Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work: Headquarters

Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work: Headquarters

Mon, 06/18/2012 - 10:00pm

Queen Elizabeth II with the president of the Republic of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace. 

Credit: Courtesy of POOL/Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

Go beyond the palace gates for a rare glimpse inside Buckingham Palace. MONARCHY: THE ROYAL FAMILY AT WORK continues June 18, 2012 at 10 p.m. with Headquarters on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 11 and 1011). Buckingham Palace’s 650 rooms form the nerve center of the British monarchy. It’s from here that the queen directs the business of the royal family, entertains heads of state and conducts her private life.

Ghana’s President Kufour and his wife, along with their entourage, have arranged a state visit. The queen’s guests will stay in Buckingham Palace’s 11 royal suites, where meticulous footmen will valet for them, unpacking and pressing each item of clothing and attending to their every need. For the magnificent banquet, the queen personally reviews the table arrangements, and the royal chef certifies that the presentation of every plate is perfect. At the queen’s official birthday celebration, thousands of well-wishers gather under the palace balcony while the Royal Air Force flies in formation overhead. After they greet the crowds, members of the House of Windsor head inside for her majesty’s private family party.

Headquarters also follows Queen Elizabeth as she prepares for her annual move to Balmoral in Scotland. While she’s gone, 40,000 visitors will tour the royal apartments for a spectacular exhibit of her formal gowns and jewelry, but only after the queen approves the display.