Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work

Wed, 11/12/2008 - 8:00pm - Wed, 11/26/2008 - 8:00pm
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Queen Elizabeth greets her subjects and well-wishers.

Anwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images

The head of the world’s most famous family, Queen Elizabeth II, granted exclusive access to the filmmakers of Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work, airing Wednesdays, November 12-26 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (cable 1011 and DT 21.1), to bring viewers an unprecedented look at the daily duties of the modern British royal family. Throughout this enlightening and engaging mini-series, viewers follow Queen Elizabeth II, her family, and their support staff as the royals work and live at Buckingham Palace, perform official visits at home and abroad, and meet with people from all walks of life in the performance of their royal duties — including a state visit to the U.S. where they are welcomed at the White House, Jamestown and the Kentucky Derby. 

Those born into the royal family are never free from the duties of the crown, as they uphold the royal traditions and practices that are a powerful tie that binds a nation and its people together. Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work examines this bond in depth, as well as the effort put forth by this famous family to benefit the world.

Replete with personal interviews, Monarchy: The Royal Family at Workreveals the daily rituals and ancient traditions of the House of Windsor. The everyday people who keep this more than 400-year-old institution running smoothly, include footmen, ladies-in-waiting, Yeoman of the Guard, and others. The program explores the many internal functions of the British crown, including state visits, the state opening of Parliament, formal dinners, award ceremonies, and presentations. With more than 4,000 royal family events per year, Buckingham Palace is a busy place, with many of the House of Windsor attending up to 600 proceedings per year. Those attending to the royal family members shoulder the responsibility of having the family in the right place at the right time.

The British royal family is a centuries-old institution steeped in tradition and history. Adored by the media and the subjects of fascination around the world, they reign over 129 million, yet hold no overt political power. They refuse to be treated as movie stars; yet the pomp and circumstance, history, and tradition that surround them are both fascinating and fanciful. They represent one of the most powerful brands in the world — one that requires time, staff and resources to maintain. For many, The Queen is everything to everyone: ruler, adviser, grandmother, wife, mother, and national leader. Queen Elizabeth II is the second-longest-serving head of state in the world and the head of a complex family. As such, she presides with dignity, grace, and common sense in any situation. In Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work, viewers watch as she deftly manages the many intricacies of what is revealed to be a very demanding business. 

The program Web site, pbs.org/monarchy will feature extended video clips and interactive quizzes so viewers can test their royal knowledge. In addition, PBS Engage, pbs.org/engage is hosting a live chat with writer and associate producer Robert Hardman on Thursday, November 13 at 1-2 p.m. He'll answer viewers’ questions about the making of the film and about his 10 years of experience covering the royal family for the Daily Telegraph. Viewers can submit their questions at pbs.org/chat beginning November 5, or submit them during the live chat.

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Comments

the monarchy

this was a most enjoyable program. we are so looking forward to the next episode. thank you wxxi for consistantly providing great t.v.