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Secrets of Royal Travel to premiere on PBS this November


Michael Kieloch/CC BY-SA 3.0

With The Queen alone having racked up more than one million air miles over the years, The Royal Family is the most well-travelled monarchy in history. Now a new documentary series is taking viewers behind the scenes to see what it’s really like to travel in royal style.

The two-part series, Secrets of Royal Travel, will premiere on PBS in the United States on 15 November at 10 p.m. EST and promises “a treasure trove of remarkable archival footage and interviews from the staff who drove the trains and flew the planes, as well as from those who cared for the Queen and her family in transit, offering a rare look into a world often hidden from public view.”

The first episode, titled Secrets of the Royal Train, explores the history of the famous locomotive, tracing it back to 1869 and Queen Victoria’s extravagant gold-painted railway cars (with the first-ever onboard toilet!) to the modern version of the train, presented to The Queen for her 1977 Silver Jubilee.

Royal fans will be welcomed aboard the Royal Train with exclusive access to a form of transportation seen by very few people. The programme will explore the transformation of the train from a lavish, satin-and-silk draped palace on wheels to today’s more functional, simple decor.

On Sunday, 22 November, Secrets of the Royal Flight will give viewers an inside look at what it’s like to fly with the Royal Family.

“From a young Queen jetting around the globe for the very first time to the next generation taking the Windsor brand worldwide, this episode uncovers how plane travel defines a family constantly on the move,” according to PBS.

The Queen’s Flight was disbanded in 1995, and today’s royals often travel commercially or by private plane, but royal watchers will be treated to a glimpse at what it was like during the heydey of royal air travel. Interviews with the onboard team will reveal secrets from what it was like dealing with corgis in the sky to preparing The Queen’s food or managing 12 tons of luggage on the 1953 Commonwealth Tour.

The trailer for Secrets of Royal Travel is available on YouTube and the show will appear on all PBS stations as well as streaming on PBS.org and the PBS Video App.

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.