Lucy Worsley Is…

I’m fascinated by anything related to English royal history, and when I find a new book, or spot a movie or TV show focused on the topic – I’m in.

A few years ago I discovered Lucy Worsley, hosting a program on PBS about English royal history.  The program description included the information that Worsley was the Chief Curator at England’s Historic Royal Palaces, so I figured I’d be hearing from someone knowledgeable and – I was in.

And I was in – until I saw this:

Wait.  What?

Lucy Worsley, the host of a PBS program, playing dress up? 

What is this?

Sure – I’ve seen lots of English royal history documentaries, and they often feature actors and actresses in period costume.

But the host of the program?

It turns out that this is what Worsley does – dresses up in a costume and injects herself into an otherwise interesting show:

Yes – female or male, our Lucy is an equal opportunity dresser upper.

Worsley had lots of great information to share in that PBS program, and I hoped her costume fixation was temporary.  That the show was a one-off, and the next time a Worsley program was on the TV schedule, Lucy would back off from the wigs, corsets, and et cetera.


And as I said earlier, Worsley doesn’t just appear in costumes – she injects herself into the history she’s relating.  And not just into, but right into the center, so the actors playing actual historical characters fade into the background and it’s Worsley, front and center.

It’s all about Worsley.

And it’s the worst.

So when I saw the recent PBS listing for Lucy Worsley’s Royal Palace Secrets, I passed.

I knew I’d enjoy hearing those royal palace secrets, but I couldn’t stomach seeing more of this:

And this:

And this:

As is often the case, I’m out of step with many – perhaps most – viewers:

“I’m a big fan of Lucy Worsley’s documentaries, and found this one to be incredibly informative and entertaining.”

“Big fan of Lucy Worsley.  Her documentaries are engaging and colorful.”

“Lucy Worsley has a fantastic way of presenting historical events.  I highly recommend any of her work.”

There were a few naysayers, but only a few:

“Hard to watch the moderator.  She was just irritating.  In fact, her presentation made me leave the movie before it was over.”

“I fell asleep.”


Hard to know if that last review was a commentary on the content or her costumes, but I’ll go with the latter.

If I needed further proof of Worsley’s popularity, I had only to look online and learn that since 2009 she hosted more than 40 TV programs, many of them multi-part series, including:

The Brits version of I Love Lucy.

Well, the Brits – and all her fans – are welcome to her.

Ole Lucy and I have parted company, but as a send-off, in case you’re curious – here’s what she looks like when she’s not in front of a camera but at home, relaxing and having dinner:

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