From Princes to Fools, on Radio 4

I popped on Front Row on 18 October 2012 to review the ‘The Lost Prince: The Life and Death of Henry Stuart’, a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition looks at the life of and court surrounding the young Prince Henry, son of James VI and I, who died at the age of eighteen, leaving his brother, Charles as heir. Whilst he lived, Prince Henry was the great hope of kingdom and his court was the centre of a cultural Renaissance – and the exhibition seemed to centre on this, more than on the little evidence we might have of the interior life of this teenager. The highlights for me were the innovative portraits of Henry by Robert Peake the Elder – which show, for the first time, a royal outside in a set of dramatic, dynamic poses. I was also very moved by Henry’s copybook in which he had doodled and practised his signature, and his wooden funeral effigy, now deteriorated and missing its head. The exhibition runs until 13 January 2013.

A couple of days before, I had recorded an interview with Helen Castor for her series with Tom Holland, Making History, about the fool in history. The programme will air at 3pm on Tuesday 6 November.