A Merry Tudor Christmas with Lucy Worsley

1 × 60"2019

Lucy Worsley recreates how Christmas was celebrated during the age of Henry VIII - eating, drinking, singing, dancing and partying like people did 500 years ago.  She’s getting into Tudor clothes and inside Tudor minds; discovering the forerunners of some of the Christmas customs we still enjoy today, and revealing other festive traditions we’ve lost.  


With the help of food historian Annie Gray, she prepares two royal feasts in the kitchens of Hampton Court Palace. For the King’s Christmas dinner, Lucy - in full royal costume as Henry - tucks into stuffed boar’s head, served to her by a choir singing its praises.  She also tastes Tudor versions of the mince pies and Christmas cakes we still enjoy today.


Lucy joins Tudor carol-singers to perform a festive hit penned by Henry VIII himself, and watches a forerunner of the Royal Variety Show, complete with dancing stags and swordplay.  She immerses herself in the rabble-rousing fun created by the Lord of Misrule, an anarchic ancestor of our Father Christmas.  She discovers a historic scroll - the King’s very own gift list from 1532 - and the festive presents Henry VIII received, including a 6 foot spear given by Anne Boleyn and a pair of greyhounds.


She discovers how ordinary Tudors enjoyed themselves - trying historic tipples at a 900 year old inn, and reviving a spooky Christmas custom which is a prototype for Halloween trick-or-treating.     


It’s a programme full of fresh insights into both the Tudor era and Christmas itself!