“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” The young Arabella Duffy as Winston Churchill.

Like many little girls, Arabella Duffy loves raiding the dressing-up box to look like a princess. But the eight-year-old’s penchant for a regal frock is not just for fun – she assumes the guise of historical figures to give lessons to other children in lockdown.

As well as Queen Victoria, Elizabeth I and Cleopatra, she has imitated wartime prime minister Winston Churchill in her five-minute classes, delivered to primary-school-age youngsters in videos posted on social media. She has nearly 14,000 followers on Instagram – and won support from grown-up historians too, such as classicist Mary Beard, who shared one of her lessons, and Dan Snow. At this rate Arabella, nicknamed Lou Lou, could soon be giving historian Lucy Worsley – known for donning period costumes in her TV series – a run for her money.

Start your free trial to read the full story

Subscribe to Air Mail to access every article
and search our entire Arts Intel Report.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here.