The Queen and the Coup, narrated by Caroline Catz

It's February 1953, the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's reign. Little does the Queen know she is about to be deployed in a US plot to topple Iran's democratic leader in favour of an all-powerful shah. Planned by MI6, and executed by the CIA, the coup destroyed Iran's democracy and had an impact on relations between Iran and the West. Using declassified secret documents, this documentary reveals the truth of what happened in 1953.

This is one of those brilliantly detailed documentaries on recent history that uses declassified documents to explore a bizarre and little-known episode.

Professors Rory Cormac and Richard Aldrich have unearthed a paper-trail in national archives showing how the 1953 coup d’├ętat to unseat Iran’s elected leader (Mohammad Mossadegh, whose crime had been to nationalise British oil assets) relied at a crucial moment on using the young Queen Elizabeth’s name – unbeknownst to her.

It’s a fascinating, at times farcical yarn of MI6 and CIA intrigue, but the events had a huge effect on global politics: relations between Iran and the West have never recovered.

The Queen and the Coup airs Sunday 14th June 2020 at 9pm on Channel 4, narrated by Caroline Catz.