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George III - The Genius of the Mad King

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Review

The chances are that Alan Bennett has largely shaped your mental image of George III. If you know anything else about Britain’s longest-reigning king other than that he lost the American colonies and went mad, well done. Now, this one-off documentary promises to flesh out the picture with new evidence.

It revolves around his personal papers, released by the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle for the first time in 200 years. They reveal, we’re told, a monarch who was a political micro-manager, a patron of science and the arts, and a would-be traveller who never left southern England, yet toured the world in his mind through emissaries such as Captain Cook.

Summary

After 200 years under lock and key, all the personal papers of George III are seeing the light of day for the first time. In this documentary, Robert Hardman uses these documents to shed new light on Britain's longest-reigning king, revealing a man who was a political micromanager and a restless patron of science and the arts, and someone who was driven - sometimes to distraction - by his sense of duty to his family and his country. Featuring readings by Simon Callow and Sian Thomas.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Robert Hardman
Simon Callow
Sian Pohill Thomas
Director John Bridcut
Producer John Bridcut

History

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