November 26

Monarchy on Television



ABC TV is about to rebroadcast the series “Monarchy – The Crown Imperial.” This begins on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 at 9:20pm. I am indebted to Carolyn Cash for telling me this; Ms. Cash is the author of an excellent article on the Diamond Anniversary of the Royal Wedding which appeared in the Daily Telegraph, but which does not seem to be on the web.


The ABC also plans to show other programmes of interest to students of monarchy:

 ·       King And Emperor – 9:25pm Tuesday,  4 December 2007

·       The Shadow Of The King – 9:25pm Tuesday, 11 December 2007

·       The Stuart Succession – 9:25pm Tuesday, 18 December 2007

 ·       Cromwell The King Killer – 9:20pm Tuesday, 25 December 2007. 


But as Harold Scmauz says, why doesn’t the ABC, as the national broadcaster, transmit those great Royal occasions, such as Trooping the Colour, and the Diamond Anniversary Wedding Service.  Australia is a constitutional monarchy, and Her Majesty is Queen of Australia. The ABC is not empowered to change the Constitution that is for the people. German national TV shows such programmes, and Germnay is a Federal Republic. 


The series  “Monarchy – The Crown Imperial ” is not to be confused with the new BBC series “Monarchy – The Royal Family At Work” which began on  Monday in the United Kingdom on  BBB1 last Saturday at  8.30pm on24 November, 2007.  This new five part series was to have been known as “ A Year With The Queen.”

This is the controversial series which contained a fabricated scene concerning the world famous photographer Annie Leibovitz.  We reported this in our column of 14 July, 2007,”How did it happen, why was it so late?  BBC apology to The Queen.” 

Apparently, we will be able to see the sequence, in its proper order, in the first episode which includes preparations for a State Visit to the United States to mark the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown.The series to be rebroadcast in Australia, “Monarchy – The Crown Imperial ”  is presented by David Starkey – the man credited with making history top-rating entertainment.

 His epic journey through 1500 years of British rule begins not with the birth of the monarchy, but in 1485 when Henry VII was crowned King of England, and the Tudor dynasty established. Then follows the indulgent life of King Henry VIII, with his divorces and claims to religious leadership. Then comes the accession of his children, the child king and protestant  Edward VI, Catholic Mary I and then Elizabeth I who sought to place the Church of England between Rome and Geneva and to make England a key power in a Europe dominated by France and Spain.

 Dying unmarried in 1603, Elizabeth named King James VI of Scotland her heir thus bringing  a new dynasty – the Stuarts to England. Then, under the reign of Charles I, Parliament began to assert its claim to power leading to the Civil War and the dictatorship of the puritan Oliver Cromwell, who tried unsuccessfully to make the office of Lord Protector hereditary.  As the programme notes say, the series features more drama “than even Hollywood could dream up.” 

It says the first episode “delves into the tumultuous times” during the War of the Roses, with the demise of the Lancastrians and the rise to power of the House of York, brothers Edward IV, Richard, Duke of Gloucester and George, Duke of Clarence. But “greed and the overwhelming desire to be King” will be the brothers' undoing.

 When the only remaining Tudor heir, Henry VII returns to England after 15 years in exile, he has his sights on the English crown. After a bloody battle in 1485, the Tudor dynasty is established with Henry VII, King of England. But his reign was not to be without upheaval. 

 But to repeat and endorse he call by Harold Scmauz, why doesn’t the ABC also , as the national broadcaster, transmit those great Royal occasions, such as Trooping the Colour, and the Diamond Anniversary Wedding Service?   


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