Let historian Lucy Worsley take you on a journey through royal history.

By Caroline Rogers
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Hampton Court Palace
Credit: Doug Armand/Getty Images

Ever wonder about the stories behind the names you learned in history class? A new series seeks to separate fact from fiction while delving into the lives of three of Europe’s most memorable queens. Hosted by historian Dr. Lucy Worsley, the series is Lucy Worsley's Royal Myths and Secrets, and it’s being presented as part of the PBS Summer Trailblazers programming series, which aims to celebrate women who left their mark on the history books.

The three-part series will explore the stories behind the reigns of Elizabeth I, Queen Anne, and Marie Antoinette. Worsley, a British historian, author, and television presenter, is currently the chief curator at England’s Historic Royal Palaces, and she can be seen on numerous BBC television programs. In this series, she takes viewers back in time while shedding new light on the names we may think we already know well.

According to PBS, Worsley “travels across Britain and Europe visiting the incredible locations—beautiful palaces, castles and dramatic battlefields—where royal history was made. Throughout, Worsley investigates how royal history is a mixture of facts, exaggeration, manipulation and mythology. Notable women and their roles in historical events are featured: Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada, Queen Anne and the Formation of Great Britain, and Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution.” Did Marie Antoinette actually say, “Let them eat cake,” lighting the revolutionary match that would eventually take her life? Tune in to find out.

Throughout, Worsley casts a critical eye on history and the filters through which it reaches us today. PBS explains, “Worsley reveals how history is thought of as a definitive truth about the past, but is often misrepresented through rumor, speculation and sometimes outright lies. ‘History is a chorus of voices, each of them shouting out its own version of the story,’ Worsley observes in the series. ‘Very often, it’s the loudest voices that get heard most clearly.’ ”

Lucy Worsley's Royal Myths and Secrets will premiere on PBS on June 21, 2020, and it will air on subsequent Sundays through July 5. (Check local listings to confirm.) It will also be available to stream on PBS platforms beginning on June 21. You can learn more about the series at pbs.org.

Hampton Court Palace
Credit: Leftbrokeneye/Getty Images

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Will you tune into Lucy Worsley's Royal Myths and Secrets when it airs on PBS? What are your favorite stories about royals throughout history?