April. 2018. At street parties and in pubs, clubs and family homes four million Australians watch Prince Harry marry Megan Markle. The royals are part of who we were and who we are. And despite the secrets, scandals and questions of relevance our affection for them remains as strong as ever.
But why is that? And will it ever change?
Episode 1 explores the relationship between Australia and the Crown from 1954 through to the election of Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister in 1972. The series uses major turning points in Australian royal history to explore wider themes such as Australia’s War Alliance, British nuclear testing in Woomera and racism and indigenous Australia as revealed through a series of explosive letters written by the Edward VIII the future King of England when he was in Australia.
One of the challenges for the British Royals is how transparent they will be about their past. Queen Elizabeth II is the keeper of the Royal archives and therein lies the national issue: lack of access to letters and documents that relate our own political history. The episode covers every Royal tour dating back to 1920, including the attempted assassination of Prince Alfred at Clontarf in Sydney in 1867.
The episode ends with the popularity of British Royals in Australia sinking to an all-time low. We tease forward to Princess Diana as she exposes the palace’s most guarded secrets and sets in train a series of events that would change the way Australians felt about the Crown forever.
Airdate: Sunday 3 March 2019 from 7.40pm-8.40pm on ABC
Season 1 Episode 1