Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work

Head Of State

Season 1, Episode 4 of 6

For the dramatic ritual that opens Parliament, the queen's coachmen don full livery, and two of her horse-drawn carriages parade through the streets. One holds the queen the other carries the crown jewels. "Head of State" leads viewers through the elaborate state opening of Parliament from the secret removal of the crown jewels from their Tower of London vault to the moment when the House of Commons slams the door in the face of the queen's representative to the eventual conclusion when the rowdy Commons stand before their queen. Not all of the queen's state responsibilities require full regalia. "Head of State" also attends the weekly private audience between Her Majesty and the British prime minister. It's his duty to keep the queen informed. It's hers to listen and to impart the wisdom gleaned from nine of his predecessors. The royal job also entails extensive travel. Although the queen has seen almost every country on earth, no monarch has ever set foot in the former Soviet republics of the Baltic states. In a historic visit to the newly democratic Republic of Estonia, the ambassador, his wife and their staff have attended to every detail.

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