The Queen as you’ve never seen her before including hidden footage of shy personality and why Philip is her rock

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She’s arguably the most famous woman in the world. But how much do we really know about
our beloved Queen?

Having ascended to the throne at just 27, Elizabeth II has managed to remain a fascinating mystery to many, with an almost ethereal quality to her.

But as her 95th birthday fast approaches, it’s time to get to know the woman behind the crown, as ITV’s special one-off film, The Queen Unseen, airs this evening.

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The revealing documentary charts Her Majesty’s life from her iconic Coronation in June 1953, which was watched by millions around the globe, all the way up to the present day as Britain’s longest reigning monarch.

Combining rarely seen archive footage, newly discovered home videos and interviews with those that know her best, it’s an insightful look behind the royal mask.

“The Queen is, by nature, quite a shy person. Her temperament is on the side of being reserved and holding back slightly,” observes former Royal Press Secretary Charles Anson.

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While childhood friend Lady Anne Glenconner, who served as maid of honour at the Coronation, reminisces fondly about that historical day and how the Queen reacted once the ceremony was over.

The film will also show the Queen’s life away from duty – as a doting daughter, mother and wife – as well as the increasing challenges of balancing her two personas and public and private life.

Explaining how she found the gruelling tours and intense scrutiny of the role tough at times – especially in her younger years – experts also lift the lid on the man that has been with her through it all, providing unwavering support wherever they are in the world.

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“Philip has come to rescue her when he’s seen her looking rather bored or not taking part in the conversation,” says Jane Ridley, a royal historian and biographer.

“And then you can see her looking at Philip, she looks adoringly at him. He is her pillar. He is her rock. Philip was able to break the ice and cause a kind of thaw in the formality that surrounded the Queen.”

The special one-off film will also delve into the Queen's private life, offering a never before seen glimpse at home movie footage.

In one teaser shot for the show, taken in 1953, the young Queen can be seen sporting a lovely summer dress, as she clutches onto a camera.

Clearly relishing the downtime, Her Majesty stops for a photo during her stroll across the garden.

Her hair is in its iconic do, and she wears sunglasses while gazing towards the camera in the candid shot.

The Queen Unseen airs Thursday 8th April at 9pm on ITV

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