My interview in The Lady magazine

Good afternoon!  Here, in case you missed it, is a little interview for you, from  THE LADY magazine…

FullSizeRender-13 copy 3 LUCY WORSLEY

…is a historian, author, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, and presenter for the BBC. She has fronted programmes including The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain, A Very British Romance and co-presented Dancing Cheek to Cheek: An Intimate History of Of Dance. She lives in London with her husband.

What are you working on at the moment? An exhibition at Hampton Court Palace called The Empress And The Gardener. It’s a set of drawings of Hampton Court Palace that Catherine the Great of Russia commissioned. They’re on loan from The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

When were you at your happiest? When I’m caught up in a really interesting piece of work that’s difficult and challenging.

What is your greatest fear? Heights. I have tried to conquer it because my work as a curator of historic buildings means I often have to climb up scaffolding. Once I went green and had to be carried down over a builder’s shoulder.

What is your earliest memory? Staring at ‘Blue Rab’, my toy rabbit, and wishing really hard that she would come to life.

Dislike about yourself? I’m not the world’s biggest talker, so I have to remember to tell other people what I’m thinking. Especially when I reach a conclusion which seems obvious to me.

Who has been your greatest influence? My mum – she brought me up to work hard and be a good feminist.

What is your most treasured possession? My Blue Rabbit, and her set of little clothes that my mother made for me in the hospital while she was waiting for my little brother to be born.

What trait do you most deplore in others? Selfishness: when people monopolise time, attention, resources, instead of noticing what would make life better for those around them.

What do you most dislike about your appearance? I try to be body-confident rather than body-hating, so I’ll turn the question around if I may, and say that I’m particularly proud of my lovely little ears. They’re quite beautiful.

Favourite book? Jean Plaidy’s ‘The Young Elizabeth’. I have my own copy still, with its picture of Hampton Court Palace on the front. I still can’t quite believe that I have ended up working as a curator at Hampton Court Palace, and following in Plaidy’s footsteps by writing a children’s book of my own set in the Tudor period.

Favourite Film? Brief Encounter – I love the way that Celia Johnson was cast, supposedly, because she looked like an everyday suburban housewife. As if! She’s so elegant.

Favourite piece of music? Any Mozart piano sonata.

Favourite meal? Fish and rice. I really like sushi.

Who would you most like to come to dinner? Michael Buble. A lovely young man.

What is the nastiest thing anyone has ever said to you? I couldn’t repeat the weird and horrid things people have said to my in cyberspace. I reassure myself that they don’t really mean it, they think I’m a little sock puppet from their TV screen, and that’s who they’re addressing, not me.

Do you believe in aliens? Er, no.

What is your secret vice? Benedick’s Bittermints. For evidence: see bottom drawer of my desk.

Do you write thank you notes? Probably not often enough. But I do like choosing and buying presents for people. I’m very well known in the gift shop at Hampton Court.

Which phrase do you most overuse? ‘Did you know that Henry VIII had a special servant to wipe his bottom?’

What single thing would improve the quality of your life? A promise to cancel the wastefully expensive ‘Garden Bridge’ project in London. Not least because it’s going to ruin my neighbourhood on the South Bank.

Can you tell me one thing people might not know about you? I like running. I trot along quite slowly but I can go a long way. I’ve been told that it’s because I have unusually large nostrils, like a horse. I can take in the air exceptionally well.

What would you like your epitaph to say? ‘She made history fun.’

Eliza Rose, by Lucy Worsley, is published by Bloomsbury Childrens, priced £6.99.




7 thoughts on “My interview in The Lady magazine

  1. Barb

    Lucy, I love the way you present history and so do many others. Ignore those silly trolls- they’re just burning with envy because you have what they don’t, i.e., education, looks, and a great career. Pathetic people who feel bad about themselves resort to this low behaviour and if you refuse to react, they’ll shove off to annoy some other person to make themselves feel like big heroes. Thankfully, they’re in a minority. The rest of us think you’re tops!

  2. Inaya Shujaat

    I absolutely adore you, Lucy! You really do make history fun. Any time that I can find a series that’s presented by you, I gleefully watch it!

    Do keep up the amazing work!

  3. Angela

    Looking forward to Six Wives. You certainly do make history interesting and accessible.

    I too love Brief Encounter. I believe it’s popular in Japan where they like the fact that they “do the right” thing in spite of their feelings.

  4. Jane Masri

    Lucy, you certainly do bring history alive! Love the way you get, ‘down & dirty’ to explain a certain point. Being a keen family history researcher, you have, on many occasions, set my imagination on fire. I can see my ancestors living in the way you describe. Really puts the flesh on the bones!
    Didn’t realize you were also an author, so off now to download to my Kindle!!

  5. Maureen Roland

    Dr. Lucy: Thank you so much for making such wonderful documentaries. So looking forward to PBS Six Wives in January. Been reading and watching Tudor stuff for years, but I never get tired of it and I love everything you’ve done; documentaries, books and talks. Your take on it is so refreshing. After I read how you kept your copy of Young Elizabeth with Hampton Court on the cover, I could almost imagine how you feel since I’ve loved all this kind of history since I was about eight years old. What a dream come true to have your job!
    BTW, I’m a little early, but I just came across that your birthday is Sunday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUCY! You’ve brightened many of my days!

  6. Mrs. Carol E. Jackson

    Dear Dr. Worsley/Lucy,
    I really appreciate your very interesting and illustrative programmes and your friendly manner. You also dress so nicely and wear very attractive dresses.
    I love history and also genealogy. I am trying to learn more about the Seymours as it is one of my family surnames.
    Don’t you think that Queen Victoria really meant what she said to the Indians but it was not carried out properly?
    Thank you again. I would be very happy to meet you.

  7. Philippa

    Lucy you are the best. Thank you for turning that question around so gracefully! I hope you gave them pause and that they use the positive version in future interviews.


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