Who's who in Versailles S1-3? A guide to the French court

So what has happened over the past two series?

Written and created by David Wolstencroft , the mind behind BBC drama Spooks, and Simon Mirren (Waking the Dead), the first series followed King Louis XIV’s political machinations as he shifted the French court away from Paris to Versailles.

Then in series two literally anything could have happened. But it didn’t. Instead the French went to war with the Dutch, to bed with each other and to prison for murder.

Versailles: The price of success for French TV drama

The tale of two multi-million-euro drama series speaks volumes about the tensions and turmoil shaking the French television industry. One is Versailles, a quintessentially French historical topic, shot in France with a French crew but produced for Canal+ in English. The show, labelled “primetime porn” thanks to its racy portrayal of life at the court of the Sun King, was created by an English writing team and mainly starred British actors barely known in France.

BBC announces start date for French drama Versailles

The long-awaited series will begin on BBC Two on 1 June 2016 at 9.30pm.

The series follows the machinations of Louis XIV, the Sun King, who moves his court away from Paris to the luxurious palace of Versailles.

At first the courtiers are delighted at their secluded paradise, but they quickly come to see the Palace for what it is: a gilded prison.

The series comes from Simon Mirren (Waking the Dead) and David Wollencroft (Spooks) and stars George Blagden as Louis XIV and Alexander Vlahos as Philippe, Duke of Orleans.