7 Must-See Movies About the Royal Family

7 Must-See Movies About the Royal Family
Image credit: Legion-Media

A look back at the films showing the lives of the Royal family.

1. The Queen

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The film follows "the worst week" in the life of Queen Elizabeth II. The tragic event that took the life of Princess Diana was followed by public accusations against the reigning monarch. Elizabeth faces a difficult choice: she can either join her people in their grief over the death of Diana, which would mean she acknowledges the imperfection of royal politics, or remain silent, plunging the monarchy into an even deeper crisis. The new Prime Minister Tony Blair becomes an unlikely mediator between the monarch and her people. He arrives at Balmoral Castle to have a frank conversation with the Queen, as she grieves alone and tries to comprehend the scale of the tragedy that has happened.

2. The King's Speech

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The father of Queen Elizabeth II, George VI was known as "the reluctant king". Albert, as he was named at birth, shunned publicity and never planned to take the throne. He suffered from a severe stammer, which he found very embarrassing: the future king thought he would never be able to address the nation with inspiring speeches, as expected from a monarch. But when his brother King Edward VIII abdicated the throne, Albert had no other choice but to become King George VI. With the help of speech pathologist Lionel Logue, the King was able to overcome the disorder and unite his country during the Second World War.

3. Victoria & Abdul

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Queen Victoria is tired of life. She is fed up with the flattery of her entourage and sick of following the royal protocol. She also feels lonely after the death of her only close friend. Then, Victoria develops a friendship with her Indian attendant Abdul Karim, who teaches the Queen philosophy, recites poetry, and tells her about the amazing adventures of Indian gods and heroes. Fascinated by the young servant, Victoria blossoms — and that does not please the courtiers and heirs, who are waiting for the Queen to retire from life and pass the throne to her ambitious son.

4. The Favourite

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The film examines the relationship between Duchess Sarah Churchill and her cousin Abigail Hill, competing over the place of Queen Anne's court favorite. The relationship between the three women, played by Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone, forms a complex triangle of love and politics. Director Yorgos Lanthimos turns the story into a black comedy, where court intrigue and psychological manipulation are closely intertwined with sincere tenderness, love, and fear of loneliness.

5. The Madness of King George

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Another comedy about the power struggles surrounding a sick monarch. At a difficult time for the British throne, soon after the loss of the American colonies, George III suddenly begins to display strange behavior: he often loses his temper, can't recognize his entourage, and does weird things. The courtiers start to weave intrigues around the mad king, wishing to remove him from the throne. The film is witty and ironic, full of great British humor, at times slipping into absurdity.

6. The Young Victoria

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A romantic biopic about Queen Victoria's childhood and marriage to Prince Albert, starring Emily Blunt. The film's tagline reads, "She was the queen of an empire, but her heart belonged to one man." The lavish picture is especially notable for its Oscar-winning costumes. Interestingly, a real member of the British royal family appears in the film: Princess Beatrice had a cameo as one of the Queen's ladies in waiting.

7. Elizabeth

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The film depicts the ascension to the throne and the early years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. The story of one of England's most important rulers can be seen as a feminist manifesto. Elizabeth overcomes all obstacles on her way to the throne, rejects the idea of marriage as she doesn't wish to share her power with a man, and remains the sole ruler of England. The country achieves economic and cultural prosperity under her rule. Elizabeth is one of Cate Blanchett's best roles, for which she received a Golden Globe, a BAFTA award, and an Oscar nomination.