The Royal Family: The Business of the Monarchy

The British royal family has a very private personal life but a very public profile. The queen and family members follow a heavy schedule of activities that range from the charitable to the commercial.

In the documentary "The Royal Family," anchored by Barbara Walters, ABC News offers a never-before-seen glimpse at the most famous royalty in the world -- the royal family of Great Britain.

From Queen Elizabeth II to Prince William and Prince Harry, the documentary crew from RDF USA filmed the British monarchy for more than a year, and was given unprecedented access to the working monarchy and its private spaces.

Culled from hundreds of hours of footage of the queen and her family in both public and private settings, this special marks the first time in the history of the British monarchy that anyone has been allowed such access.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip

On one occasion last year, the Royal Train traveled deep into the English countryside, bound for Newcastle, with Prince Charles and Camilla, duchess of Cornwall, onboard.

In Newcastle, the Prince and his wife stopped at a hospital and school, then went by helicopter to a farming community. They visited an organic farm -- one of Prince Charles' main interests -- and met with farmers at a nearby pub

. "One day I get a tap on the window," said pub owner Tim Morris, describing a surprise visit from a member of the palace staff. "There was no appointment, nothing like that, just a very officious lady, and she comes waltzing in and she starts looking around ... and she says, 'Oh it's not very big is it?' And I sort of [said], 'Sorry, we're just a tiny drovers inn.' And then we went outside and I showed her the beer garden, and I said, you know, the views of the National Park, and she said, 'Oh, that's wonderful,' she said, 'That's where we can put the helicopter.'"


The royal couple also visited the farm of Colin and Michelle Anderson. "How on earth we got to this day, I do not know," Colin Anderson said.

"That's Charles and Camilla in our field," Michelle Anderson said, shaking her head in wonder as the two arrived.

"Have you turned on the weather specially?" the duchess said.

"I bet it was lovely coming across in the helicopter as well, was it?" Michelle Anderson said.

"Oh it was," the duchess replied. "We got the most amazing views."

"There was a story behind these two," Colin Anderson said, introducing the prince and his wife to two of his livestock. "The week that you two were getting married, these two were born, and the Aberdeen Angus Society told us that they had to begin with the letter C. So they are Charles and Camilla."


"It's really nice to meet people like that who appreciate what we are doing here, basically," Michelle Anderson said.

Reflecting on the trip, Prince Charles said, "I enjoy people, and meeting them and seeing what's going on, and finding out how they're managing, and what the, you know, the local situation is."

Life in the Public Eye

The younger members of the royal family also keep busy public schedules. At 6 a.m. one summer day in London, Prince William -- second in line to the throne behind Charles -- was on the move. He was en route to a homeless shelter, which he supports as a patron.

Prince William's celebrity means that he can raise large amounts for the charities he supports. This particular shelter is one of four charities in which Prince William is active, and his informal style is anything but regal.

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