New Three-Part Series Hosted by the Popular British Historian Premieres
During PBS’s Summer TRAILBLAZERS Programming Slate
Celebrating Women Who Changed the Course of History
ARLINGTON, VA; May 14, 2020 – Rediscover the true stories behind three of history’s most remarkable queens—Elizabeth I, Queen Anne and Marie Antoinette and their roles in historical events. LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS & SECRETS premieres Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET, June 21–July 5, (check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video App.
In the three-episode, three-hour miniseries, Lucy Worsley, chief curator of the Historic Royal Palaces, travels across Britain and Europe visiting the incredible locations—beautiful palaces, castles and dramatic battlefields—where royal history was made. Throughout, Worsley investigates how royal history is a mixture of facts, exaggeration, manipulation and mythology. Notable women and their roles in historical events are featured: Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada, Queen Anne and the Formation of Great Britain, and Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution.
These three women helped forge the Europe we know today, but Worsley explains how their stories are riddled with inaccuracies. Was Elizabeth I’s defeat of the Spanish Armada really a David and Goliath triumph, or is that one of England’s greatest myths? How did rumors about Queen Anne’s love life and physical weaknesses overshadow her role in forging Great Britain? Did Marie Antoinette actually say “Let them eat cake!” and ignite the French Revolution?
Worsley reveals how history is thought of as a definitive truth about the past, but is often misrepresented through rumor, speculation and sometimes outright lies. “History is a chorus of voices, each of them shouting out its own version of the story,” Worsley observes in the series. “Very often, it’s the loudest voices that get heard most clearly.”
Episode 1: “Elizabeth I: The Warrior Queen (w.t.)”
Premieres Sunday, June 21, 8:00–9:00 p.m. ET
Description: Lucy Worsley reveals how the image of Elizabeth I as a Warrior Queen was created by a series of myths and secrets about her victory over the infamous Spanish Armada. She explores how Elizabeth I's iconic image has shaped British national identity for centuries.
Produced & Directed by Laura Blount
Executive Producer: Chris Granlund
Episode 2: “Queen Anne: The Mother of Great Britain”
Premieres Sunday, June 28, 8:00–9:00 p.m. ET
Description: Lucy Worsley investigates why Queen Anne’s powerful role in the forging of Great Britain has often been forgotten. This is the inside story of the salacious gossip about Anne’s love life that helped destroy her image and her legacy.
Produced & Directed by Tom Cholmondeley
Executive Producer: Chris Granlund
Episode 3: “Marie Antoinette: The Doomed Queen (w.t.)”
Premieres Sunday, July 5, 8:00–9:00 p.m. ET
Description: Lucy Worsley finds out why Marie Antoinette is often blamed for causing the French Revolution by saying ’Let them eat cake’ to her starving subjects. She discovers that the doomed Queen was much more than a passive victim and uncovers the myths and secrets that led her to the guillotine.
Produced & Directed by Andrew Thompson
Executive Producer: Chris Granlund
The host of several popular PBS specials, including A VERY BRITISH ROMANCE WITH LUCY WORSLEY, 12 DAYS OF TUDOR CHRISTMAS, VICTORIA & ALBERT: THE WEDDING, TALES FROM THE ROYAL BEDCHAMBER and more, Lucy Worsley is a royal historian, TV host, chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces (the charity which looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and other historic places) and author of numerous books, including Queen Victoria, Jane Austen at Home, Eliza Rose, A Very British Murder and more.
LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS & SECRETS will be available to stream starting June 21 and be available on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members will be available to view all episodes via PBS Passport (contact your local PBS station for details). For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.
LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS & SECRETS is produced by the BBC, with funding for the PBS presentation provided by public television viewers. The executive producer is Chris Granlund.
For more information on LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS & SECRETS, visit www.pbs.org. Viewers are also encouraged to engage in online conversation about the TRAILBLAZERS summer slate by tagging @PBS and using #TrailblazersPBS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About PBS TRAILBLAZERS
In the summer of 2020, PBS is celebrating the women’s vote centennial with a slate of multiplatform content honoring and commemorating U.S. women’s suffrage, the feminist movement and modern-day changemakers. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Vote” tells the story of the campaign to grant women the right to vote, a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history. AMERICAN MASTERS“Unladylike2020” is a multimedia series featuring courageous, little-known and diverse female trailblazers from the turn of the 20th century. “And She Could Be Next,” a POV miniseries, follows women of color as political candidates and organizers who seek to expand the electorate, asking whether democracy itself can be preserved — and made stronger — by those most marginalized. And a two-part FIRING LINE WITH MARGARET HOOVER special documents what motivated several conservative women to run for office. Two fan-favorite PBS series will salute female changemakers: AMERICAN MASTERS with “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” and “Mae West: Dirty Blonde;” and GREAT PERFORMANCES with “Gloria: A Life,” about Gloria Steinem, and “Ann,” about Texas governor Ann Richards. ANTIQUES ROADSHOW spotlights outstanding contributions from female athletes, artists, activists and more in the all-new special “Women’s Work.” The lineup also features two new miniseries: PREHISTORIC ROAD TRIP, hosted by the Field Museum’s Emily Graslie, who embarks on an epic adventure through America’s fossil country; and BBC co-production LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS & SECRETS, who investigates notable women and their roles in historical events.
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For images and additional up-to-date information on LUCY WORSLEY’S ROYAL MYTHS & SECRETS and other PBS programs, visit PBS PressRoom at pbs.org/pressroom.