Review: Monarchy-The Royal Family at Work

Program: Monarchy – The Royal Family at Work (part 1 & 2 back-to-back)
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 12
Time: 7 p.m.

Part 3 & 4 airs Wednesday, Nov.19, at 7 p.m.
Part 5 & 6 airs Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.
Preview the show: pbs.org/monarchy/

A new PBS series, Monarchy – The Royal Family at Work is about to debut on KLRU. Although I didn’t see the actual Royal Family doing much work in the first episode of this inside glimpse of the British Royal Palace, it was very interesting and sometimes comical to see how much work is done by others to accommodate the Queen and her entourage.

The first episode begins with an American photographer learning the rituals and formalities of royalty while attempting to keep a photo shoot of the Queen on schedule. The Queen’s schedule is in fact hectic, which is why watching her aides carrying out Her Majesty’s long awaited trip to America (Spring of 2007) makes my daily routine seem like a breeze. The work includes the planning of everything from table settings, hotel accommodations, and even weather conditions – which surprisingly they weren’t able to control.

Appearances by Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine (considered to have been on President-Elect Obama’s VP short list), Dick Cheney, and President Bush show the glaring differences between the Queen and our heads of state. As Governor Kaine guides the Queen through Jonestown and other Virginia sites, candid interviews provide humor in just how much work goes into something as simple as the Queen having lunch.

To those obsessed with the Royal Family (I know you’re out there), I can see Monarchy delivering the behind the scenes intrigue that you secretly crave. For those of us that don’t follow the goings on of the Royal Family, it was surprisingly fun and at times hilarious to see the lengths people will go to ensure Her Majesty has a pleasant time on her trip. In our country where politicians usually have a shelf life of 4 to 8 years, it’s pretty interesting to see an icon like Queen Elizabeth II reign for over 50 years and receive the admiration of so many followers throughout England and around the world. Overall, it’s definitely the most prestigious reality show I’ve seen to date.

The season premiere is immediately followed by the second installment of the series in which the Queen goes to Washington. One can only imagine what is in store for her there. It’s a pity she couldn’t make it down to Texas – maybe next time.

- Scott Randall

About the Reviewer: Scott Randall is the Marketing Editor for KLRU. In addition to editing videos and blogging for the station, he enjoys fruit smoothies, paperback books and Chuck Norris jokes.