Constitutional expert and author Kate Williams on Royal weddings and history lessons
It’s was good to see our old friend and sometime speaker for Clive Conway Productions Kate Williams among the experts contributing to the media coverage of the recent Royal Wedding.
A leading academic and best-selling historical biographer, Kate has an in-depth knowledge of such events.
Asked by the Guardian to suggest books that shine a light on previous Royal nuptials she pointed out that they don’t all end happily ever after.
She exampled the story of Caroline of Brunswick who arrived from Germany in the lat 18th century to marry the future George IV. The couple had never met and she was appalled at how fat and ugly he was, unlike the rather flattering painting of him that she had been shown. George, who already had a secret Catholic bride, was decidedly unimpressed with Caroline too and proceeded to get horrendously drunk.
Kate, who is also a social historian and Professor of Modern History at Reading University, is rather fond of the quirky side of royal history. A couple of years ago she made headlines after arguing that the model used for TV shows like The only Way Is Essex, so often dismissed as populist trash, could be effectively used in the service of history. She pointed out that The Only Way is Tudor would be an incredible way of presenting history to young people.