The 17 Best Documentaries About the Royal Family to Watch Ahead of the Coronation

royal family documentaries
17 Documentaries to Watch About the Royal FamilyDesign by Michael Stillwell

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The coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla is exactly one week away. The service will be broadcast in the U.S. bright and early, but if you're looking to watch some royal family-themed programming ahead of time, we've put together a list of 15 of our favorite documentaries about the royal family. Many of the features on this list were made with the cooperation of the royals—and some even feature exclusive interviews, never-before-seen footage and photographs. The subjects range from King Charles himself to his ex-wife, Princess Diana.

Here, 15 documentaries about the royal family you can stream:

Charles: In His Own Words

Charles: In His Own Words is a brand-new documentary from National Geographic. "We were able to co-mingle footage and commentary from Charles no matter what year it was, as long as he's telling a story and the story is in context," filmmaker Tom Jennings tells T&C.

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charles in his own words
Courtesy National Geographic

Harry & Meghan

At the end of 2022, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle released a six-part docuseries that traced the early days of their relationship through their decision to step back as senior working royals.

Watch on Netflix

harry and meghan netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy

Released ahead of the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death, Prince William and Prince Harry reflect on their mother's life and legacy in this moving HBO documentary. In the film, they opened up for the first time on how they reacted to their mother's death.

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diana our mother
Courtesy HBO

Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen

A 2022 BBC documentary about the life of young Queen Elizabeth uses never-before-seen photographs and footage from her childhood to tell the story of her life as a young princess through her coronation at age 25.

"We are honoured that The Queen has entrusted the BBC with such unprecedented access to her personal film collection," Simon Young, the BBC’s Commissioning Editor for History, said in a statement upon the release. "This documentary is an extraordinary glimpse into a deeply personal side of the Royal Family that is rarely seen, and it's wonderful to be able to share it with the nation as we mark her Platinum Jubilee."

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elizabeth the unseen queen

Diana: Seven Days That Shook the World

This film focuses in on the days following the tragic death of Princess Diana on August 31, 1997. Like Diana, Our Mother, the documentary Seven Days that Shook The World was commissioned by Prince William and Prince Harry to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their mother's death, and the two princes appear in the film.

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diana seven days that shook the world

A Queen Is Crowned

A Queen Is Crowned is the only feature-length color film of Queen Elizabeth's 1953 coronation, and it's narrated by none other than Sir Laurence Olivier. The film was nominated for an Oscar at the 26th Academy Awards.

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Watch on Roku

a queen is crowned
LMPC - Getty Images

King Charles: The Boy Who Walked Alone

"Charles was the boy who walked alone," his schoolmate, Johnny Stonborough, says in a brand-new 90 minute documentary. The Paramount+ film is a look at the coming-of-age of the King, featuring interviews with former girlfriends, schoolmates, royal staff, and more.

The Boy Who Walked Alone premieres on May 2 on Paramount+.

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king charles the boy who walked alone
courtesy Paramount+

Prince Charles at 70

Four years ago, PBS released a new documentary offering a behind-the-scenes look at the life of Charles, including interviews with Prince Harry, Prince William, Camilla, and Charles himself.

"Any filming with the royal family where you have special access is bound to be very intense because of the sensitivities about security. You have to exercise a lot of diplomatic skill in filming," director John Birdcut told T&C.

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princes charles at 70
Courtesy of PBS

Princess Margaret: Queen of Mustique

Princess Margaret loved her home on Mustique, so much so that BBC made an entire documentary about her escapades on the island. Per BBC, "With archive footage, insider testimony and expert interviews this royal family documentary reveals what the original royal party girl really got up to on her Caribbean hideaway."

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queen of mustique

Diana: In Her Own Words

Using the recordings Princess Diana made for author Andrew Morton, this documentary features Diana narrating about her life. Most of the recordings had never been heard before.

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royal family documentaries
Courtesy Channel 4

Elizabeth at 90

This BBC documentary, released for Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, is narrated by her son, then-Prince Charles. It featured interviews with nearly every member of the royal family, and footage from the Queen's private archive.

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elizabeth at 90
Courtesy BBC

Elizabeth & Philip: Love and Duty

This documentary about Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip was released to mark their seventieth wedding anniversary in 2017. This film begins with their first meeting in 1939, when Elizabeth was just 13, and follows them through their royal wedding, the Queen's coronation, decades of public service, and Prince Philip's eventual retirement from public life.

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elizabeth and philip love and duty
Amazon Prime Video

Charles R: The Making of a Monarch

This BBC documentary, produced for the coronation, follows Charles's seven decades as heir to the throne. Per the BBC, "This sixty minute documentary brings together a wealth of material, much rarely seen or unseen."

Charles R: The Making of. Monarch premieres April 30 on the BBC. We'll update this as soon as there is a streaming link.

charles r the making of a monarch

Queen of the World

The premise of this 2018 documentary that premiered on HBO was how Queen Elizabeth was preparing to pass the baton to younger members of the royal family. Of course, it could not predict that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would step down as senior working members of the royal family in two years, so the two feature prominently, but it's still an interesting look at the monarchy and the Commonwealth. Prince Harry, Prince William, Meghan Markle, Princess Anne, and then-Prince Charles all appear in the doc.

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queen banquet jewels
Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library - Getty Images

The Queen Mother: A Royal Century

This 1999 documentary traces the "royal century" of the life of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and is a revealing portrait on one of the most influential figures in the royal family.

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a royal century
Amazon Prime Video

Charles: Our New King

This two-part documentary "shines a light on the new British monarch, told with an extensive collection of rare royal archive and revelatory interviews from those who know him." It is narrated by British actor and director James D'Arcy.

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charles our new king
Courtesy All

The Real Camilla: HRH the Duchess of Cornwall

This 2018 documentary featured "unprecedented access" into the life of the then-Duchess of Cornwall. It follows Camilla throughout her 70th year, showcasing her royal duties, and her private life with Charles, her family, and her dogs.

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the real camilla
Courtesy ITV

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