'Henry IX: The Lost King'
(DVD / PG / 2019 / PBS)
Overview: Paul Murton of Grand Tours of Scotland takes us on a journey to investigate the mysterious disappearance from history of a forgotten Scottish prince - Henry Fredrick Stuart, the best King Britain never had.
DVD Verdict: Not many of us know his name but Henry started the British Museum and the Royal Collection and was the first royal prince to back a permanent settlement on American soil in the early 17th century.
In this immersive documentary, Paul brings this forgotten figure from the shadows of history into the light of the modern world. It's a detective story which reveals the tragedy of Henry's lost potential.
Paul starts his quest in Stirling Castle where Henry was born in 1594 to James VI of Scotland (soon to become James the First of Great Britain) and Anne of Denmark.
In the Queen's Bedchamber, Paul meets the historian Sarah Fraser to start to trace out Henry's life. As he came into adulthood, the British Empire was taking its first steps into North America. Under Henry's patronage, a colony bearing the name Henricus was founded in Virginia - 14 years before the Mayflower and The Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth.
Paul visits the town and learns how the lost prince's legacy changed history.
As we discover, he was ahead of his time and had an influence that stretched across the world and he would have changed British life forever.
Instead, Henry Frederick Stuart barely merits a footnote in history.
He’s the forgotten Scot whose death at just 18 would subsequently lead to war, persecution and suffering.
“The simple fact is that few people have even heard of him and I think he deserves to be brought into public view,” says Paul. “He was an extraordinary character. I didn’t even know that James VI of Scotland and 1st of England even had an elder son who didn’t become king. Or that if he had, our futures would have been very different.”
Henry was highly educated and started the British Museum and the Royal Collection. And his influence was felt far from these shores.
He was instrumental in the establishment of a British colony in Virginia – called Henricus – a full 14 years before the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth on the Mayflower.
But had he lived, his impact would have been infinitely greater.
How has the story of this renaissance man, who changed the course of Britain's history, been largely lost until now? Whatever happened to the best King they never had?
Inclusive of more information and finds and discussions, these and other many fascinating facts are all to be found here on the enthralling 'Nicholas and Alexandra: The Letters' out May 7th, 2019 via PBS. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.