Docs

Sky History’s “Royal Autopsy” to investigate deaths of famous British monarchs

A+E Networks UK has commissioned a history/science special for Sky History, Royal Autopsy (2 x 60 min.), that will combine historical inquiry, medical expertise and dramatic recreation to shed light ...
July 19, 2022

A+E Networks UK has commissioned a history/science special for Sky History, Royal Autopsy (2 x 60 min.), that will combine historical inquiry, medical expertise and dramatic recreation to shed light on the deaths of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth I (d. 1603) and King Charles II (d. 1685).

Fronted by biological anthropologist and frequent BBC presenter Alice Roberts, each episode of the series begins with an “autopsy” performed by Home Office pathologist Dr. Brett Lockyer. Employing a mixture of prosthetic bodies, actors and ethically-sourced animal organs, the remains of the freshly deceased monarchs are recreated based on historical testimony of their condition at the time of death, allowing Lockyer to perform forensic and toxicological tests with modern technology and techniques.

With the results of the autopsies in hand, Roberts will then consult with legal experts and constitutional historians about how the ailments that ultimately led to the monarchs’ deaths might have impacted the performance of their state duties in their declining years. These inquiries will be illustrated through scripted dramatic scenes based on contemporaneous eyewitness accounts, featuring actors Mark Wingett as Charles II and Linda Marlowe as Elizabeth I.

“We at Sky History are continually exploring different ways of delving into some of the most crucial periods in British history,” Dan Korn, VP of programming for A+E Networks UK, said. “By using modern techniques and technology to conduct autopsies of some of our most famous monarchs, we gain a unique insight into their lives and into the manner of their deaths.”

Royal Autopsy is produced by Phoenix Television and Motion Content Group, and was created, written and directed by Paul Olding. Korn commissioned the series for Sky History along with Diana Carter, commissioning editor and head of talent for A+E Networks UK, and he also serves as executive producer alongside Phoenix’s Miles Jarvis and Jaimi West, and MCG’s Melanie Darlaston. Clare Beasley of Phoenix is the series’ production executive.

The series will premiere on Sky History in October 2022. Abacus Media Rights will handle international distribution.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.

Menu

Search