The Real Versailles

Lucy Worsley untangles Louis XIV’s complex world of court etiquette, fashion and feasting, while court politics expert Helen Castor delves into the archives and unpicks the Machiavellian world that Louis created.

They reveal in vivid detail the colourful world of sex, drama and intrigue that Louis XIV and his courtiers inhabited.

As chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces, Lucy Worsley untangles Louis XIV’s complex world of court etiquette, fashion and feasting, while court politics expert Helen Castor delves into the archives and unpicks the Machiavellian world that Louis created.

Our historians meet the real people behind the on-screen characters. They discover what drove Louis XIV to glorify his reign on a scale unmatched by any previous monarch, examine the tension between Louis and his only brother Philippe, an overt homosexual and battle hero, and they meet the coterie of women who competed for Louis’s attention.

As Lucy and Helen show, Louis XIV was ruthless in his pursuit of glory and succeeded in defeating his enemies. In his record-breaking 72-year reign, France became renowned for its culture and sophistication.

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The Real Versailles
  • Info
  • Release date2016
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Rosie Schellenberg