Queen & Country Offers a Behind-the-scenes Look at Royalty

Consumers of everything the Royal Family will get a kick out of this four-part PBS documentary series

Credit: PBS

Trevor McDonald with Alan Kingshott, Chief Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London

Catch a behind-the-scenes glimpse at life for the Royal Family with Queen & Country

There are some who criticize Britain’s Royal Family as an anachronistic remnant of a bygone era whose biggest contribution these days is as a tourist attraction.

There’s some truth to that; count up the number of magazine covers that have been devoted to the Windsors this year and compare to how many have featured the Kardashians and you get an idea of who the tabloid media considers to be the real royal family. 

Yet we still seem to have an endless fascination with the lives of these purebred aristocrats, as demonstrated in Queen & Country, a four-part PBS series that takes viewers behind the scenes of Britain’s second-longest-reigning monarchy. 

Queen & Country

Produced by Sir Trevor McDonald, Queen & Country is no hatchet job; in fact, the esteemed U.K. journalist has spent much of his career reporting on the Royal Family, and his respect for the various traditions and rituals of the monarchy is on display throughout the four episodes. 

“It has been remarkable to observe how the Queen has been able to update this remarkable institution with a modern face with such dignity and grace and charm,” said McDonald. “If anything, it has made the monarchy a much more solid institution than we ever thought it could be.” 

The debut episode is titled “London: Royal City”, and examines London’s importance as the centre of British royalty. Millions of tourists each year visit the city to gawk at Buckingham Palace and its famed Scots Guards, and McDonald takes viewers on a tour of London’s ongoing royal traditions, such as the pomp and ceremony involved in the Queen’s annual opening of Parliament, as seen from her perspective.

Future episodes will air on subsequent Sundays. These include: “Royal Visit,” which follows the Queen visiting Liverpool and heading to Scotland to attend the Braemar Gathering; “The Queen’s Possessions,” which details the many valuable objects owned by the Queen, ranging from Westminster Abbey to the ravens that perch atop the Tower of London; and “Traveller,” which follows the Queen to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia to meet with representatives of the 16 Commonwealth nations, who discuss changing the rules of royal succession so a first-born girl may inherit the crown.

Queen & Country premieres Sunday July 1 at 5 pm on WTVS and 8 pm on KCTS

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.