Queen ‘kept her spirits up’ as she grieved Prince Philip with this hit TV show - though she had a few critiques

It's claimed that the Queen 'kept her spirits up' after Prince Philip's death by watching a high-octane BBC drama that fans couldn't get enough of...

How Queen "kept her spirits up" has been revealed, seen here attending an event in celebration of The Big Lunch initiative
(Image credit: Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

The Queen reportedly “kept her spirits up” as she grieved Prince Philip with a hit TV show although she apparently had a few critiques.  


The loss of her beloved “strength and stay” Prince Philip in April 2021 was a hugely difficult time in the late Queen Elizabeth’s life. The Queen and Prince Philip were married for 73 years before he passed away and since his death his memory has been honored in many ways by his and the Queen’s children and grandchildren, whether it be on social media or in public speeches. Now it’s been suggested that the Queen “kept her spirits up” as she grieved her late husband by watching a long-running TV show - and you might have watched it! 

As reported by The Guardian (opens in new tab), royal author and friend of Queen Consort Camilla, Gyles Brandreth, has revealed in his upcoming book, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, that the Queen “kept her spirits up” with hit BBC show, Line of Duty.

Queen Elizabeth II is given a tour by Keith Weed, President of the Royal Horticultural Society during a visit to The Chelsea Flower Show 2022

(Image credit: Photo by Paul Grover - Pool / Getty Images)

From the moment it first landed in 2012 until the identity of H in Line of Duty was finally revealed in season 6 nine years later, Jed Mercurio's Line of Duty had audiences gripped. The show followed Anti Corruption Unit 12 as they worked tirelessly to unravel a complex web of corrupt police officers.

And it seems the Queen was quite the Line of Duty fan, with her Master of the Household, Sir Tony Johnstone-Burt, said to have claimed to the author, “My principal duty with HM has been to keep her spirits up – so I’ve been watching Line of Duty with her – I’m ‘the Explainer’. It’s very funny.”

DS Steve Arnott (MARTIN COMPSTON), DC Chloe Bishop (SHALOM BRUNE-FRANKLIN), Superintendent Ted Hastings (ADRIAN DUNBAR)

(Image credit: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill)

The publication added that the Queen had apparently sometimes found the fast-paced Line of Duty plot hard to keep up with. Meanwhile, Gyles himself is said to have suggested that the late monarch also had another critique. 

“It keeps me in touch – when I can understand what’s being said,” the Queen supposedly told the author before adding, “There’s an awful lot of mumbling on television now. It’s not my hearing.”

Throughout its time on TV, Line of Duty was one of the most-watched dramas and it’s amazing to think the Queen might’ve counted herself amongst the show’s fans - even if she did think the characters could’ve been a bit clearer! 

And this intriguing revelation about the Queen wasn’t the only one that is reportedly set to emerge in Gyles Brandreth’s new biography...

Gyles also remarked upon Her Majesty's own TV appearance in the iconic James Bond sketch shown at the London 2012 Olympics. The author claimed it was “the Queen’s own idea” to keep the spy “waiting a moment" as she signed off a letter before greeting him with the iconic line, "Good evening, Mr Bond." 

The Queen was well-known for her sense of humor and this sketch was a moment few fans will ever forget. Actor Daniel Craig even told The Late Show, as per The Independent (opens in new tab), that Her Majesty made a hilarious quip about him during filming.

“We were having our photograph taken, and she just went, ‘Oh no, he’s the one that doesn’t smile’”, he good-naturedly recalled. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.