Lucy Worsley presents a 10-part BBC radio exploration of Queen Victoria’s reign via notable encounters.

In this revealing series, acclaimed historian and Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces Lucy Worsley explores the reign of Queen Victoria through pivotal figures in her life. We meet 10 key individuals – some well known, others less so – and find out how they influenced the queen, what she thought of them – and what they thought of her.

Beginning with Victoria’s prime minister and closest advisor, Lord Melbourne, Worsley goes on to introduce us to the queen’s lady-in-waiting, Lady Flora Hastings; the Mayor of Newport, Thomas Phillips, governess Louise Lehzen; and two popular American entertainers, Tom Thumb and Buffalo Bill – as well as dresser Frieda Arnold; celebrity nurse Florence Nightingale; royal favourite Abdul Karim; and Bishop Randall Davidson.

There are also encounters of a different kind, as Lucy Worsley chronicles Victoria’s grief at the death of her husband, Prince Albert, and records Victoria’s own final days and the crowd of people who gathered as Britain’s longest reigning monarch breathed her last.

Travelling from Kensington Palace to a luxury hotel on the C’te d’Azur, Worsley talks to eminent writers and historians and draws on letters and diaries including the queen’s own journal to provide fascinating insight into Victoria’s world and those who helped shape it.