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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting!
This is an inside look at the inner workings of Windsor Castle that most folks don't get to see. Planning a royal party is like planning a battle. Everything has to be exact and perfect. The dining table is so long that a man has to walk on the table with special shoes just so he can light the candles. After these grand dinner parties, the queen ensures that the...
Published on February 16, 2006 by M. Fields

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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dvd was not closed captioned
I sent this dvd back TWICE because it WAS NOT closed captioned. On both the dvds it stated cc for closed captioning and neither one was. I could not hear what was being said, especially because the brits do not talk like the americans do. I could not understand it and was very disappointed.
Published on January 2, 2012 by jackie


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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting!, February 16, 2006
By 
M. Fields (Brooklyn, New York USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Windsor Castle - A Royal Year (DVD)
This is an inside look at the inner workings of Windsor Castle that most folks don't get to see. Planning a royal party is like planning a battle. Everything has to be exact and perfect. The dining table is so long that a man has to walk on the table with special shoes just so he can light the candles. After these grand dinner parties, the queen ensures that the floral arrangements are delivered to different charities. You can see and hear from the people that have to run this huge palace. Also shown are some rooms that are not open to the general public. You can even see the cast of Les Misarables move their show to the house of Windsor for a special performance. You know you're rich when all you have to do is snap your fingers and bring a whole musical to your home. There's a lot of great info here. Even the man that changes the flags makes an appearance. He's the guy that changes the flag as soon as the queen leaves or comes back home. If you are interested in the royals, this dvd is for you. It's full of wonderful factoids. It's also great for the kids.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Documentaray About the People who Live & Work at Windsor Castle, February 25, 2007
This review is from: Windsor Castle - A Royal Year (DVD)
The 2006 documentary "Windsor Castle-A Royal Year" (called "The Queen's Castle" in Britain where it was released in 2005) is an amazing glimpse into the lives of various people that work, and sometimes live, within the walls of one of the world's few remaining royal residences: Window Castle. With approval from Queen Elizabeth II, no other documentarians have ever been granted such personal access to the castle's staff, its inner workings and the royal family. The three episodes are described below:

1. "The Banquet". This episode focuses on the kitchen staff, the flagman, the people that maintain the artwork, the military knights and the others involved with managing a large state dinner whose planning began six months in advance and was held at Windsor by Queen Elizabeth II and her family for President Chirac of France and his wife, as well as over 300 invited guests. This includes documenting what was an unprecedented setup of a live performance of the musical "Les Miserables" that was performed immediately after the banquet. Staff worker were naturally concerned because it was a hot spotlight that had started the serious fire that severely damaged part of Windor Castle in 1992.

2. "Four Seasons". This episode focuses on the young military knights that guard Windsor Castle and old military personnel that are involved in annual events, including the "Order of the Garter" ceremony that is held each year in June. The prepartions, rehearsals and actual ceremony of the "Order of the Garter" are also shown, as well as an interesting glimpse into the staff of Saint George's chapel who want to improve the chapel's gift shop. Also included is a look at the activies surrounding the famous Royal Ascot horse races, which includes a look at the bookies who take bets on what color the Queen's hat will be each day, as well as the race that included one of the Queen's horses. The episode ends with the staff, in December, singing Christmas carols to the Queen, who comes outside to listen to them and provide them with refreshments.

3. "The Ranger". This fascinating episode focuses on the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, who is also the Ranger that manages the vast estate upon which Windor Castle is located. He describes various areas of the estate and how they have been used, they're history and how they have been changed over the years. Also included is a look at Cartier International Day, which is the biggest day on the British polo calendar, which includes Prince Harry who leads the British polo team against a team from South America.

Overall, I rate the documentary "Windsor Castle-A Royal Year" with a resounding 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it. The wonderful DVD set includes an additional 132 minutes (over 2 hours) of footage that was not aired on television with the three episodes.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting behind the scenes look at Windsor Castle, March 14, 2006
By 
A. Burchfield (Conway, Missouri USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Windsor Castle - A Royal Year (DVD)
I'd known about the British PAL format version for months and was glad to see it finally broadcast on PBS, then available on DVD for the U.S. market.

This DVD set is well worth owning for anyone for anyone who has been to Windsor Castle or is just thinking about touring it even if you could care less about the Royal family. Split into three segments and covering events over a years time in 2004-2005 there is something for everyone to see.

Lot's of interesting detail and behind the scenes looks at things as the castle and grounds are prepared for a variety of events and occaisions. I would expect that there are details presented that even many long time employees haven't seen about the place. If you can't stand the Royal family, don't worry- the Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) is the only member of the family to actually speak on camera or even have much screen time, he isn't bad either.

I was surprised at some of the things I saw and learned- I don't regret owning this DVD set one bit. My only complaint(s) about the set concern the second disc with it's additional unbroadcast footage. You'll want to look at the menu, it let's you either watch every selection or choose what you want to see. I found that many of the items consisted of extended selections of bits covered in the main program selections, if you got enough of it the first time through you'll want to skip some parts. I also noticed, on the second disc, that if you don't quite catch what someone says you're out of luck because there's no closed captioning to help out, and no subtitling. I didn't check Disc 1 for subtitling but it is, as the case says, closed captioned if you happen to want that function.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delving in the Posh Life, September 26, 2009
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This review is from: Windsor Castle - A Royal Year (DVD)
I have always been fascinated with the lives of the royal family. In this special DVD they take you into this legendary royal castle and its entire splendor. Yes, it is certainly over the top with all the "pomp and circumstance", but since I am an American I never get to see how royalty lives. One should not take it so seriously, but more enjoy it for how the other half lives. Yes, it is very over the top, but you have to give the British Monarchy some credit...they certain know how to live.
I chose to look at it from a historical, architectural and interior design perspective and found it utterly fascinating. Since I love castles so much there is nothing about the structure itself that could deter me from disliking this DVD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating and Interesting Look Behind the Scenes of Windsor Castle and the Royals, April 23, 2009
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This review is from: Windsor Castle - A Royal Year (DVD)
Windsor Castle... A Royal Year DVD, beautifully enlightens the viewer with a glimpse of what is involved in maintaining and managing this historic British treasure both inside and out.

Whether one is a royalist or not, one has to marvel at this magnificent castle, its history and most of all, the Queen's management of it. What she has accomplished is nothing short of remarkable, especially considering her age! If anyone deserves an award for being the best CEO of the century, it is HRH Queen Elizabeth! She is a master of management and perfection with exquisite taste. This DVD beautifully reveals the Queen's management skills, the efforts and talents of her loyal staff, and how everything comes together to make Windsor Castle and all its functions enormously successful.

Additionally, this DVD displays a not often seen personal side of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. And, his love for nature and commitment to the care and preservation of the grounds at Windsor Castle.

I highly recommend this fascinating and very interesting Windsor Castle... A Royal Year DVD for anyone who is interested in the beauty and preservation of British castles, along with various functions and traditions of the Royal family.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Inside Look at the Royals, March 22, 2008
This review is from: Windsor Castle - A Royal Year (DVD)
As an American, I never gave much thought to the British Royal Family and their ongoing soap opera. The insane outpouring of grief by the British public after the death of Princess Diana left me bewildered. I happened to watch part of this series on PBS one night and was fascinated by the inner working of Windsor Castle and the Royal Family. Well produced with an off-screen narrator speaking perfect RP and selections from Bach's Brandenberg concerto tinkling in the background, the viewer is transformed Cinderella-like from humdrum existence to honored-guest status at Windsor Castle.

The Queen remains an aloof figure, never once speaking to the camera. It is said she has never given a press interview. Prince Philip plays a large role in one segment; the cameras follow him as he attends to his duties as Ranger of Windsor Park. In his late eighties he is still active with strong opinions about minor controversies relating to the Castle. He comes across as an endearing down-to-earth figure not at all like the distant, aloof cartoon caricature Royals that the tabloids portray.

One of the segments of the documentary details the preparation for the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Entente Cordiale. An extraordinary amount of preparation is needed to make ready for a large banquet. The musical Les Miserable was performed at the Castle to entertain the Queen and president Chirac.

Another episode shows the festivities surrounding Royal Ascot. The Queen has always been a horse racing enthusiast and has never failed to attend during her reign. Ascot is a chance for British society to dress up; much attention is paid to the dresses worn by the women. On that particular day, the narrator is scandalized by excessive displays of cleavage.

The episode that looks at the Garter Day ceremonies is especially good. At one point Prince Philip acknowledges the absurdity of dressing up in medieval costumes. The Queen and her Knights of the Garter, dressed in their ceremonial robes, proceed slowly from the Castle to Windsor Chapel. Afterwards they take lunch at the Castle dressed less formally.
The robes and the heavy gold ceremonial livery collars are so valuable that the Garter Knights store them at the Castle rather than risk their loss.

There is a DVD extra feature that briefly shows the Wedding Day of
Charles and Camilla.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!, January 21, 2007
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This review is from: Windsor Castle - A Royal Year (DVD)
This is an incredible DVD of the Royal Family. They take you through the castle, watching the kitchen staff prepare meals, watching the cleaning people do their work, and so much more. All in all a very satisfying and entertaining DVD for the Royal watchers!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting look at the Royal residence, September 12, 2011
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This review is from: Windsor Castle - A Royal Year (DVD)
This DVD is quite a production and well done. It gives an ordinary person an inside look at one of the Royal residences and the people who make it tick. You not only get to see the common places one might see on a tour but you also get some behind the scenes information and glimpses of rooms that most of us will never see. It was fascinating to see how the staff handles the day to day operations of such a historic and beautiful place. But what fascinated me the most was the schedule that everyone must adhere to. The Queens schedule sets the tone for so many it is truly unbelievable. I never looked at the Queen or Royal family as actually having jobs but they really do when you get down to it. And without the dedicated staff, both paid and volunteers, working behind the scenes I don't think we would have the Royals as we know them today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Overview but not a History, May 18, 2011
By 
John Mccullough (Quarryville, Pa USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Windsor Castle - A Royal Year (DVD)
This is an interesting look at the various events that occur in different seasons of the year. It shows the laborious efforts of the staff to "pull off" the event and creatively focuses on the traditional and modern elements that go into meeting each occasion's unique requirements. Behind the scenes secrets are told,as well. It does not go into much history, but talks almost exclusively about the current situation. The production is well done and worth watching.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winsor Castle - A Royal Year, December 26, 2006
This review is from: Windsor Castle - A Royal Year (DVD)
Excellent documentary. Good content, pacing, commentary, and nice background music. Well done.
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Windsor Castle - A Royal Year
Windsor Castle - A Royal Year by Matt Reid (DVD - 2006)
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