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The Private Lives of the Monarchs   

Information
Series 1: 5x60 | HD | 2017
Production Company
Like A Shot Entertainment
Primary Broadcaster
UKTV / Viasat

Their iconic images, captured in famous portraits and paintings by celebrated artists, are part of the very fabric of national culture. In carefully-arranged poses, the Kings and Queens of history still look down upon us today - they are powerful symbols of bygone ages. Which is all well and good. But actually, they were just human beings, with the same ticks and foibles, bad habits and weaknesses, wants and needs as the rest of us. That’s what makes them interesting. Not so much the dates, the diplomacy, the politics or the acts and treaties; more the lovers, the personal traits, the everyday stuff.

Charles II may have looked a treat when having his portrait painted – but what was going on beneath the robes and the wigs? And Louis XIV, who supposedly a three-times-during-his life bather – so why build a Turkish bath at Versailles for his personal use? Who better to find out and tell us than Tracy Borman, joint Chief Curator of the Royal Palaces and the face of 2016’s The Private Lives of the Tudors.

 

King George III and the Prince Regent

"Mad" King George III and his son 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 Kings madness - a condition that has attracted recent fascinating theories. The suggestion that it was made much worse by almost inhuman treatment makes a sad story sadder.

King Louis XIV - The Sun King

What was the truth about the King?s very open "secret" second marriage to Francois D?Aubinge? No records, no announcements ? just a marriage that lasted 30 years. Tracy is going to discover some extraordinary facts ? such as Louis?s ownership of more than 1000 wigs and 400 beds. Upon his death, a post mortem revealed a stomach twice the size of an average tummy ? Tracy will explain exactly how he came by that.

Queen Victoria

If ever the image of a monarch was fixed in the public imagination, its that of Queen Victoria. She gave her name to an age not readily associated with fun and laughter. In this episode Tracy explores two of the most important relationships in her private life; the ones with her husband Prince Albert, with whom things may not have been quite as they seemed, and her eldest son Edward, whom she came to utterly despise.