Royal watchers will be thrilled to view this documentary about the present-day British monarchy. It is available on two discs for a total of six hours of video concerning Queen Elizabeth II and her family.
A large portion of the film features the Queen’s State visit to the United States in the year 2007 in recognition of the 400th anniversary of the settling of Jamestown colony in 1607. Her only previous State visit occurred in 1957. Prior to her 2007 visit, there was a reception at Buckingham Palace for several hundred Americans who live in the United Kingdom. A guided tour was shown of the Queen’s art gallery which holds 93 paintings, 40 of which belonged to King Charles I.
On reaching the United States, Queen Elizabeth spent her first night in Williamsburg, VA at the Williamsburg Hotel, just as she did in 1957. Viewers were informed that the sheets used by the Queen had a 400 thread count. Her towels had never been used before but were washed four times in preparation and then ironed by hand. She was provided with a brand new toilet seat.
In Washington, D.C., the Queen and her entourage stayed at Blair House. At the White House, a white-tie banquet was hosted by President and Mrs. Bush. All who met the Queen commented on how easy it was to talk to her. Because Queen Elizabeth is a lover of horse racing, she and Prince Philip made a point of attending the Kentucky Derby during their stay.
Back in London, viewers were able to experience an Investiture ceremony which rewards achievement in all walks of life. One hundred persons were honored at this particular ceremony, some with the Order of the British Empire and some with the Royal Victorian Order. The Queen is the head of state in 16 countries. She received the Governors-General of all 16 countries in another clip which was shown.
It was made clear that the Queen does not govern; she reigns. She is a constitutional monarch. We witnessed the Queen entering Parliament for the final session of Tony Blair’s tenure in Parliament before he stepped down. Gordon Brown then became the Queen’s 11th Prime Minister.
Viewers were privy to a visit by the Queen to Lituania, Latvia, and Estonia. Estonia is the newest NATO ally. The Queen, during her reign, has visited 143 nations. The modern monarchy is dedicated to meeting ordinary people. Each year there are four annual garden parties, one given in Scotland. The purpose of the garden party is to thank people for the good things they have done. Eight hundred people are invited. Throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth had had two million people to tea.
All of the Queen’s family work for the family firm. Princess Anne is the busiest of all the royal workers. Last year alone, she had 598 engagements. Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry all have royal duties. Their devotion to the Queen is apparent.
As a royal watcher, I never tire of hearing the latest news and capers of the Windsors. Along with the British citizens, I say also “Long Live the Queen.”
Documentary – Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work (2007) – Discs 1 and 2