Drama reveals Queen's spats with Margaret Thatcher

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London, Nov.8 (ANI): A new Channel 4 series, set in 1986, has dramatised the tense relationship that existed between Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

In one act, Thatcher tells the Queen that she is buying a retirement home in the comfortable London suburb of Dulwich. The monarch sarcastically replies: "That's near Peckham, isn't it?" The Queen then makes another cutting remark about politicians who "come and go", drawing a vigorous riposte from Margaret Thatcher.

The scene of barely suppressed hostility shows their dealings as a series of confrontations, reports The Times.

The play showcases the Queen disliking the prospect of hardly being able to "get a word in edgeways" with her haughty premier, while her consort derides "that bloody grocer's daughter".

Thatcher, meanwhile, resents what she sees as royal meddling in the Commonwealth and the miners' strike.

The Queen, a five-part series, intersperses interviews with real courtiers and politicians with dramatised scenes from the monarch's career.

The makers do not claim the portrayals of her meetings with Thatcher are entirely factual, but numerous conversations with people who know the two women, conducted by the producers, "inform" the scenes.

The Sunday Times first reported the frosty relationship between the monarch and Thatcher, who was prime minister from 1979 to 1990, in 1986.

The article revealed the Queen's concerns over the divisiveness of Thatcher's social policies and the strain that her refusal to agree sanctions against apartheid-era South Africa was putting on her beloved Commonwealth.

In the television series, which begins on November 29, five actresses at different points of her reign play the Queen.

Those interviewed on screen include Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury; Lady Anne Glenconner, a friend of the royal family and a train-bearer at the Coronation; the actress Anna Massey, a friend of the Duke of Edinburgh; and Ronald Allison, former press secretary to the Queen.

The producers of the series say they "kept the palace informed about what we were up to at all times".

They sent more than 100 letters to friends and family of the Queen as well as staff and others. (ANI)

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