The BBC have recently broadcast the first of three episodes of a series entitled "Fit to Rule". This purports to consider whether British Monarchs, from Henry Tudor onwards, were capable of exercising the functions of the Crown.
However, its stated aim was to consider this with regard to their physical and psychological state. It became apparent that this was to be reduced to a matter of sex and sexuality. In a world deluded by the bestial Kinsey and the American sex-industry, this causes little surprise. However, even as a working hypothesis, it inspired little confidence.
The presenter assured her viewers that Henry VIII was driven by the "noble" desire to secure the male-succession of the throne stolen by his wretched father.
No mention was made that in marrying Catherine of Aragon, he bedded his elder brother's widow. In his better moments this caused even Henry to worry. The programme was most concerned about the state and vitality of his genitalia. The audience was treated to Peter Jones of King's College Cambridge relating the quack remedies of Dr. John Argentine to enhance the royal potency. (Why was he interviewed in the junk-room at Hampton Court, looking like a displaced double-glazing salesman?)
Bloody Mary was given the revisionist touch. Poor woman having to cope with her phantom preganancies, whilst the beastly Protestants insisted on throwing themselves into the fire! The "expert" on Mary was interviewed sitting with the presenter on Queen's bed at Hampton Court. The pair looked like refugees from St. Trinians.
James Stuart's sodomy was dealt with in some detail by Diarmid McCulloch, who painted a seedy picture of life in a Scottish court. But why was it not mentioned that McCullcoh is himself a prominent homosexual? Can only perverts speak authoratively about perverts?
The evidence concerning Charles I's weak legs was the production of a pair of "support" bootsbelieved to have been made for him. Similarly, a shirt was reverently uncovered, which wasthought to have been worn by Charles on the day of his beheading. If it had been, then I'd love to know the name of the laundry! There was not a drop of blood on it.
The whole programme reduced kingship to a very basic level. Gone were the concerns of conscience, the religious, revolution caused by the Bible appearing in English. The entire Reformation was reduced to Henry VIII's cod-piece.
Most annoying was the presenter Lucy Worsley, who was on screen for 80% of the time. She is the curator of the Royal Palaces, including Hampton Court. The production company, Silver River, must have found this very convenient, since many scenes were shot in that Palace. When Chat Noir filmed our DVD of Middleham and Conwy Castles, they had to pay hundreds of pounds for the privilege to English Heritage and CADW. I wonder if the same was true of this production?
Worsley is the most annoying presenter inflicted on the public in a long time. Her head twitches and jerks like a rabbit sniffing the air. She cannot pronounce the letter "r" to save her life. Yet she is deemed suitable to front this her third TV series.
The great Victorian preacher Charles Spurgeon advised her students that no man was fit for public teaching in the Church with such impediments for the simple reason that it detracts from them message.
How right he was!
Having endured this first episode, I shall not watch the sequels in a series which is not fit to be broadcast.
If you're looking for an interesting read discussing the changes in Monarchy, I have just finished Leanda de Lisle's absorbing book After Elizabeth. It deals with the transition from Elizabeth to James in great detail, the building of the Gloriana myth as James repelled his people.