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'The Queen: 70 Glorious Years': Platinum Jubilee documentary air date, who appears and everything we know

'The Queen: 70 Glorious Years' celebrates Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee as stars share memories of her reign.
'The Queen: 70 Glorious Years' celebrates Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee as stars share memories of her reign. (Image credit: Getty)

The Queen: 70 Glorious Years on BBC1 is a special documentary that pays tribute to Her Majesty's 70 years on the throne before the national celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee get underway in June 2022.

The one-hour show features exclusive interviews with an incredible lineup of stars and celebrities who all paint a vivid picture of The Queen’s reign, and pay tribute to her remarkable service. Packed with beautiful archive and music of the time, The Queen: 70 Glorious Years evokes nostalgia and reveal a very different royal world. 

The Queen ascended to the throne on Feb. 6 1952 when her father King George VI died. She was just 25 while she was abroad in Kenya with her husband Prince Philip. 

There’ll be big national celebrations to mark her Platinum Jubilee this June, but for her record-breaking anniversary, a special one-off show will feature the highlights of her eventful seven decades as monarch, including her family life, royal duties, previous jubilees plus her trips around the commonwealth and elsewhere.

So here's everything you need to know about BBC1's special celebration The Queen: 70 Glorious Years...

The Queen and family at her 1953 coronation.

The Queen and family at her 1953 coronation. (Image credit: Getty)

'The Queen: 70 Glorious Years' release date

The Queen: 70 Glorious Years is on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 6pm on BBC1. It will then become available BBC iPlayer.

What happens in 'The Queen: 70 Glorious Years'

Legendary broadcaster and a natural historian Sir David Attenborough will pay a personal tribute to the Queen.

Legendary broadcaster and a natural historian Sir David Attenborough will pay a personal tribute to the Queen. (Image credit: Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Platinum Jubilee on Sunday 6 Feb, which will mark an incredible 70 years on the throne. Events are being held throughout the year to celebrate the longest-reigning monarch in history, culminating in a four-day UK bank holiday weekend in June.

To kick things off, BBC1’s The Queen: 70 Glorious Years, narrated by Julie Walters, looks back at the Queen’s extraordinary reign, which began when she ascended the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952. 

The Queen: 70 Glorious Years celebrates the accession of our longest-serving and best-loved monarch as she and we look forward to the national celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee in June this year.   

In the documentary, stars and prominent celebrities are paying tribute and sharing memories of spending time with the Queen including Sir David Attenborough, Sir Paul McCartney, Lulu, Twiggy, Sir Cliff Richard, Alesha Dixon, Trevor McDonald, Brian Blessed, Cameron Mackintosh, Alan Bennett, Len Goodman, Floella Benjamin, Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Lenny Henry, and Sue Johnston.

The Queen has lived through 14 prime ministers, from Winston Churchill and Harold Wilson to Margaret Thatcher and Boris Johnson, as well as the country's numerous cultural changes and her own family dramas. From the Suez Crisis and the Cold War, to the tragic death of Princess Diana and now the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the 95-year-old monarch has seen it all. 

"Inside the royal family, there’s something approaching awe at the Queen’s achievements," says royal expert Andrew Morton. "Only they can truly appreciate what it’s like to occupy this unique public position. She is a one-off, irreplaceable. As Prince William once remarked of his grandmother, she’s been there, done that, got the T-shirt."

But the year leading up to her Jubilee has been one of the most challenging for the monarch, with family fractures and controversies, and the loss of her beloved husband Prince Philip on April 9, 2021. Yet she remains as devoted to her role as Queen as ever and determined to enjoy the planned celebrations.

"The last 12 months have been particularly difficult," says former Cabinet Secretary Lord Robin Butler. "But the way in which the Queen has handled it, she’s been a role model, as she always is. And I think that will have deepened the respect and affection the nation feels for her."

Len Goodman on Dancing with the Stars

Former 'Strictly' judge Len Goodman will share his memories of the queens' reign. (Image credit: Getty)
Nicholas Cannon
Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.