Great Continental Railway Journeys – 16 June 2021 – 16/6/2021 – Wednesday – BBC Two

Series 7 – Reversions Episode 3 of 10

Michael Portillo travels from the chateaux of the Loire Valley to the heart of the Champagne region at Reims.

Beginning in historic Orleans, Michael follows his Bradshaw’s guide to the magnificent stained-glass windows of the Cathedral of Sainte-Croix, which tell the story of the heroine of France, Joan of Arc. The image of the teenage warrior endures as a symbol of resistance, and her life is celebrated in an annual parade. Michael meets her modern-day incarnation.

Among the spectacular Renaissance palaces and fortresses of the River Loire, Michael is intrigued to discover a castle much modernized during the 1930s, which became a refuge for a British royal couple embroiled in scandal. The wedding of the former king, Edward VIII, and the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, at Chateau de Cande in the summer of 1937 was shunned by the British establishment.

Michael takes a spin around the track at Le Mans in a French-built car, which won two endurance races during the 1920s.

In Versailles, Michael visits the opulent palace and neighbouring Trianon Palace hotel, where his Bradshaw’s describes the signing of the Peace Treaty at the end of the First World War.

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About Great Continental Railway Journeys

Michael Portillo travels on the great train routes of Europe, as he retraces the journeys featured in George Bradshaw’s 1913 Continental Railway Guide.

This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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