By Michael ColemanÂ
The Cunard Line has underwritten a new PBS television series which begins airing this month.
Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work is a six-episode specialÂ that provides an exclusive look inside the modern British monarchy.Â
Authorized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, filmmakers were granted exclusive access for a behind-the-scenes look beyond the majestic gates and velvet ropes of Buckingham Palace.Â
The series takes viewers along as Queen Elizabeth II visits the first permanent British settlement in the U.S., spends time with President Bush at the White House and visits the newly democratic republic of Estonia where no British monarch has set foot before.
The State Visit, Parts 1 and 2Â (11/12, 8:00-10:00 p.m.) This episode follows the elaborate preparations that go into preparing for a visit from the queen. Highlights include celebrity photographer Annie Liebowitzs formal photo shoot with the queen and exclusive interviews with Liebowitz, the queens press secretary, President Bush, and First Lady Laura Bush, who personally leads a private tour of the White House.
HeadquartersÂ (11/19, 8:00-9:00 p.m.) Buckingham Palaces 650 rooms form the nerve center of the British monarchy. Its from here that the queen directs theÂ business of the royal family, entertains heads of state and conducts her private life.Â Highlights of the episode include Queen Elizabeth preparing for her annual move to Balmoral in Scotland.Â
Head of StateÂ (11/19, 9:00-10:00 p.m.) For the dramatic ritual that opens Parliament, the queens coachmen don full livery, and two of her horse-drawn carriages parade through the streets. One transports the queen, the other carries the crown jewels.Â The episode leads viewers through the elaborate state opening of Parliament.Â The episode also attends the weekly private audience between Her Majesty and the British prime minister.Â
The Queen and UsÂ (11/26, 8:00-9:00 p.m.) This episode tells the story of four invited guests as they savor each moment of a garden party at Buckingham Palace. Less formal occasions in every area of the country pack the queens schedule, but she isnt the only member of the royal family who regularly crosses the country. In rural Northumberland, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall take tea and get a tour from a local organic farmer.Â
Inside the FirmÂ (11/26, 9:00-10:00 p.m.) To handle 4,000 state visits, balls, school dedications, nursing home visits and charity events, the queen depends on her husband, her children, cousins and now a new generation of grandchildren. In this episode, the queens children talk frankly about the roles they were born into and the challenges of royal life.Â
Viewers should check with their local PBS affiliate to confirm local broadcast dates and times.
Its fitting that Cunard has sponsored such a major undertaking. Operators of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, QE2 and Queen Victoria, it has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and is the epitome of British refinement since the company’s first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840.