Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History

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Published on 6th August 2017 by

Popular British Historian and author Lucy Worsley, who is the Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, presents a history of illness in the Royal Family and tells us how physical and mental illness has helped to shape the history of the nation. This 2013 mini-series consists of three one hour long episodes which each focus on a specific time period, we have all three episodes available to watch here on Documentary Vine.

Episode 1: Tudors to Stuarts: From Gods to Men

In the first episode Worsley explores the medical histories of the Tudor and Stuart dynasties, beginning with Henry VIII all the way up to the execution of Charles I, she also explores how the bodies of dead Royals were dealt with during this time.

Episode 2: Bad Blood: Stuarts to Hanoverians

In the second episode she explores the history of Royal Illness from the exile of James II to the rise of a new dynasty, the Hanoverians. Lucy covers the dehabilitating illnesses of William III, the psychological problems of Mary the childless queen, and the gynecological history of Queen Anne who suffered 12 miscarriages out of 17 pregnancies and saw no child live beyond 11.

Episode 3: Happy Families: Hanoverians to Windsors

The third and final episode covers the medical history of Queen Victoria and her descendants, beginning and ending with two events which challenged the survival of the crown. The first the sudden death of popular young heir to the throne Princess Charlotte in 1817 and the second the abdication of Edward VIII who chose love over the throne.

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