SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please considering donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!


A Week in Royal History

Royal history has a habit of making the headlines and tales from the past can still match for excitement and interest anything that the present can produce. From Tudor discoveries to Georgian reunions, the past week has had plenty of treats for history fans. Royal Central rounds up some of the biggest stories from the world of royal history this week.

The Royals Go To Brighton

The Queen began the always annoying process of clearing out her home for the builders this week as renovation work on Buckingham Palace is set to get under way. But while Her Majesty won’t be moving out until 2025, some of the palace’s regal artworks have already left the building. Thousands of pictures, ornaments and sculptures will have to be rehoused during the renovations and around 150 pieces are being sent back to the Brighton Pavilion where they were originally displayed. The artwork and furniture will go on display at the pleasure dome of the Prince Regent from 2019 and will remain on loan for three years.

A Tudor Discovery

It’s been made famous in the 21st century by a book and a TV series and now the real Wolf Hall, where Henry VIII wooed his third wife, Jane Seymour, while still married to queen number two, Anne Boleyn, has been found in Wiltshire. The Tudor house disappeared in the 16th century, but its remains have been found in the grounds of the Wolf Hall Manor which was built on the site.

Wolf Hall was constructed in the early 1530s by the unimaginably ambitious Seymour family, and Henry VIII visited in 1535, beginning a flirtation with Jane which would lead them to the altar and Anne to the executioner’s scaffold. The house disappeared in the 1570s by which time the Seymours had also fallen from power. Archaeologists were invited to dig by the Binney family who owns Wolf Hall Manor following the huge interest in the area brought about by Hilary Mantel’s novels and the TV adaptations, starring Claire Foy and Damien Lewis.

On With Her Head for A Tudor Queen

The head of another Tudor queen, Elizabeth I, was grabbing headlines this week when an animatronic version of it went on display in London. Artist Matt Collishaw created the model with the help of effects designers to show what the Virgin Queen would really have looked like at the time one of the most famous ever paintings of her was created. The ‘Armada Portrait’ has long been one of the best known depictions of Elizabeth, a PR supremo who controlled her image to an unprecedented degree. Collishaw’s version shows her at the same time, when Elizabeth was 55 and had ruled England for 30 years. It will sit opposite the Armada Portrait at the Royal Museums Greenwich.

Marie Antoinette’s Jewels Sparkle Again

Her name was a byword for luxury, and her love of the good life helped lead to her downfall. And now some of the most famous jewels belonging to Marie Antoinette have gone on display ahead of an auction in the coming weeks. Among the gems belonging to the tragic French queen are a pair of pearl drop earrings, a necklace containing over 100 pearls and a natural pearl and diamond pendant.  They are going on display in Dubai this week (7th – 9th October) before they are auctioned in Geneva on November 14th.

Teasers and Trailers

With a whole host of royal themed drama to look forward to in the coming months, the teasers and trailers section is starting to look like a GCSE history paper brought to life with extra lipgloss. With just weeks to go until the release of The Favourite, the drama set at the court of Queen Anne, one of its stars has spoken of her surprise at just how racy royal history can be. Oscar winner Emma Stone said of Britain’s regal past ‘’there were certainly things going on…that were violent and sexual’’. Absolutely.

Fans of the ITV series, Victoria, got a taster of what to expect from Series 3 as the programme’s official Twitter account shared the first image from the new run. Victoria (Jenna Colman) and Albert (Tom Hughes) are seen looking somewhat pensive alongside a caption talking of ‘’turbulent times’’ ahead. The new series is set from 1848 onwards and is expected to air in the first weeks of 2019.

And there was another tease of what to expect from the upcoming Mary, Queen of Scots, who will be brought to life on the big screen this winter by Saoirse Ryan. In a new trailer, we see Mary returning to Scotland from France to begin her personal reign and the sizzling and bubbling enmity with her cousin, Elizabeth I (played by Margot Robbie). It’s released in the UK in January but hits film theatres in the US on December 7th meaning it will make the cut off point for awards season. Did somebody say Oscars?

That’s your royal history round-up for this week, more soon.  

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.