18 votes


Channel 4 2004

Monarchy is a Channel 4 British TV series, 2004-2007, by British academic David Starkey, charting the political and ideological history of the English monarchy (later British), from the Saxon period to modern times. The show also aired on PBS stations throughout the United States, courtesy of the television station WNET.

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The 10 Best Episodes of Monarchy

#1 - King and Emperor


Season 2 - Episode 2

The historian examines the reign of King Henry VIII, who inherited the throne at the age of 17 and became overwhelmed by a desire for fame. In his search for love and the need for an heir, he divorced his wife Catherine of Aragon to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn - severing England's allegiance to the Pope in Rome and giving him powers no English king had ever exercised before

The episode was rated from 5 votes.

#2 - Survival


Season 3 - Episode 5

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.

The episode was rated from 4 votes.

#3 - Dynasty


Season 1 - Episode 4

In this stirring program, Dr David Starkey profiles a mediaeval superstar, King Henry II of England, whose dominion stretched from the moors of Scotland to the foothills of the Pyrenees, including more than half of modern France. And he tells some of the most dramatic and significant stories of English history: the bitter tale of King Henry's conflict with Archbishop Thomas Becket, which ended in Becket's murder; the struggle for the nation's liberties in Magna Carta; and the beginnings of the modern parliamentary system.

The episode was rated from 5 votes.

#4 - The Glorious Revolution


Season 3 - Episode 2

Looks at the events of 1688 and its aftermath, when the unpopular Roman Catholic King James II was overthrown and his replacement with the protestant Stuart Mary and her husband William of Orange. Considers how the consequences of this was a curtailing of royal power and the basis for the constitutional monarchy and relation with parliament that exists in Britain to this day.

The episode was rated from 2 votes.

#5 - Rule Britannia


Season 3 - Episode 3

Looks at the end of the reign of William and Mary, and the changing relationship between Crown and Parliament, and that of Anne and the union with Scotland in 1707 which saw the emergence of Great Britain and how it grew in power.

The episode was rated from 2 votes.

#6 - Empire
Season 3 - Episode 4

Looks at the selection and crowning of George I as British monarch in 1714, and the events of his reign and also those of George II and George III. Considers how the breakdown in the relationship between the prime minister William Pitt and George III led to the American War of Independence and the loss of the US colonies.

The episode was rated from 2 votes.
#7 - Death of a Dynasty
Season 1 - Episode 6

In this final episode, Dr. Starkey takes up the story of Shakespeare's kings: Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI. It starts with the usurpation and murder of Richard II and ends in a bloody civil war in which the English royal house tears itself apart. The last medieval kings see the institution of the monarchy reach a crisis point in which its future seems far from certain.

The episode was rated from 3 votes.
#8 - The Stuart Succession
Season 2 - Episode 4

he historian examines the reign of James I, the first king of both England and Scotland. From the outset, the new monarch had little time for Parliament and did what he could to limit its influence. His son Charles I went further, effectively removing the government and ruling alone - but when he needed their help to enforce religious rule on the Scots, the resulting conflict led to two civil wars and the monarch was eventually executed

The episode was rated from 3 votes.
#9 - Cromwell The King Killer
Season 2 - Episode 5

The series concludes with an analysis of the English Civil War, revealing how the country was temporarily transformed into a republic with the execution of Charles I. The historian considers the nature of Oliver Cromwell's rule and how this key period of history altered British perceptions of the monarchy for ever

The episode was rated from 3 votes.
#10 - The Shadow of the King
Season 2 - Episode 3

The historian examines the reigns of Henry VIII's three children, revealing how the king's advice to pursue moderation in matters of religion fell on deaf ears as his son Edward enforced extreme Protestantism on the country, only for eldest daughter Mary to reimpose Catholicism after his death. Elizabeth I initially embraced her father's words, but when Mary Queen of Scots arrived in England, religious tensions rose again

The episode was rated from 4 votes.

Last updated: oct 09, 2020

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