The Genius of The Mad King

2017   BBC Two

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After two centuries under lock and key in the royal inner sanctum, all the letters, diaries and family documents of one of our most important monarchs are coming out of the vaults. In the first documentary to be granted extensive access to the Royal Archives deep inside Windsor Castle, this historic film sheds fascinating new light on George III, Britain’s longest-reigning king, as experts prepare all his personal papers – hundreds of thousands of them – for future consumption online. George may be chiefly remembered for his mental breakdowns. But this astonishing, unseen collection reveals a pivotal monarch driven (and occasionally driven to distraction) by his duty and his family; a political micro-manager and a restless patron of science and the arts; an obsessive traveller who never left southern England yet toured the world in his mind through emissaries like Captain Cook; a sovereign who was determined to be different.


Written and presented by Robert Hardman
Voice of George III Simon Callow
Voice of Queen Charlotte Siân Thomas
Photography Jonathan Partridge
Sound Patrick Boland
Music Edmund Jolliffe and G. F. Handel
Assistant Producer Oliver Soden
Production Manager Susan Lee
Editor Colin Napthine
Online Editor and Colourist Paul Ingvarsson
Dubbing Mixer Tim Wheeler
Executive Producer Simon Berthon


A Crux production for BBC Two (60')


'Both Robert Hardman and John Bridcut are veterans of royal documentary-making, and their knack for bringing potentially dusty material to life is helped immeasurably by sympathetic readings of royal correspondence from Simon Callow and Sian Thomas as George and his queen, Charlotte.  Fascinating'

The Daily Telegraph

'Charming, moving and sensitive portrait'

James Delingpole, The Spectator


The Observer


The Guardian

' "Mad" in no way sums up the whole of this loving, complex, brilliant personality any more than it ever sums up anyone'

Daily Express

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