Next Episode of Private Lives of the Monarchs is
Yesterday takes a trip back through time to examine the lives of some of the grandest and most notorious figures in British history. In carefully-arranged poses, the Kings and Queens of history still look down upon us today and are powerful symbols of bygone ages. Their iconic images, captured in famous portraits and paintings, are part of the very fabric of national culture.But what lay behind the pomp and ceremony, the crowns and the courts?Each one possessed the same foibles, bad habits and weaknesses as the rest of us. Historian Tracy Borman investigates the hidden histories of our monarchs, examining the very colourful private lives of Charles II, Queen Victoria, Louis IV, George III and the Prince Regent and Henry VIII.
Tracy reveals the story behind not one but two of history's most infamous private lives, which are forever intertwined - the tragic 'mad' King George III and his son, the Prince Regent. They could hardly have been more different as men and the two hated each other. Here, Tracy explores their fractious relationship, which was made worse by the King's 'madness' - a condition that has attracted recent fascinating theories. The suggestion that it was made much worse by his almost inhuman treatment makes a sad story sadder. This terrible father-and-son relationship dominated the life of the Prince Regent and eventually created one of England's most controversial Kings.
It's off to Paris then, where Tracy gets to hear about the private life the 'Sun King' - the man who believed that the rest of France revolved around him. She hears the truth about the Palace of Versailles - outwardly sumptuous and glorious, actually filthy and stinking. What were the real reasons for the King's love of clothes and perfumes and wigs? Tracy finds out. She also discovers more about King Louis' tangled love life, extravagant lifestyle and extraordinary vanity....
In this episode, Tracy is transported back to Reformation England and the decadent, licentious court of Charles II. The 'Merrie Monarch' let nothing get in the way of a good time and so Tracy is introduced to a world of mistresses, pimp-masters, secret tunnels, sumptuous feasts... and merkins. She also hears more about the King's favourite mistress Nell Gwynn - perhaps a little more than the simple orange seller-turned-actress of popular image.
And so finally, Tracy explores the private life of England's most famous monarch - the handsome, athletic prince who eventually became the archetypal tyrant king. But why and how did it happen? Tracy explains as she tells of Henry's turbulent romances and marriages, the less than glamorous but highly sought after job as Groom of the Stool and the king's journey into obese and foul-smelling old age. She also reveals that Anne of Cleves, Henry's fourth wife who was so cruelly labelled the 'Flanders Mare', might actually have been a rather attractive young lady - and that their marital problems were probably down to Henry.
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