For at least 1,500 years, since the mists swirling around the Dark Ages began to clear, the British Isles have had monarchical rulers. For hundreds of years, they were the central figures of the nation: the focus of its politics and society, consecrated by God, endorsed (or not) by the nobility, the arbiters of its arts and culture, the makers of its laws, the directors of its government and the leaders in its wars.
Stephen Bates is an award-winning author and journalist, most recently, the Royalty and Religious Affairs correspondent for the Guardian from 2000-2012. Stephen joins Dan to explore how and why the monarchy in these islands has endured and evolved, and what will become of its survival in the future.
This episode was produced by Hannah Ward and James Hickmann and edited by Dougal Patmore.