From Aethelstan to Victoria: Who Was the Greatest English Monarch? LIVESTREAM, 19th October at 7PM

From Aethelstan to Victoria: Who Was the Greatest English Monarch? LIVESTREAM, 19th October at 7PM


With Dan Snow And Guests Tom Holland, Tracy Borman, Jane Ridley, Helen Castor


When Intelligence Squared and History Hit joined forces on this event, neither company imagined it would take place after the death of Britain’s longest serving monarch. There will be plenty of time to explore the Queen’s legacy and her impact on Britain’s history over the last seven decades, but we do not feel it would be appropriate for this light-hearted – if learned – debate. For now, we would like to take this moment to acknowledge her life-long service to the country.


The perfect option for those who cannot attend the event in person. This ticket is for the live stream.

History Hit and Intelligence Squared have joined forces for this in-person debate to discuss a question that spans more than 1000 years: who was the greatest English monarch? Each of the kings and queens competing for the title left a distinctive stamp on the country – but who did most to shape the nation and the lives of its people? Who was the cleverest? Who was the bravest? Who was the most loved?

Alfred the Great: King of the Anglo-Saxons who laid the groundwork for the birth of England.

Henry VIII: the indomitable Tudor who radically changed the English constitution to suit his needs, ignored the authority of the Pope and (arguably) launched Britain’s first Brexit.

Elizabeth I: who survived in a man’s world through her shrewd intelligence, religious tolerance and refusal to dilute her power by marrying.

Or Victoria: who salvaged the monarchy after a succession of incompetent Georgian kings and who by embracing marriage and motherhood, set an example that our own queen and royal family have followed to this day.

With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee just behind us, and Prince Harry’s memoir and Season Five of The Crown on the horizon, this lively event will throw light on the monarchy as an institution, exploring how it has survived the challenges and vicissitudes of the ages.

Join Dan Snow as he chairs four celebrated historians who will battle it out on behalf of their chosen monarch, and make up your own mind on who really deserves the crown.

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