BFI Player presents free films celebrating the life of Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth R - A Year in the Life of the Queen

The Queen at Epsom Derby horse race in 1991 is filmed for the documentary. | PHOTO: (c) Getty.

BFI Player has curated a wide selection of short films to celebrate the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II. The collection – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022): A life through the lens – is available for free.

Britain’s longest-serving sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II was the first to live her entire life through the lens of moving-image cameras. In other words, she was the first true monarch of the media age.

Born in 1926, her life was immediately publicized by the news media, while pivotal moments in her life were documented by cameras, including her marriage in 1947 which was shown on BBC television. His coronation six years later effectively launched the era of mass television.

Queen Elizabeth II also migrated the Christmas message from her traditional radio broadcast to television and from 1957 it became a permanent feature of the television Christmas Day programme.

Because of the attention—and the moving image era’s penchant for entertainment—she had to grow accustomed to fictional portrayals, from comedy or satirical sketches to sitcoms, dramas, and feature films.

She has been portrayed by some of Britain’s greatest acting talents, including Claire Foy, Julie Walters, Barbara Flynn, Diana Quick, Olivia Coleman, Emma Thompson and Helen Mirren.

And she broke new ground, valiantly performing in sketches with by Daniel Craig James Bond for the unforgettable opening of the 2012 Olympic Games. More recently, she appeared alongside Paddington Bear to celebrate her platinum jubilee.

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Her Majesty the Queen of Channel 4

Her Majesty the Queen of Channel 4.

Elizabeth II was born in 1926 and became Queen of the United Kingdom on February 2, 1952 until her death in 2022. Her reign, which lasted over 70 years, was the longest recorded of any female ruler. State.

On becoming queen after the death of her father, George IV, 25-year-old Elizabeth became the monarch of seven independent Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Queen Elizabeth II oversaw a monarchy that continues to play a huge role in Britain’s heritage and traditions, and its modern contribution to the economy as a tourist attraction remains intact.

Typically, the UK earns millions a year from tourism according to national tourism agency Visit Britain. So it’s fitting that royal families have become a popular focus for films about Britain.

BFI Player is the world’s largest on-demand cinema. You can rent the latest releases, subscribe to contemporary, classic and cult films and explore the best of the BFI National Archives and Regional Archives for free.

More free movies to watch on BFI Player: Explore over 10,000 free archive movies from the past 120 years at

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