It feels like remote history, but it’s true: 27.1 million people watched Boris Johnson announce the first lockdown for the UK on 23 March last year. The sequel in May, announcing the path out of lockdown, attracted an even larger audience of 27.5 million, while the PM’s announcement of a repeat of lockdown in January this year drew a slightly smaller audience – as repeats tend to – of “only” 25.2 million.
A short trailer accompanied the announcement, in which Olivia Colman’s Queen Elizabeth II declares: “Something as important as the monarchy simply cannot be allowed to fail.”
The trailer also introduced the characters of Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana, played by Gillian Anderson and Emma Corrin.
The coming series will follow the arrival of Thatcher as Prime Minister and Diana’s turbulent relationship with Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor).
Phillip Schofield commented: “Put your hat on, we’re going to have a party!”
Alongside Sir Trevor MacDonald, Julie Etchingham will also co-host Invitation to a Royal Wedding, which is expected to broadcast on 29 April at 9pm. This hour-long special will look at what goes on behind the scenes when planning and organising a royal wedding, and will look inside St. George’s Chapel, the venue for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day.
The film will feature contributions from Prince William and Prince Harry, who both speak openly about their mother and how she has influenced their lives.
Their Royal Highnesses will also offer their perspective on Diana's contribution to public life, including her charitable and humanitarian work. Topics such as child bereavement, homelessness and HIV and AIDS will be explored.
The documentary was commissioned for ITV by Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual and Sue Murphy, Head of Factual Entertainment.