This – well, the first episode thereof – was acted out in a slightly silly way, with names flashing up on the screen to tell the viewer who each character was. And it was odd that the girls’ brother was never mentioned. But how brilliant to have a TV series about the fascinating Hesse-Darmstadt sisters – Victoria, later Princess Louis of Battenberg and grandmother of Prince Philip, Ella, who married Grand Duke Sergei and later became a nun, Irene, later Princess Henry of Prussia and, of course, Alix, who became the Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. (Two other siblings died young, one of diphtheria and one of haemophiliac bleeding.)
The first episode largely covered the romances of the three elder girls, as well as their relationships with their British and Prussian relatives. It rather unfairly claimed that Queen Victoria, played by Michele Dotrice – ooh, Betty! – tried to use her grandchildren’s marriages to extend her power over Europe, which was nonsense, but most of what it showed was interesting, if nothing new. Thanks for this, Sky History: I enjoyed it.