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The awkward fit between humanity and royalty obsessed Shakespeare. Simon Schama’s Shakespeare I, BBC 2012
What happens when a human animal breaks through the mask of royalty? Simon Schama’s Shakespeare II: Hollow Crowns
He probed deeper into the royal mind than anyone before or since. ibid.
The ultimate drama queen – Elizabeth I. ibid.
Shakespeare could see the ageing queen up close. ibid.
The stirring patriotic anthem which Shakespeare gives us in Henry V is lodged so deep in our memory ... A true portrait of a king. ibid.
In February 1601 Shakespeare’s Richard II was playing at the Globe. If Shakespeare had given us a portrait of a strong king in Henry V, then in Richard II we get something quite different. Richard is arrogant, self-obsessed. ibid.
Is it ever justifiable to overthrow the king? ibid.
Shakespeare lived in an age when writing was a dangerous game. Christopher Marlowe was murdered. Thomas Kyd was tortured. Ed Johnson was thrown into jail. ibid.
At James’s coronation he was dressed resplendently. ibid.
The King’s Men performed at court. Shakespeare was now much closer to the throne. ibid.
Where else had they spent their honeymoon but Elsinore Castle. ibid.
Claudius acts like the rightful king. He acts like a devoted husband. ibid.
On 4th November 1605 36 barrels of gunpowder were discovered beneath the House of Lords. The plotters were Catholic militants. ibid.
In the early 1590s more than a hundred Scottish witches had gone on trial. ibid.
Macbeth and his wife lust for the throne ... His manhood is at stake ... ‘Screw thy courage to the sticking place’ [Lady Macbeth]. ibid.
Madness. Insomnia. Suicide. ibid.
What Shakespeare is obsessed with is the tension between humanity and the delusions of majesty. ibid.
There are many shocking things in Lear: the eye-gouging the most heartbreaking ending in all of Shakespeare. ibid.
Lear: He is on the torturing road to understanding. But the man who must help him on his journey is his Fool. Once again Shakespeare dares to make comparisons. ibid.
The Fool is merciless. ibid.
Shakespeare reveals our common humanity ... The equality of suffering. ibid.
What do we have for royalty? A mad Kraut sausage-sucker and a son who can’t keep his own sausage to himself. Blackadder III: Duel & Duality, BBC 1987
Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to royalty you should lay it on with a trowel. Benjamin Disraeli to Matthew Arnold
Royalty is completely different than celebrity. Royalty has a magic all its own. Philip Treacy
You can’t treat royalty like people with normal perverted desires. Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
We have to be more royal than royalty itself or nobody will believe us. Philippa Gregory, The White Queen
Four centuries ago the law itself would be put on the rack. At one end was the king’s law and at the other the common law. Which system would win and which would snap? For over a decade parliament’s doors were locked. The king ruled alone and supreme. The Strange Case of the Law II: The Story of English Justice: The Pursuit of Liberty BBC 2012
The extraordinary life of Princess Alice, the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother and the Queen’s mother-in-law is one of the best kept secrets in Royal history. Born in Windsor castle, she begins life as a privileged royal. But from the start, Alice is no ordinary princess. She was deaf. She served as a nurse on the front line. She goes on to face huge personal challenges and is committed to an asylum. But she would overcome these struggles to help those in need. Princess Alice: The Royals’ Greatest Secret, Channel 5 2020
Reporting of Alice’s death is minimal; it makes just the fourth item in the night’s news. ibid.
The Greek monarchy is not a stable one. Greece had only existed as a county in its own right for seventy years following the break-up of the Ottoman empire. ibid.
Out of the latest tragedy Princess Alice emerges with a renewed sense of purpose. But her return home to Greece throws up another test: one that takes her into a clandestine battle with the Nazis. ibid.
We were one large extended crown that my grandmother, Queen Victoria, called the Royal Mob. We ruled the great empires of Europe from Russia in the east to Britain in the west. The Royal Mob ***** History 2022
These cracks would eventually grow into chasms of discontent. Burning hatred would whip our family apart and lead to the most murderous conflict the world had ever known. ibid.
Hesse sisters: Irene, Victoria, Ella and Alix … Princess Victoria married Prince Louie of Battenberg … Every one of these sisters would marry into a great dynasty. ibid.
Cousin Willy, now Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who was determined to prove that his grandmother and mother had been plotting against him … With cousin Willy now in charge we all have more to fear. The Royal Mob II: All Hail the Prince of Wales
Uncle Bertie at this point is married to Alexandra who is a Danish princess. He is heir to the throne of Britain but Queen Victoria refuses to give him any responsibility whatsoever. ibid.
‘Britain’s greatest rival in world power was in fact Russia. Alix is the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, so the marriage would bring British and Russian courts together.’ ibid. Simon Sebag Montefiore
‘This year you could sense there was something more in the air between my uncle [Bertie] and cousin [Willie].’ The Royal Mob III: The Day We’d Always Dreaded, granddaughter
‘The Diamond Jubilee is a vast glittering statement designed to demonstrate Britain’s moral right to the world. ibid. Emma Dabiri
Yet somehow we found ourselves on different sides of the most murderous conflict the world had ever known. The Royal Mob IV
‘World War I: A tragedy of misunderstandings and missed conceptions … They believed that war could rejuvenate their decadent empires.’ ibid. Montefiore
I never dreamt that that was the last time we would see each other. ibid. Victoria Hesse’s commentary
The news that Nikki, Alix and the children were prisoners in their own palace was truly shocking. ibid.
On August 4th 1914 Britain went to war against an old friend and traditional ally ... How it is that Britain came to fight alongside Russia against Germany is one of the great puzzles of the twentieth century. The explanation lies in part in the eccentricities and foibles of a single family. Royal Cousins at War I, BBC 2014
European diplomacy was also a domestic drama. ibid.
It was nothing less than a battle for the soul of the future Germany – a heavy burden to place on the shoulders of a seventeen-year-old girl [Vicky]. ibid.
Berlin: the wedding of the German Kaiser’s only daughter, Victoria Louisa. Kaiser Wilhelm was filmed with his cousin King George V of Britain. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, another cousin, was also a guest. Royal Cousins at War II
The modern age hovered like a spectre at the feast. ibid.
Europe’s three royal cousins would never meet again. ibid.
It was the Germans who now felt isolated. ibid.
The two monarchs signed a military alliance between German and Russia. ibid.
Very ordinary men steamrollered by history. ibid.
Never again would the peace of Europe hinge on the eccentricities of individuals selected by the lottery of birth. ibid.
When the First World War broke out in 1914 a royal family turned on itself. Germany’s leader, Kaiser Wilhelm II, was Queen Victoria’s grandson. Queen Victoria and the Crippled Kaiser – Secret History, Channel 4 2013
A terrified little boy with a secret disability thought shameful at the time. A child subjected to gruesome torture in the name of science and troubled by dark incestuous desires. ibid.