The Queen vs No 10

The Queen vs No 10: Channel 5 doc reveals ‘special treat’ monarch enjoys at Balmoral

Domestic ritual the Queen doesn't have while at Buckingham Palace

The Queen vs No 10, a new documentary airing on Channel 5, will shed light on the ‘special treat’ the Queen likes to afford herself while staying at Balmoral.

The programme is set to explore the monarch’s relationships with the 14 prime ministers she’s seen come and go during her long reign.

The Queen Vs No 10 Behind Closed Doors
The Queen vs No 10 will air this weekend (Credit: Photo by Shutterstock / Channel 5)

What is The Queen vs No 10 about?

It will offer an in-depth look at Her Majesty’s dealings with the various PMs, from Winston Churchill when she first became Queen to the UK’s current leader, Boris Johnson.

The Channel 5 doc will also look at Queen Elizabeth II‘s at-times fraught relationship with Margaret Thatcher.

Read more: The Queen vs No 10: Monarch defied Churchill in televising her coronation

At one point, it explains how Thatcher ‘annoyed’ the Queen by interrupting the domestic ritual she likes to perform while staying at her Scottish retreat – doing the washing up.

Margaret Thatcher and The Queen
The Channel 5 documentary will explain how Margaret Thatcher was unable to relax at Balmoral (Credit: /

The programme’s narrator tells viewers that Thatcher struggled to settle at Balmoral. The Queen, however, has no issues relaxing there.

The Queen loves washing up on these occasions… completely unlike being at the palace.

Charles Moore, author of Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography, explains: “The Queen loves washing up on these occasions. So it’s all completely unlike being at the palace.

“But Mrs Thatcher found this very difficult. She couldn’t bear the idea of watching her sovereign washing up while she’s sitting down and doing nothing. So she would like to get up and help with the washing up.

“The Queen used to find this quite annoying, because it was taking away her special treat.”

The Queen loves to do the washing up at Balmoral Castle when she has visitors (Credit:

The Queen ‘stood up’ to Churchill

Elsewhere on The Queen vs No 10, the documentary explains how the monarch once had to stand up to Winston Churchill.

Read more: The Queen wants to return to work at Buckingham Palace to ‘boost the nation’s morale’

She really wanted to televise her coronation. But the wartime PM wasn’t keen on the idea of such a ‘sacred ritual’ airing on TV screens.

Of course, the Queen won the argument in the end, and the ceremony was broadcast live to millions worldwide in June 1953.

– The Queen vs No 10: Behind Closed Doors will air on Channel 5 this Saturday (September 19) at 9pm

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