duke and Duchess of York. The Abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, in 1936 appeared to be a catastrophe to her family, catapulting her nervous father onto the throne as King George VI. Elizabeth became heir to the throne aged 10, and seemed to be a shy girl with a limited education. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history, but she was neither born nor educated to take on that role. At the age of 10 her life was turned upside down, when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated, catapulting her into the position of heir to the greatest empire the world had ever seen. At the age of 21, she broadcast to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth that her whole life would be devoted to service - a pledge she renewed 60 years later at her diamond jubilee. As monarch she has appointed 13 prime ministers, from Sir Winston Churchill to Teresa May, and despite the best efforts of some politicians she has kept above the political fray. Her greatest achievement has been to transform the British Empire into the new Commonwealth of diverse and independent nations. During her reign she has experienced family tragedy and triumph, often having to choose between supporting her family and doing her duty as monarch. This eight-part series interviews the Queen's prime ministers, members of the royal household and closest friends, to build a uniquely personal picture of Elizabeth, the woman, the mother, the Queen.
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