‘Queen is the best leader I’ve worked for’: documentary to show palace behind-the-scenes

A documentary on Forces TV goes behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace, showing its inner workings, and features staff interviews, one of which called The Queen ‘the best leader’ one employee had ever had.

The 30-minute documentary, to be shown on Forces TV tonight, gives the public an exclusive insight into the key roles members of the Armed Forces play inside the Royal Household.

Forces TV gets to go behind-the-scenes at Buckingham Palace. Master of the household says The Queen is 'the best leader' .Picture: i-Images

Forces TV gets to go behind-the-scenes at Buckingham Palace. Master of the Household says The Queen is ‘the best leader’. Picture: i-Images

The Queen authorised the filming of behind-the-scenes for the show, called ‘On Her Majesty’s Service’; almost all senior members of the household are former servicemen and women, known for their excellent organisational skills and high standards – just what a Queen needs.

Master of the Royal Household, had high praise for Her Majesty as his boss: “She is probably the best leader I have ever worked for.

“She is the most humble. The greatest leaders have the greatest humility and the greatest understanding and caring about people.”

The former Vice-Admiral oversees the running of all aspects of the household and manages over 250 staff, and spends a lot of time consulting The Queen on topics such as ceremonial events and catering.

“Her Majesty cares about people deeply. Often she will say to me, if I’ve got a personnel issue, she will say, ‘Master, are you being kind?’ and I say, ‘Yes, of course Your Majesty.'”

Behind-the-scenes at Buckingham Palace shows the roles of former servicemen and women in the Royal Household. Datmater

Behind-the-scenes at Buckingham Palace shows the roles of former servicemen and women in the Royal Household. Datmater

Forces TV was granted special access with the support of The Duke of York, who is patron of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC) charity, which operates Forces TV and the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS).

Another rarely-seen aspect of palace life is that of the Flag Sergeant, the man responsible for raising and lowering the Royal Standard as The Queen enters and leaves a Palace, be it Buckingham, Windsor, Holyrood or Westminster.

Lance Sgt Nathan Bowen follows Her Majesty around with the Royal Standard and has meticulously time his actions, but his role is a little known one, and he is rarely seen. He recalls one time he had to raise The Queen’s birthday flag, a huge 38ft bx 19ft item on top of Buckingham Palace, and it didn’t go to plan.

“It got a bit windy and I had to grab the policeman, who was also on the roof looking at the crowds, and make sure I got myself a bit of a hand,” Bowen explains. “Once the wind got it, it was really quite strong. Normally everything goes really quite smoothly!”An audience with two officers and Her Majesty was also filmed; these exchanges are often photographed for news purposes, but rarely do the public know what is said at such a meeting.

 

Brigadier Swift, one of those at the meeting, said in his interview for the show: “It is a real honour to be presented to Her Majesty and not something that comes round very often or for very many people, so one is inevitably a little bit nervous.”

On Her Majesty’s Service airs tonight (14th March) at 7pm on Forces TV on Sky Channel 264, Virgin 277, Freesat 652. 

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