Britain's Real Monarch (2004)

Channel 4

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Date Added: 9 years ago.

Documentary Description

Britain's Real Monarch was a historical documentary presented by Tony Robinson first shown on Channel 4 on 3 January 2004.[1] It has also been broadcast in America and Australia. This documentary argued that all British monarchs since Henry VII of England did not have a valid claim to the English throne.

The programme based its thesis on the centuries-old claim that Edward IV was illegitimate, born to Cecily Neville by an English archer while her husband, Richard, Duke of York was elsewhere in France fighting. The legitimacy of Edward IV was the subject of speculation at the time, and a document in Rouen Cathedral is presented by Dr. Michael Jones as indicating that Richard, Duke of York, and Cecily Neville were a hundred miles apart during the five-week period when Edward's conception must have occurred. This theorised illegitimacy of Edward would bar a rightful claim for himself and his descendants. This would have the effect of making the heirs of Richard and Cecily's son, George, Duke of Clarence, the 'real' monarchs. Such a line would currently be represented by Michael Abney-Hastings, 14th Earl of Loudoun (born 1942), who emigrated to Australia in 1960, married, fathered five children, and currently lives in Jerilderie, New South Wales. Abney-Hastings is a committed Australian republican. Tony Robinson goes in search of Britain's Real Monarch. The result is a detective story that takes him from the Tower of London, via Debretts Peerage, to the other side of the planet...
Source: Channel 4

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