Tracy Borman, who readers may recognise from her recent TV documentary Private Lives of the Tudors and based on her book of the same name, will see her latest book, ‘Crown & Sceptre - A New History of the British Monarchy’, hit the shelves tomorrow (Thursday).
As the country prepares to celebrate our current Queen’s platinum jubilee next year, Tracy said it was this incredible monarch who inspired this latest work: “It’s good to look at the whole history of the monarchy as there will be lots of celebrations for the jubilee, so it will be good to put Elizabeth II into context and look at how history has got to this point.”
Crown & Sceptre not only looks into the lives of our monarchs, starting with the history of how William the Conqueror came to our shores and every monarch in between, but also how each king and queen shaped our country’s identity.
Tracy found out some fascinating facts during her research, as she explained: “It was a real journey of discovery writing this book, as it was interesting to find out about the monarchs not as well known and have been lost a little in history, such as Henry III.
“Henry I was influential in the shaping of both the government and monarchy, and as the youngest of William the Comquerer’s children wasn’t expected to rule.”
It was also found that Henry I also has the dubious honour of fathering the highest number of illegitimate children - 24.
Speaking of unexpected heirs to the throne, fans of our current Royal Family will be intrigued by the later chapters: “Queen Elizabeth has done an incredible job, considering she wasn’t expecting to ever ascend the throne, her reign has been defined by duty as she didn’t think she would rule,” Tracy said.
Elizabeth II was also the hardest to research, as Tracy explained: “The Queen is well known for being discreet and it’s very hard to find modern records as she doesn’t offer many opinions so it’s hard to get into the real Elizabeth.”
Tracy also commented that while modern royals may have a lack of privacy, it was even worse for royals in days gone by: “Elizabeth I said ‘a thousand eyes see all that I do’ and it’s true - if you were in service to the monarchy, you had to make note of everything you did and these records have been kept all these years,” she said.
“A monarch’s groom of the stool was even required to note every detail of every King’s bowel movements to check for illness.”
Tracy will be holding a talk about the book at The Collection in Lincoln next Saturday (November 13) starting at 4.30pm.