Lucy WorsleyOBE (born 18 December 1973) is a British historian, author, curator, and television presenter. She is Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces but is best known as a presenter of BBC Television series on historical topics.
Worsley was born in Reading, Berkshire, to Peter and Enid (née Kay) Worsley. Her father taught geology at Reading University, while her mother is a consultant in educational policy and practice. Before going to university, Worsley attended Abbey School, Reading, St Bartholomew’s School, Newbury and West Bridgford School, Nottingham. She read Ancient and Modern History at New College, Oxford, graduating in 1995 with a BAFirst-class honours degree.
Worsley began her career as a historic house curator at Milton Manor, near Abingdon, in the summer of 1995. before working for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. From 1996 to 2002, she was an Inspector of Historic Buildings for English Heritage in the East Midlands region. During that time she studied the life of William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle and wrote the English Heritage guide to his home, Bolsover Castle. In 2001, she was awarded a DPhil degree from the University of Sussex for a thesis on The Architectural Patronage of William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle, 1593–1676. The thesis was later developed into Worsley’s book Cavalier: A Tale of Chivalry, Passion and Great Houses.
During 2002–2003, she was Major Projects and Research Manager for Glasgow Museums before becoming Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity responsible for maintaining the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace State Apartments, the Banqueting House in Whitehall and Kew Palace in Kew Gardens. She oversaw the £12 million refurbishment of the Kensington Palace state apartments and gardens completed in 2012.