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BBC royal detail

Learn more about the stories behind the BBC series

Episode One:
Dangerous Magic

Andrew Graham-Dixon looking at a bust of Charles I

Andrew Graham-Dixon studies a bust of Charles I © BBC

The origins of the modern Royal Collection can be traced to the reigns of the great Tudor monarchs, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.  But it was in the reign of Charles I that one of the greatest art collections ever assembled in Britain was put together.  In the first episode of the series, Andrew Graham-Dixon explores some of the finest works acquired by these kings and queens, including exquisite drawings of Henry VIII's court by Hans Holbein the Younger, imposing portraits by Sir Anthony van Dyck, and Andrea Mantegna's nine huge canvases, The Triumphs of Caesar, which can be counted amongst the finest achievements in Italian Renaissance art.

Visit the BBC programme page to find out when the programme will air.

Henry VIII's armour

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Henry, Prince of Wales' Greenwich armour

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Selected highlights from the Collection