First TV interview by a member of the Royal Family

29 May 1961

In a Panorama programme broadcast on 29 May 1961, the Duke of Edinburgh became the first member of the Royal Family to give a television interview. The Duke was interviewed by Richard Dimbleby, talking about the Commonwealth Technical Training Week. As patron of the initiative, the Duke emphasised the need to encourage the training of skilled workers for the modern labour force.

The interview was on an uncontroversial subject, and Dimbleby's tone was respectful throughout, but it was still remarkable as the first time a member of the Royal Family had been questioned on camera. It also revealed something of the working life of the Duke, who was usually only glimpsed on ceremonial occasions as the Queen's consort.

The interview was a significant step towards modernising the Royal Family. When the documentary Royal Family was commissioned in 1968, the Duke of Edinburgh saw its value to the Monarchy and was one of the prime movers. The unprecedented access granted the film makers showed the Queen at work and also off duty. In one memorable scene the Duke was seen cooking sausages on a family barbeque at Balmoral.

A montage of some famous Royal moments on the BBC