Queen Elizabeth opened the new decade with the birth of her second son, Prince Andrew, on 19 February. He was the first child to be born to a reigning sovereign since the days of Queen Victoria.
On 6 May 1960, the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, was married to the society photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones. In 1955 Margaret had been forced to renounce her first love, her father's equerry Group Captain Peter Townsend, because he was divorced. Her wedding was therefore a cause for public rejoicing, although the fact that he was a 'commoner', who had no title, made the wedding a talking point in the closeted world of European royalty.
In 1963 Princess Anne was sent to board at Benenden School in Kent. In the following year she acquired a younger brother, when Prince Edward was born on 10 March 1964.
On 1 July 1969 Prince Charles was invested as the 21st Prince of Wales at Carnaervon Castle, attended by the royal family. Because of the activities of Welsh nationalists, which had resulted in seven bomb incidents in the months leading up to the Investiture, there was anxiety in royal circles about the event. But it proceeded calmly and ceremoniously, commanding a worldwide televisional audience of 500 million.
1969 was also the year when a groundbreaking 1969 documentary,
entitled Royal Family, was screened by the BBC. The Queen was
reluctant to give her consent to this attempt to demystify the
monarchy and allow the British public to get to know their royal
The Queen comes across as cheerful, hard-working, dutiful, and endearingly old-fashioned. The family seem happy and united, enjoying the life of the British upper classes, surrounded by horses, dogs and servants. The public watched the documentary with voyeuristic pleasure, but were not taken in by attempts to 'package' the royal family as ordinary. The public appetite had been whetted, and daylight had certainly been let in on the royal magic. The Queen had allowed the media unprecedented access to her private life, but she was soon to find that she had created a monster with a limitless appetite for royal stories and, ultimately, scandals.