Dan Snow’s History Hit and Intelligence Squared came together for this live in-person debate. Each of the kings and queens competing for the title left a distinctive stamp on their era – but who did most to shape the nation and the lives of its people? Who was the cleverest? Who was the bravest? Who was the most loved?
Alfred the Great: King of the Anglo-Saxons who repeatedly defeated the Vikings and laid the groundwork for the birth of England. Henry VIII: the indomitable Tudor who radically changed the English constitution to suit his needs, ignored the authority of the Pope and (arguably) launched Britain’s first Brexit. Elizabeth I: who survived in a man’s world through her shrewd intelligence, religious tolerance and refusal to dilute her power by marrying. Or Victoria: who salvaged the monarchy after a succession of incompetent Georgian kings and who by embracing marriage and motherhood, set an example that our own queen and royal family have followed to this day.
This lively event threw light on the monarchy as an institution, exploring how it has survived the challenges and vicissitudes of the ages.
Dan Snow chaired the debate with four celebrated historians who will battled it out on behalf of their chosen monarch.