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Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency

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S1-E1 Warts and All - Portrait of a Prince

S1-E1 Warts and All - Portrait of a Prince

Tuesday 8pm - 9pm BBC Four
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Wednesday, 2am - 3am BBC Four


The years between 1811 and 1820 saw seismic changes in British society. The larger-than-life Prince of Wales became Regent, Britain won at Waterloo, and painters such as Turner and Constable emerged.

Getting into her stride, historian Dr Lucy Worsley dresses up like Beau Brummell and examines the contempt in which the Prince Regent was held by cartoonists. He emerges as a rather forlorn figure: brought up frugally, embracing excess as an adult, while “waging his own personal war with Napoleon through interior decoration”.


Lucy Worsley explores how British culture was transformed between 1811 and 1820, the period known as the Regency era. She begins by profiling George, the Prince Regent, and charts how his rivalry with Napoleon served as a catalyst for change and led to the development of a grandiose architectural style that changed the face of London.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Lucy Worsley
Director Sebastian Barfield
Executive Producer Michael Poole
Producer Sebastian Barfield


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