View credits etc.

‘Charles R: The Making of a Monarch’ is a 60m documentary about King Charles III’s more than seven decades as heir to the throne told in his own words using only archival footage such as newsreels, home videos and interviews.


About the score

When the BBC approached me to score Charles: The Making of a Monarch, I was intrigued to see how they would approach depicting such a complex and interesting character. Having previously worked on films about Prince William and the Duke of Edinburgh, I understand how sensitive certain topics and portrayals of the Royal Family can become and the importance of music in supporting those narratives without detracting from the humanity of the protagonists.

Due to the nature of the documentary, where the King speaks about his experiences in his own words, there were large sections of the film without his commentary. My role was to compose a score that covered Charles’s upbringing and the intimate relationship he had with his mother, through to the more challenging one with his father and the tragic death of Princess Diana, all without being too earnest or interrupting the story being told by the King, which was no small feat.

The style of music needed to shift considerably throughout the film, while also allowing space for the King’s character to shine through. Other than small snippets of archival footage where the music was baked in or couldn’t be removed, my score can be heard throughout the whole documentary, needing to depict a man who is both serious and determined, yet has a frivolous side to him. Staying faithful to the classical sound associated with the Royal Family, yet adding a modern feel to keep things contemporary, I recorded a live quartet, vocalist and various instruments myself while incorporating subtle electronic elements like synths and soundscapes.

As heir to the throne, Charles’s preparation as King in waiting was fraught with challenges and difficulties, particularly with respect to forming an identity that would match that of the much adored Queen Elizabeth II, and the forceful character of his father Prince Philip. The music needed to convey the sensibility of Charles as a young, shy adolescent, the high bar in conduct that he felt he had to achieve and how he would become a new monarch that would lead on the world stage and maintain unity within the Royal Family.

The turnaround was challenging because of the proximity to the Coronation of HM King Charles III, and the mammoth task of editing large amounts of archival footage into a chronological narrative. During the 14 week production process, the shape of the film changed many times and, as a result, so did the structure of the music which led to a dynamic score punctuating the changes in time, location and emotion.

I feel honoured that many viewers have reached out to me to request a copy of the score since this beautifully made film was broadcast, commenting on how they felt the music really helped bring out the King’s personality.

You can watch Charles R: The Making of a Monarch on BBC iPlayer until April 2024 or via BBC Select thereafter:

Watch on BBC iPlayer Watch on BBC Select


  • Network: BBC
  • Director: Tim Kirby
  • Producer: Simon Young
  • Executive Producer: Liz Hartford
  • Role: Composer