1. The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses
If you prefer your sovereign dramas complete with period costume, then Benedict Cumberbatch as the dark and devious King Richard III in the return of The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses series on BBC Two will be right up your street. This adaptation of Shakespeare’s grisly, gritty play has Dame Judi Dench and Keeley Hawes (Line Of Duty) rounding out the cast, making this the starriest history lesson you’ll have had in ages. And with Hollywood calling him every five minutes (we imagine), it might be Cumberbatch’s last TV outing before Sherlock eventually returns to our screens.
It’s not just Oscar-nominated actors getting in on royally good dramas. Versailles, coming to BBC Two later this year, is set to introduce you not only to the reign of French King Louis XIV (a wily fellow who knew exactly how to court his country) but also to the actor playing him: George Blagden. You might have glimpsed him in Les Miserables and Wrath of the Titans, but Blagden’s new role as the Sun King will see him sticking around for much bigger things.
3. The Crown
The TV powers clearly know that it’s not just fictional royal courts we’re interested in, so it’s a very different side to our own Queen Elizabeth II on show in The Crown, a new Netflix original coming soon. The series begins as she becomes “her majesty” and looks at how that impacted on her life as a wife and mother. Claire Foy (Wolf Hall) takes the lead, with Matt Smith (Doctor Who) as the inimitable Duke of Edinburgh. This is guaranteed to be majestic. See for yourself in this clip!
From the Doctor to his assistant, it seems everyone wants to try the crown on for size. Jenna Coleman is graduating to a serious dramatic lead in Victoria this summer, as the lush ITV drama charts the early life of our second-longest serving monarch, a queen at only 18 years of age. With Tom Hughes (Dancing On The Edge) as her husband Prince Albert, it’s the beginning of one of Britain’s longest rules and greatest royal love stories.
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