The year 2022 marks Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. It’s an opportunity to look back on the social, political and cultural changes during her long reign. The personal lives of royalty are a popular subject for fiction in novels, films and TV series but the real history is more interesting. Each generation of royalty must respond to the challenges of their times to keep the monarchy relevant and engaged with public opinion. Join Carolyn Harris, historian, commentator and author of Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting for a lively discussion of the history, politics and cultural significance of the monarchy in the UK and Canada.
I discussed Diana, Princess of Wales and her relationship with her household in an interview with Matthew Jacobs at Vulture Magazine, examining the historical circumstances that inspired the new Spencer movie.
The new film Spencer isn’t the first attempt to bring the story of Diana, Princess of Wales to the big screen. In my recent article for Reader’s Digest, I discuss how 10 other films, TV series, novels and plays portrayed “the People’s Princess”—with varying degrees of success. Traditional biopics are rare. Instead, writers often choose a particular theme or moment from Diana’s life or legacy – or create an alternate history imagining what might have happened to Diana if she had experienced different circumstances.
I discussed Diana’s legacy in popular culture with Daniel Arkin in NBC News including key themes from films and TV series about Diana and why her life and death has such resonance for screenwriters and audiences alike.
My new article in the BBC History Magazine examines the history of domestic service in the early 20th century, comparing the experiences of historical domestic servants to the fictionalized portrayal of domestic service in the television series Downton Abbey.
My new feature article in History Extra, the online BBC History Magazine is about the history of debutantes and social season from the first Queen Charlotte’s Ball in 1780 to the last presentation of debutantes to the royal family in 1958. In addition to the fashions, parties and traditions of the social season in the United Kingdom, I also discuss debutante traditions in Canada, the United States and Australia.
I discussed the controversial 1969 Royal Family documentary with Carly Ledbetter from Huffington Post, an early example of the royal family interacting with one another behind palace doors on camera for a public audience. The program has not been officially available to the public in its entirety since the 1970s but appeared online for a brief period in the past few weeks. The interview includes discussion about royal public engagements, portrayals of the royal children on film and the 1968 royal tour of South America.