David Starkey

David Starkey on the inventor of the portrait

On 12 November 1549, the 12-year-old Edward VI, newly liberated from the tutelage of his overweening uncle, Lord Protector Somerset, was at last able to enter his father Henry VIII’s private apartments in the Palace of Whitehall. From the extraordinary mixture of treasures and bric-à-brac he found there, he chose one thing: ‘a book of

A King in a hurry: what will Charles III’s reign look like?

38 min listen

This week: In his cover piece for the magazine, Daily Mail writer, author of Queen of Our Times and co-presenter of the Tea at the Palace podcast, Robert Hardman looks ahead to the reign of King Charles III. He joins the podcast alongside historian David Starkey, who is interviewed in the arts pages of The Spectator by Lynn Barber (01:10)  Also this

I’ve been investigated by the Keystone Cops

Even in this bizarre year of Covid (for everybody) and ‘cancellation’ (for me), the last week or two has stood out as strange. Things began on a Friday morning with a brief and cryptic email from Toby Young. ‘Can you call me, David?’ it read. ‘I have a criminal solicitor for you if you don’t

Diary – 19 July 2018

It was blessedly cool inside the Romanesque nave, its massive arches resisting the heat as they had done everything else that history had thrown at them in the past thousand years. Through the great west doors, which had been left open for ventilation, I could glimpse the ruins of the adjacent Norman castle, bleached white

Blatant not latent

It’s exactly 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalised male homosexuality, received the Royal Assent on 27 July 1967 after an impassioned late-night debate in the Commons. I wish I could say — death of Kennedy-like — that I remember where I was. But I don’t. I had only one concern that

Diary – 16 April 2015

To the dentist. And for an extraction. I hadn’t had a tooth out in decades. But the twinges when I bit on a nut warned me that my problem molar — much abused by a badly fitted bridge in the 1970s — had finally given way. My usual dentist confirmed as much with a poke