Monarchy (TV series)

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For the BBC documentary, see Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work.

Monarchy is a Channel 4 British TV series, 2004-2006, by British academic David Starkey, charting the political and ideological history of the English monarchy from the Saxon period to modern times. The show also aired on PBS stations throughout the United States, courtesy of PBS-member station WNET. In Australia, all four seasons were broadcast on ABC1 from May 2005 onwards.

Series 1[edit]

1. A Nation State: Dark Ages how Alfred the Great stood against the Viking invasion, which led to the creation of England.

2. Ængla Land: The rise of the Anglo-Saxons, the wars against the Vikings and the victory over King Harold by the Norman Duke William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.

3. Conquest: Following the Battle of Hastings and subsequent Norman Conquest. This covers a tumultuous time in English history, which saw murders and eventually, civil war. The story of all of the English monarchs of the House of Normandy.

4. Dynasty: The reign of the Angevins Henry II of England, and his conflict with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, the corrupted reign of King John and the long struggled reign of Henry III.

5. A United Kingdom: The reigns of three Edwards: Edward I, and his attempt at a United Kingdom, how his son Edward II almost lost it all, but restored by Edward III, grandson of Edward I.

6. Death of a Dynasty: Follows the reigns made famous by Shakespeare; Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI. A time of civil unrest and doubt in monarchy itself.

Series 2[edit]

1. The Crown Imperial: The Wars of the Roses and the birth of the Tudors.

2. King and Emperor: The reign of Henry VIII, his divorces and resulting dissociation with Rome, which led to the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

3. The Shadow of the King: Following the death of Henry VIII and the Act of Succession of 1543, which allowed all three of his children to rule. Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

4. The Stuart Succession: With the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the English royalty was at its zenith. Scotland and England became united under the Stuart King James I (VI of Scotland), but his son Charles I within a generation would throw the country into civil war.

5. Cromwell The King Killer: 1644, the English Civil War was at its height and monarchy - indisputable before the war - was under threat.

Series 3[edit]

1. The Return of the King (13 November 2006): Starting in 1660 with the return from exile of King Charles II. By aligning his throne with Catholic France and Protestant Parliament, Charles's reign restored the authority of the English crown and laid the foundation of the world's first modern state.

2. The Glorious Revolution (20 November 2006): Looking at the "Bloodless Revolution" of 1688, the Parliament-devised plot to overthrow England's last Roman Catholic King, James II, and replace him with his Dutch Protestant son-in-law William of Orange.

3. Rule Britannia (27 November 2006): In just 25 years after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, England was transformed from an insignificant minor state to become part of the greatest power in Europe: Great Britain.

4. Empire (4 December 2006): In 1714, an obscure German Prince was crowned King George I of Great Britain, signalling the beginning of a new political era that saw the rise of the new role of Prime Minister, and established the pattern of political modernity we are familiar with today.

5. Survival (11 December 2006): When, in 1789, the Bastille prison in Paris was stormed and the French Revolution began, few in Britain - least of all King George III, who was recovering from one of his bouts of madness - thought that it would lead to a cataclysmic war with France.

Series 4[edit]

1. The House of Windsor (26 December 2007): Death of Queen Victoria, to present day. Speculation on the path of King Charles III or King George VII. This single extended episode completes the series.

External links[edit]