Currently Watching: Monarchy

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Monarchy

Synopsis: The English Crown is one of the oldest surviving governing bodies in the world. Hosted by the erudite, energetic Dr. David Starkey (The Six Wives of Henry VIII), this series tells the epic and bloody stories of Britain’s kings and queens from the Saxon era (Alfred the Great) to the early 20th century (Victoria).

Season year: 2004

Season 1 episodes include:

  • “A Nation State” – The unique idea of a monarch who is answerable to the people has its roots in early Anglo-Saxon kings such as Alfred the Great, the intellectual warrior who united England.
  • “Aengla Land” –  After decades of pounding by Danish invaders intent on “shock and awe,” England survives and thrives–but faces a true crisis after Edward the Confessor’s death.
  • “Conquest” – With a mere 7,000 soldiers, William of Normandy conquers and brutally subjugates a nation of two million, changing England’s culture, social structure, and politics forever.
  • “Dynasty” – harismatic and hot-tempered, Henry II restores order to his realm by law and by the sword. Later in his line, the Magna Carta curbs and codifies royal power.
  • “A United Kingdom” – During “the century of Edwards,” the Hammer of the Scots boldly extends his rule over neighboring kingdoms, Edward II loses the crown as a captive of his passions, and Edward III styles himself as a new King Arthur.
  • “Death of a Dynasty” – In a kingly conflict dramatized and embellished by Shakespeare, Richard II and his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, vie for the throne and begin a decades-long struggle that threatens the very basis of the English monarchy.

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