“Anyone doubting the power and value of the monarchy – especially under this sensational lady, Queen Elizabeth II only had to watch Channel Nine's program last Monday, “Windsor: The Queen's Castle,” to see how things are done; correctly and with great style and aplomb, “ wrote Keith Bales, of Bibra Lake, in Western Australia. His letter was published in the Sunday Telegraph, Australia’s highest circulating newspaper on 19 August 2007, under the appropriate headline, “With style and aplomb.” “This drives British tourism all over the globe,” he continued. “A pity more heads of state don't give such a proper and dedicated service to their people and never put a foot wrong. The Queen, and many members of the royal family, work tirelessly for their many charities, and should be given an award themselves for dedication and unrelenting work and contribution to public life.”
For an abridged version of a series readily available on DVD, a repeat broadcast put on with only a few days’ notice, The Queen's Castle still attracted 787,000 viewers. The final part will be shown nationally on Channel 9 at 730PM 27 August 2007. In the meantime, that programme with the tendentious title, “Prince Charles and Prince William: Royal Rivals or Father and Son?” attracted 837,000 viewers on the ABC on Thursday, 23 August, 2007 at 830PM. I imagine that on previous experience of ABC programmes repeated on a commercial network, had this been shown on 7, 9 or 10 and well promoted, the audience could have been over 1 million. I wonder what Daniel Ziffer from The Age or Ian Cuthbertson from The Australian would say to that? They may not personally care for programmes about royalty, but these programmes do rate well. The cost is no doubt small, so I would think that a commercial broadcaster, acting rationally, should be interested.
On Monday, 17 September, 2007 the Foxtel History Channel is broadcasting “Victoria Cross Heroes” at 730PM. Introduced by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, the producers state that this series is “the most comprehensive account of the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest gallantry medal ever created for heroes… it can be won by soldiers of any rank who perform some 'signal act of valour' in times of war. 1355 have been awarded to British and Commonwealth soldiers in battles ranging from the Crimea to the current war in Iraq.” A free to air broadcaster should really show this year’s Trooping the Colour, and later the church service and other events surrounding the 50th anniversary of The Queen’s wedding . No doubt such programmes will soon be accessible through the internet, so that if our broadcasters do not provide them people will go to the web. Encouraging the development of such a habit is not wise commercially, and in the case of the ABC, not helpful to the justification of its role as the national broadcaster.