21 thoughts on “TBT: The Last King (2003) Episode 1

  1. Charles I famously wore extra layers to his execution as it was a bitterly cold day and he did not want to be seen shivering and have it seen as fear.

  2. Y’all how can you notice the costumes when it’s Moaning Myrtle?!? That’s all I see. 😂

    1. I think of Catherine the Shrew which she did with Rufus as a part of Shakespeare Retold.

  3. Ah you had me at Rufus Sewell.

    But I agree – with all the power/influence Barbara Villiers had, you would think she’d dress better. snicker

    1. Since I was brought up on the campy pomp and cheesy circumstance that was The Lady and the Highwayman, anytime I hear Charles the II, it will always be Michael York to me, but I do say Sam Neill was alright in Restoration…I shall have to give this new one a go…however I only wish that they could have done more with the costumes for the ladies! And I adore the British hair on the women of this time period – it isn’t hard to do – even with medium length hair!!

      As usual, the review is a welcome diversion, thank you! :)

    1. That’s what I was thinking too. I only got Hulu because of “Harlots”, and now I love it for other shows too.

  4. “Did Catherine really show up in such outlandish clothes and hair? Why is she dressed so differently from all of her Portuguese peeps? Re: wearing a very different style of dress with huge, square-ish hoops, it sounds like yes. Re: the hair, I’m not so sure. Supposedly Charles called her a bat, a line they use in the show, but the source sounds pretty friend-of-a-friend to me.”

    While the dress and hairstyle Catherine wore when she arrived at Charles’ court is appropriate in Portuguese wise, it’s not accurate in terms of what actually happen. A biography i read said that Catherine arrived in a “satin white dress” that Charles gave her as a gift prior before their marriage. Apparently before leaving Portugal, Catherine argued with her Portuguese women on whether she would wear her native or they, called it, “inappropriate” English clothing. Catherine choose the latter cause she want to impress her future husband.

    Just a a little tidbit i want to offer. :)

    On the side note, this is sort of nitpicking, but Helen McCrory’s portrayal of Barbara seems to make her look kinda old than how the actual Barbara really look like.

  5. Good article! I’ve watched it without knowledge about costumes.
    I love and hate beautiful and badass Babara (Helen McCrory).

  6. I haven’t seen this in years, but saw it several times Before that. Clearly I know more about 17th century fashion now than I did then… Rufus Sewell is still dreamy in it, though.

    I Always though the first scene wasn’t a memory, but a dream sequence. :)

    I have vague memories from a biography over Charles II that Catherine of Braganza really did enjoy wearing men’s clothes for casual moments. Don’t quote me on that.

    1. If you’re thinking of Antonia Fraser’s biography of Charles II, Fraser does mention that Catherine and other court ladies did dress in men’s clothes — “trouser suits” — especially if like Catherine, they had nice legs.

  7. I remember watching this years ago – I’ve never entirely “got” the fuss about C2 and the restoration, always felt like an intermission between the civil war and the glorious revolution (now why don’t they make somthing about that?), but I remember enjoying this for the same reason I enjoyed The Tudors – good campy soap opera fun.

    1. Also that bit about Charles i’s execution at the start, according to what I’ve read it’s Charles II having a nightmare/flashback about it – he was in exile in France with his mother when it happened – it’s meant to be about how C2’s approach to being king was defined by the “trauma” and legacy of the civil war and his father’s death, or at least it’s about how the shows creators see it, historians might beg to differ.

  8. I was under the impression, maybe I interpreted it wrong, that young Charles under the scaffold at Charles I’s execution was a nightmare/dream sequence and that he wasn’t actually there.

  9. It’s historically accurate that the Spanish (& probably by extension, the Portuguese) & the Dutch held onto older fashions far longer than the English, French & Italians- I don’t know how long this persisted, but I read that the Spanish & Dutch lingered in the wearing of farthingales, & especially ruffs for longer that the others in the 16th/ 17th c.

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