ITV’s ‘Royal Windsor’s Big Week’ has once again allowed our television audiences behind the scenes access into the provisions and preparations that go into Royal events. The programme narrates one of the busiest weeks of Her Majesty’s calendar, Royal Windsor’s Horse Show, and this year’s event was particularly special as it marked the 70th anniversary since the biggest horse show in Britain had begun. This year also symbolises the seventieth year that Her Majesty The Queen has attended the event, showing her on-going devotion to horses and racing.
With this anniversary in mind, the organisers of the event showed the cameras around the continuous planning and specific requirements needed for such a public royal event. The offices were shown to be buzzing with excitement for an event of this. Two workers in particular were given the job to create a commemorative photo album to be presented to Her Majesty on the final day of the event with seventy photos of the Queen and other members of the royal family from every year of the horse show.
Alongside this, audiences were given an insight into the meticulous planning that revolves around a royal dinner. 220 VIP guests were invited to dine with Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh to celebrate the anniversary of the Horse Show. John Brody, the head chef appointed for the dinner, produced an abundance of dishes of all varieties under the scrutiny of the testers to create a finalised menu which would be suitable for royalty. A delicious three course menu of a savoury panna cotta, guinea fowl and lemon soufflé was decided upon after much tasting and deliberating, together with drinking samples of numerous bottles of wine. The words ‘it must be a hard job…’ spring to mind somewhat.
The programme revealed how the waitresses would spend a great deal of time holding imaginary trays, practicing walking from the kitchen to the tables step by step until they had achieved perfection. The worst situations were being imagined by the waitresses as the beginning of service loomed. One expressed her fear of spilling champagne all over Her Majesty’s lap, although another waitress kindly reassured her that she would certainly be remembered by the Queen if the incident did arise, but sadly just not in the same way that we would all hope to make an impression. Thankfully, the dinner was an undoubted success and no royal was soaked by flying champagne to our knowledge.
‘Royal Windsor’s Big Week’ also emphasised how such events as these allow our royal family’s relationships with other royals across the world continue to develop. This programme particularly emphasised the relations with Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the king of Bahrain, and his sons.
Royal Windsor’s Horse Show has certainly become an important occasion for members of the royal family over the decades. Her Majesty and Princess Margaret first attended the event in 1943 and both have competed in events in the past. Since then, the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne have also competed and Zara Philips attended this year’s competition. There was a great amount of sentiment expressed when the narrator revealed that the Queen Mother’s last horse ‘First Love’ was competing. Horses have and always will be close to the royal family’s hearts, assuring us that events such as these will undoubtedly continue for the foreseeable future. However, this programme also reminds us that when there are horse shows, there will always be an excessive amount of horse poo to clean up.