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The House Of Windsor: The 1947 Royal Wedding: The People’s Wedding

Airs Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Portrait of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, taken in the chinese room in Buckingham Palace, 1992.

"The House Of Windsor" explores the turbulent reign of England's Windsor family, the most prestigious monarchy in the world. This in-depth series illuminates the storied history of the family which has held the English throne for nearly a century. They persevered through two World Wars, but in addition to their triumphs, they also endured the pain of both scandal and tragedy.

Episode Four: "The 1947 Royal Wedding: The People's Wedding"

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England.
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Above: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England.

On November 20, 1947, Princess Elizabeth, the heir to the throne, married Prince Philip, the handsome sailor she'd loved since their first meeting eight years before (when he'd been a dashing cadet and she a shy 13-year-old). Their wedding in a bleak English autumn lit up the grey skies of a London still scarred by the blitz, rationing and fuel shortages, and transformed the national mood of weary disappointment.

The wedding, when it finally came, was more than just a spectacular royal event. It brought back memories of pomp and splendor unseen in Britain since the coronation of Elizabeth's father, George VI, ten years earlier. The day a future queen married her prince became an emotional milestone for the nation, marking the end of "austerity Britain" and the beginning of a better world.

The story follows the lives of Elizabeth and Philip, from their first public appearance as a couple in October 1946 (at the wedding of Lady Patricia Mountbatten), through to their own wedding in late November of 1947. This special episode features exclusive interviews and rare archival footage.

Video

Preview: The House Of Windsor

Above: "The House Of Windsor" explores the turbulent reign of England's Windsor family, the most prestigious monarchy in the world. This in-depth series illuminates the storied history of the family which has held the English throne for nearly a century.