Martin Williams in conversation with Trevor Bailey
The King is Dead, Long Live the King!
Majesty, Mourning and Modernity in Edwardian Britain
Unforgettable as it was, the public response to the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022 was not without precedent. When her great-grandfather King Edward VII – glamorous, cosmopolitan and extraordinarily popular – died in May 1910, the political, social and cultural anxieties of a nation in turmoil were temporarily set aside during a summer of intense and ritualised mourning.
In The King is Dead, Long Live the King! Martin Williams charts a period of tension and transition as one era slipped away and another began to take shape. Witnessed by a diverse but interconnected cast of characters – crowned heads and Cabinet ministers, debutantes and suffragettes, artists and murderers – here is the swansong of Edwardian Britain. Set against a backdrop of bereavement and parliamentary crisis overshadowed by the gathering clouds of war, we see a people caught between the past and the future, tradition and modernity, as they unite to bid farewell to a much-loved monarch, who had come to personify the age.
From Buckingham Palace to Bloomsbury and from the lying-in-state in Westminster Hall to a now legendary Royal Ascot bedecked in black, this is a vivid evocation of a world on the brink of seismic upheaval.
Date and Time
11 October 2023 at 7:00 pm
Tickets for this talk will be available 01 September for Friends of the Festival, general sale will be available 08 September 2023.
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