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Channel 5 continue to unearth Secrets of the Royal Palaces

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Channel 5 continue to unearth Secrets of the Royal Palaces

Best on the Box, Saturday, February 12th…

Secrets of the Royal Palaces…

With exclusive access, Channel 5 unlocks the secrets of the eight most famous royal palaces: Windsor, Hampton Court, Versailles, Sandringham, Brighton Pavilion, Kensington, Buckingham and the lost Palace of Whitehall.

Historian Kate Williams tells scandalous and shocking stories of ancient palace history. And eyewitness accounts backed up by specialist historians, royal commentators and ex-royal staff members give us even more sumptuous interiors, secret tales and spectacular revelations.

Kensington Palace had always been a party palace, and a gap in the immediate line of succession made way for George I of Hanover. The new king set about refurbishing the palace for his enormous court, which was brimming with subliminal messages to beguile anyone against his rule and win a popularity contest with his son George. Young George won this battle when his father died, and his brilliant wife Queen Caroline made her mark on Hyde Park.

In 1967, Princess Margaret’s crumbling marriage became a public royal crisis. Trapped inside the walls of Kensington, she escaped to a tropical paradise with a younger lover, but they were not alone… Her official biographer Christopher Warwick gives the show a personal insight into Margaret’s world. And Channel 5 learn how meddling tabloids made this royal scandal even worse.

The christening of Princess Charlotte in 2015 was full of hidden homages to royals past. The programme shows how Prince William paid touching tribute to his late mother Diana in his choice of venue and name, and that Charlotte’s antique christening dress was secretly a tea-stained replica!

The royal collection is packed with secrets, but one hiding in plain sight is Charles Clay’s musical clock the ‘Temple of the Four Great Monarchies of the World’. This miniature temple pays tribute to the monarchies of antiquity but is also a surprise musical box that plays classical composers’ hits of the time. It lies in Kensington’s party room, a medieval jukebox ready to entertain.

Kate Williams looks at some of the more gruesome stories of the palaces, including Queen Mary’s phantom pregnancy and a misinformed sugar craze in Tudor England that resulted in some serious dental decay in the court of Elizabeth I. Secrets old and new, from the darkest history of the royal residences to modern day dilemmas and disasters — it’s all here in Secrets of the Royal Palaces.

Secrets of the Royal Palaces, Channel 5, 8.30 pm

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