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The Real Versailles

Lucy Worsley and Helen Castor tell the real-life stories behind one of the world's grandest buildings, revealing the Machiavellian world that Louis XIV created and inhabited.

As BBC Two premieres its lavish new period drama set in the sumptuous surroundings of Versailles, Lucy Worsley and Helen Castor tell the real-life stories behind one of the world's grandest buildings. They reveal in vivid detail the colourful world of sex, drama and intrigue that Louis XIV and his courtiers inhabited.

As chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces, Lucy Worsley untangles Louis XIV's complex world of court etiquette, fashion and feasting, while court politics expert Helen Castor delves into the archives and unpicks the Machiavellian world that Louis created.

Our historians meet the real people behind the on-screen characters. They discover what drove Louis XIV to glorify his reign on a scale unmatched by any previous monarch, examine the tension between Louis and his only brother Philippe, an overt homosexual and battle hero, and they meet the coterie of women who competed for Louis's attention.

As Lucy and Helen show, Louis XIV was ruthless in his pursuit of glory and succeeded in defeating his enemies. In his record-breaking 72-year reign, France became renowned for its culture and sophistication.

58 minutes

Last on

Thu 15 Nov 2018 20:00

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Lucy Worsley
Presenter Helen Castor
Participant James Daybell
Participant Mark Wallis
Executive Producer Eamon Hardy
Producer Rosie Schellenberg
Director Rosie Schellenberg

Broadcasts

  • Mon 30 May 2016 22:30
  • Wed 1 Jun 2016 23:15
  • Wed 1 Jun 2016 23:45
  • Thu 16 Jun 2016 03:45
  • Thu 15 Nov 2018 20:00

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Versailles

Versailles

Watch the new sumptuous drama series