字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 After getting up at 3 am this morning to ensure you reached the terminal on time, your head is banging and your body is crying out for a soft, welcoming bed. Instead, you'll have to settle for the hard, metal, and woefully uncomfortable seats found in the airport main lounge. Resigned to your fate, you head out of the taxi and begin the walk to the main entrance. As you look around idly, you lay your eyes on a huddle of serious-looking security guards in the distance. They're probably guiding those rich buggers to the safety of the business lounge, you think to yourself bitterly. You'd give anything to be sitting on a plush leather sofa and eating caviar right now, or whatever else it is they do there. You know you should carry on your way, but now you're curious about who the security guards are protecting. If you're lucky, you might get to see Elton John or David Beckham. Or maybe even a Saudi Prince. Someone who never has to put up with the sore-bottom-inducing chairs. As they come closer, you're surprised to see an entire family. There's one old lady, some younger adults in their thirties, and a few kids too. Who are they? Wait, no, it can't be. Is that...the Queen? At first, you refuse to believe it. But how many other old ladies go around wearing a yellow hat and a matching yellow wool coat? To the airport. Besides, you see that woman on your banknotes and your postage stamps every day. You're pretty sure it's either the Queen herself or another wealthy old woman whose fashion icon is the Queen. And that young man beside her looks an awful lot like Prince William. But before you can really get a good look at them, they're ushered stealthily through a door you never noticed in all the many times you've visited Heathrow. Weird. Is it some kind of secret room? You have to get in there to see for yourself. Maybe you could convince the security guards to let you pass. It's 5 in the morning, they're probably not as with it as they could be. And you're looking pretty dapper today — maybe you could pass for an acquaintance of royalty. So you go up to the doorman, who is wearing a butler hat and looks like he's just traveled forward in time from the Victorian era. Here goes nothing. “Good morning Sir. Can I see your pass please?” Doing your best to channel your inner Karen, you give him a disgusted look and say you don't have one as you hadn't been expecting to go inside. But as you just saw your cousins go in, you'd like to pass through so you can catch up with them. They could vouch for the fact that you know each other, but does he really want to upset the Queen? You're about to demand to speak to the manager, but before you get the chance, he asks for your name. “I'm the Duke of He-” You're about to say Heathrow before you stop yourself. Damn, it's too early for all this. “The Duke of Hertfordshire,” you finish confidently. The man seems confused and unsure of how to proceed, so you take the opportunity to barge past him and walk in as quickly as you can, hoping for the best and trying not to look behind you. Little did you know that what you would see that day would change your life forever. Nah, just kidding, but it was pretty cool. As soon as you walk in, it feels like you've entered a heavenly realm. So much light everywhere coming from all directions. It's easy to see why: above you, there's an ornate glass roof. Below your feet is a shiny floor polished to perfection that looks like it might be made from marble. The design of the place is simple and minimalistic, but the few items they have here are impressive. White sofas, Bonsai trees, and sculptures. Are you really still in one of the busiest airports in the world, or did you just enter an alternate dimension? All over the walls, there are huge, impressive canvases dotted. You're no art critic, but you can just tell these look expensive. Wait, is that an Andy Warhol piece? There are a few more of the Victorian-era-men carrying around platters. One of them approaches you and hands out the plate, which you look at excitedly, wondering what a hundred-dollar snack will look like. Except... it's just raisins. You look around at the other platters, and they contain similarly dull snacks — Pretzels, biscuits, chips. Why is a place good enough for the Queen to hang out in serving you raisins as a snack, as if you're a toddler who doesn't like fruit? What's wrong with them? Speaking of which, where did the Queen and her family go? It seems like you're in the main lounge, but it's empty. [perspective change] The Windsor Suites are a series of secret airport lounges tucked away in Heathrow Airport that were created for the use of the Royal Family. But if you've ever been to Heathrow, you probably won't have noticed them — that's why they're secret. The exact location of the suites is confidential, but we know they're behind a hidden, unmarked white door in the southern corner of Terminal Five. So, next time you go to hell on earth — oops, I mean Heathrow Airport — keep your eyes peeled for any bougie folk looking shady. However, you won't spot them from the main Airport lounge. There's a private security screening area inside the secret Suites, so anyone heading there can be discreetly dropped off outside — they don't need to walk through the airport, take the Heathrow train, or even lay their eyes on a member of the public. The Royals are constantly jetting around the world, whether they're cutting the tape to open a new pencil museum in Ecuador or attend a jazz festival in Australia. But despite having royal blood, they can't skip the inconvenient formalities of airports completely before boarding their private royal plane. So they have to compromise and settle for an over-the-top airport lounge with a top-secret entrance where they distance themselves from any interactions with the public. But don't get too bitter. The Queen needs space. She typically travels with a large entourage, of sometimes over 30 people. Amongst them is a royal artist with them — useful for when you stumble across a stunning view and need a quick oil painting. So, without the Windsor Suites, there would be more queuing time and fewer seats for people like me and you. We should really count ourselves lucky. Besides, you might be underwhelmed by some of the finer details of the secret suites… [perspective change] After you stop staring around you in a daze, you twig what's really going on here. This lounge is empty because all the guests are heading somewhere else. There must be somewhere even cooler to go. And it's probably best for you to get a move on anyway, in case the doorman has second thoughts about letting you pass. So you follow the raisin-bearing butler down a corridor full of more pieces of artwork that probably cost more than your house. After a while, a door appears, and he scuttles through it. You think about following him in, figuring he'd be unlikely to manhandle you in front of such sophisticated guests, but you didn't want the poor guy to get fired because of your curiosity. Instead, you decide to head into a different room. There's just one problem: the walls and door aren't made of glass, so you have no idea what lays behind them. The Queen herself? Kim Jong-un? Or just some well-connected C-lister? You haven't been this nervous to open a door since you turned up late to an assembly in school. Tentatively you pull open the door to find...an empty room. As much as you'd have liked to say you've met the Queen, it's a relief to know you won't be arrested. And at least you can take a proper poke around now. The lounge doesn't quite have the luxuries you expected it to. There's no jacuzzi, no stage for live cabaret performances, and no basketball court. But still, there's a kind of dignity to the place. It has an old-money feel. There are plywood and leather loungers and armchairs with cashmere cushions. Coffee tables made of glass and wood and luscious pot plants. The entertainment isn't much better than your local dentists, though. The magazine rack only contains two broadsheets and magazines by BMW and Polo magazine. There's also a television, but who watches television anymore, anyway? I mean, it's nice and everything. But why would you pay so much to come here when you could buy a few packets of Pretzels and raisins from the supermarket, eat them in the economy lounge, and watch videos on your phone? Or go to the business-class lounge for a full meal and spa treatment? There aren't even any shops here. But then again, maybe that's the point. The people who come here are so tastelessly rich that they can afford to spend thousands on something that doesn't even offer them much. Doesn't it just make you sick? [perspective change] The Windsor Suites aren't just for the Royals, although they were created primarily for them. The Foreign Commonwealth Office owns the lounge, and at first, they reserved the suites for foreign dignitaries, diplomats, and senior politicians. The Dalai Lama and Vladimir Putin have both been past guests. A few years ago, their doors opened to A-list celebrities too — Victoria Beckham was one of the first to make the cut, and Cheryl Cole followed. Now, even the public can get in. But not by fooling the ditsy doorman into thinking you have an obscure title. You can make a booking if you're willing to pay 2,250 pounds sterling, or almost 3,000 US dollars, just for the luxury of sitting your peasant ass there for a few hours. Or, if you want a transfer within a 25-mile radius, that will be 2,750 pounds. I don't even want to think about how much it would cost if you want to go further than 25 miles... Oh, and did I mention these are the prices excluding VAT? But it's a drop in the ocean compared to the vast sums this lot is spending on traveling. In 2018, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall spent a whopping £416,576 on an RAF voyager to Cuba and the Caribbean Islands. As soon as guests arrive, a baggage handler looks after their luggage and an official takes their passports to check. Shortly after, they'll be escorted to their own private suite by a bowler-hat-wearing doorman. That's right — no need to mingle with anyone else at all. There are eight separate suites, and each is reserved for a private party of up to 20 people. Once there, guests can look forward to being waited on hand and foot by their own private butler, who will bring them champagne or a selection of other wines. There's also a menu compiled by Jason Atherton, a chef behind various Michelin-star restaurants in London. That beats an overpriced Burger King. But don't get too overexcited, because most visitors to the Windsor Suits aren't there for a full-course meal. They're frequent flyers with simple tastes who want to travel on a light stomach. Typical canape dishes include cheese and onion crisps, Pretzels, and biscuits. But the advantage of the Windsor Suites isn't the food. It's about privacy and convenience. No more worrying about the hassle of checking in and reaching the gate on time. After officials take the passports upon arrival, they'll check them whilst guests wait in their private suite. Did you really think the Queen puts up with some border official eyeing her up like she's an animal? Plus, there's a personal flight liaison to deal with all the nasty customs and security stuff. This means there's no need to turn up super early, either. Most royals arrive at the airport only an hour in advance. Apparently, Prince Harry is notorious for only showing up at the last minute. What a naughty boy! When it's time for guests to board their plane, a BMW 7-Series drives them directly to the aircraft. Windsor Suite guests are always the last to board. So, if you ever happen to be sharing a plane with one of them, you'll probably never even realize. But as far as entertainment goes, all the Windsor Suites have to offer is a TV, WiFi, and a few magazines. There aren't even any shops inside — but if you fancy a spot of retail therapy, a private shopping experience can be arranged. Because no airport trip is complete without buying at least one Chanel bag, two pairs of Gucci shoes, and a jacket from Harrods. Right? [perspective change] You've flipped through the BMW magazine. You've switched on the TV. Now you're starting to worry that you'll miss your flight, because unlike some people you actually have to go through the security. Just as you leave the suite, you hear a voice behind you. “Excuse me, erm, Duke of Hertfordshire?” It's the damn doorman again. “The Queen is waiting for you…” Now go check out our videos about weird rules the Royal Family has to follow and why growing up as a Young Royal sucks.