The Royal Line Of Succession Collection

BBC Select brings you the story of the British monarchy with a range of fascinating history documentaries. Learn about every king and queen from George III through to King Charles III and even the heir apparent to throne, Prince William and his son, Prince George.

 

Watch these history documentaries and more on BBC Select. Available on the following platforms:

Spanning over 250 years of British royal history, stream documentaries for each of the following monarchs:

KING GEORGE III

1760-1820

George III

59 years, 96 days

Having ascended to the throne at just 22, George III’s dramatic reign included the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and expansion of the British Empire. However, it is often most remembered for the illness that plagued his later life. He was declared unfit to rule in 1810, when his son George IV – one of 15 children – became Regent.

Did You Know?

George III was the first king to study science as part of his education (he had his own astronomical observatory), and examples of his collection of scientific instruments can now be seen in London’s Science Museum.

Learn more about George III in How Mad Was King George?

George IV

1820-1830

George IV

10 years, 148 days

George IV was known for his extravagant spending, gambling and womanizing. Once married in secret to a Roman Catholic, his only legitimate heir with his second wife Caroline, Princess Charlotte, died in 1817 while he was still on the throne.

Did You Know?

George hired the artist responsible for the creation of Regent’s Park in London, as well as transforming the modest Buckingham House into the grand Buckingham Palace.

Learn more about George IV in Young Victoria.

William IV

1830-1837

William IV

6 years, 359 days

The brother of George IV, William never expected to become king. As a young man he served in the Royal Navy during the American War of Independence, and as king he oversaw major parliamentary reform. He was determined to live long enough to see his niece, Victoria, reach her majority, ensuring she would accede the throne directly.

Did You Know?

William was often seen as a rather silly man in his youth as he could be both erratic, over-excitable and tactless. Initially popular when he ascended the throne in 1830, William became embroiled in the Reform Crisis of the 1830s which turned many people against him, leading him to be described as out-of-touch, dithering and silly, earning the name Silly Willy. 

Learn more about William IV in Young Victoria.

Victoria

1837-1901

Victoria

63 years, 216 days

Inheriting the throne through her father Edward, the fourth son of George III, Victoria’s was the second longest reign in British history. Remembered for her strict moral values, she oversaw further expansion of the British Empire and the Industrial Revolution, and with her beloved Prince Albert, had nine children.

Did You Know?

Victoria proposed to Prince Albert on October 15, 1839 and they were married February 10, 1840, in the Chapel Royal of St. James’s Palace in London. 

Learn more about Victoria in Queen Victoria and Her Nine Children.

BBC Select free trial

BBC Select is available on Amazon Prime Video Channels, the Apple TV app and The Roku Channel for only $5.99 a month. Start a 7-day free trial and watch a range of acclaimed documentaries from the BBC and beyond. Restrictions apply*.

Get it on Apple TV
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Edward VII

1901-1910

Edward VII

9 years, 104 days

The first-born son of Queen Victoria, Edward was a popular king who helped modernize the monarchy. However, his love of fine dining, fashion, and socializing stood in stark contrast to the values of his parents. Known to his family and friends as Bertie, he married the Danish Princess Alexandra, with whom he had five children.

Did You Know?

Edward was born “Albert Edward” and often referred to himself as “Bertie,” a nickname he would share with his grandson, the future King George VI. However, he had another nickname that he didn’t share due to his debaucherously ways—“Dirty Bertie”.

Learn more about Edward VII in Edward VII Prince of Pleasure.

George V

1910-1935

George V

25 years, 259 days

The second son of Edward VII, George V re-invented the monarchy for the modern age alongside his beloved wife, Queen Mary. He oversaw the early transformation of the British Empire into the Commonwealth, and in 1917, with anti-German sentiment running high, he changed the family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor.

Did You Know?

In July 1914, the First World War broke out and the king visited military hospitals and the front. He was seriously injured during a trip to France during the war when his horse fell on him and broke his pelvis. 

Learn more about George V in King George and Queen Mary: The Royals Who Rescued the Monarchy.

Edward VIII

1935-1936

Edward VIII

326 days

When George V died, Edward flew to London from Sandringham, becoming the first monarch to take an aircraft in the history of monarchs. Edward V, Edward VIII and Lady Jane Grey are the only monarchs who were never crowned. 

Did You Know?

Handsome and debonair, Edward VIII’s failure to settle down strained his relationship with his strict father, George V. He caused a constitutional crisis when he abdicated the throne to marry the twice-divorced American, Wallace Simpson, and further strained family ties by meeting with Adolf Hitler in 1937 and supporting appeasement.

Learn more about Edward VIII in Edward VIII: Britain’s Traitor King.

George VI

1936-1952

George VI

15 years, 57 days

Inheriting the throne after the abdication of his brother, the famously shy George VI led Britain through World War II, remaining in London during the Blitz and visiting troops in France and North Africa.

Did You Know?

George VI was the first member of the royal family to learn to fly and in 1939, became the first reigning British monarch to set foot on American soil.

Learn more about George VI in King George VI: Brother, Husband, King.

BBC Select free trial

BBC Select is available on Amazon Prime Video Channels, the Apple TV app and The Roku Channel for only $5.99 a month. Start a 7-day free trial and watch a range of acclaimed documentaries from the BBC and beyond. Restrictions apply*.

Get it on Apple TV
Prime Video - Channels
The Roku Channel
Elizabeth II

1953-2023

Elizabeth II

70 years, 214 days

Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Elizabeth inherited her father’s strong sense of faith, duty and family. She married Prince Philip in 1947, with whom she had four children. Her reign saw the end of the British Empire, the rise of multiculturalism and age of the internet, and she is remembered as one of Britain’s best-loved monarchs.

Did You Know?

Queen Elizabeth was the only person in the UK allowed to drive without a license and first sent an email back in 1976. Her first Instagram post came 43 years later in 2019.

Learn more about Elizabeth II in Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen.

Charles III

2023

Charles III

On the Throne

Britain’s longest serving heir apparent, Charles became the oldest monarch to accede to the throne, at age 73. He has taken steps to make the monarchy more accessible to the public, and is known for his interest in environmentalism, climate change and organic farming. He married Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Queen Consort, in 2005.

Did You Know?

A former royal chef disclosed Charles’ typical breakfast includes plums from Charles’ own garden and granola. He also shared that one of Charles’ favorite meals is lamb with mushroom risotto.

Learn more about Charles III in Born to Be The King.

Prince William

Heir Apparent

Prince William

Heir Apparent

The eldest son of King Charles III and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, William attended the University of St. Andrews, where he met his wife, Catherine Middleton. He served in the British Army, and is also known for his charitable work, particularly in the areas of mental health and wildlife conservation.

Did You Know?

Prince William loves to surf. This is one of the surprising hobbies the British royal family does in their spare time. You might not think of Britain as a great place to surf, but Prince William has been known to don a wet suit and hop in the chilly water on his board.  

Learn more about William in Born to Be King.

Prince George

2nd in Line

Prince George

Second in Line

Born in St Mary’s Hospital, London, Prince George is the eldest child of William and Catherine, the Prince and Princess of Wales. He is second in line to the British throne, after his father. He has made several public appearances with his family, which now includes his younger sister Charlotte and brother Louis.

Did You Know?

George likes to dance! Prince William previously spoke of George’s love of the hobby at BBC Radio 1’s Teen Awards, revealing to a young dancer: “George is doing dancing as well, he loves it. And my mother always used to dance, she loved dancing.”

Learn more about George in Born to Be King.

BBC Select free trial

BBC Select is available on Amazon Prime Video Channels, the Apple TV app and The Roku Channel for only $5.99 a month. Start a 7-day free trial and watch a range of acclaimed documentaries from the BBC and beyond. Restrictions apply*.

Get it on Apple TV
Prime Video - Channels
The Roku Channel