What lies beyond this grand facade is one of Britain’s best-kept secrets.
The Queen’s Garden spends a year documenting life within Buckingham Palace Gardens, mostly hidden in the center of London. There is plenty of royal history woven throughout this tale, though most of the focus is on the flora, fauna and other occupants who are given free reign amongst the garden’s borders. The documentary is structured inside each season, with interviews and time lapse photography which details what makes each season unique within the garden. But the garden is not merely a beautiful place to look at; rather it serves the palace in a variety of ways, from the produce which is used within the kitchens to the grounds themselves which are used to host garden parties and other royal events.
There’s not too much to say about The Queen’s Garden that won’t sound trite so I will keep it brief. One of the biggest selling points to the documentary is the rare footage of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. And when I say rare I mean film from 1935 and 1937, when the queen was nine and eleven years old, respectively. The documentary is very straightforward and beautiful without a doubt.
The technical specs are also straightforward and beautiful. The video is a 1.78:1 transfer and the time-lapse photography, the hidden cameras showcasing day and night footage, the interview segments, and the archival clips all blend together well. They each has a distinct appearance, but none look out of place and indeed have been selected with care to show the garden and its bounty in the best light possible. The plants are especially stunning and their natural beauty shines through every frame. The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track which takes care to eliminate wind noise or other distractions which occur during outdoor interviews. The track also takes care to make sure the many animals showcased can be heard well when appropriate. Overall it’s a very nicely balanced effort in both audio and visual.
There are no special features.
I appreciate the chance to see behind the walls of Buckingham Palace as the likelihood of me managing to do so in person is quite slim to say the least. The flowers are my favorite part, the many varieties and colors just pop on screen. If you’re at all curious about the gardens then The Queen’s Garden is a lovely way to pass an hour.