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There's no denying that the British Royal Family are in a league of their own. They just have an air around them that's so distinguished, dignified, yet mysterious in a way too. They live as icons to look up to, personifying the peak of British excellence and setting the standard for class, integrity, and dignity. It's no wonder they often serve as subjects for films. Stories of a royal family who've seen their fair share of scandals and successes would certainly fascinate movie-goers to no end. And among those that have been made, here are some of the best that you might want to watch!
One of the standout films from the recently concluded 78th Venice Film Festival, 'Spencer' by Pablo Larraín explores the psychological hurdles the late Princess Diana had to go through during her divorce from Prince Charles. It was around the 1990s that the relationship between Lady Diana Spencer and the Crown Prince of England grew sour, with the latter blatantly showing off his infidelity with Camilla Bowles. Kristen Stewart masterfully played the mentally unstable princess at the time, who suffered greatly amidst performing her duties as a member of the British Royal Family. Ultimately, Stewart's portrayal was lauded by critics, many of whom proclaimed that this was her best performance yet!
Source: NEON YouTube Channel
The Queen (2006)
From one riveting performance to another, Hellen Mirren arguably reached the pinnacle of her career when she played Queen Elizabeth II, the current monarch, in the 2006 Peter Morgan-directed film, 'The Queen.' It was the role that got her that much-deserved win of Best Leading Actress at the 2007 Oscars. The film itself tells the story of how the reigning queen handled Princess Diana's death back in 1997. At the time, she was outwardly and publicly criticized for her supposed lack of emotions upon her former daughter-in-law's tragic end, especially since the latter left behind two incredibly young boys at the time.
Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers YouTube Channel
The King's Speech (2010)
Going further back into the British Royal Family's lineage, the 2010 award-winning film, 'The King's Speech' is centered on King George VI, Queen Elizabeth's father. Directed by Tom Hopper, who won the Academy Award for Best Director for this film, it tells the story of the former monarch's speech and language lessons with the acclaimed speech therapist, Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush. The latter aided the late king get over his stammer as he took on the responsibilities of the country's monarch after his brother, King Edward VIII, famously abdicated the throne. What resulted was an everlasting friendship, an inspiring story, and a Best Picture-winning film.
Source: Transmission Films YouTube Channel
Victoria & Abdul (2017)
The British Royal Family, despite their distinguished air and multiple luxuries, isn't one without scandalous love stories over the years. One that probably flew over everyone's heads was the unlikely bond between Queen Victoria and her Indian Muslim servant, Abdul Karim. 'Victoria and Abdul,' was a 2017 biographical dramedy, directed by Stephen Frears, based on the book of the same name by Indian historian, Shrabani Basu. Though not exactly a romance, the friendly mother-and-son relationship the two develop over the years became a point of scandal within both Buckingham Palace and the British upper class. And so, without Basu's book and this critically-acclaimed film, their story would not have been known!
Source: Focus Features YouTube Channel
The Young Victoria (2007)
Speaking of Queen Victoria's love story, her most famous was undoubted that with Prince Albert, her only spouse, which was detailed in the 2009 biographical film, 'The Young Victoria.' Emily Blunt stars as the historic monarch who, in the film, was just named the heir presumptive to the British throne after her uncle, King William IV. Palace intrigue and political strife follow the young queen around, with many hoping to take advantage of naivety for their own gain. Amidst all of this, however, a young Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, nephew of King Leopold I of Belgium, was sent to Queen Victoria in order to charm her into marriage. Despite the devious intentions, both grow fond of each other and eventually fall in love.
Source: The Movie Planet YouTube Channel
The Favourite (2018)
As far as palace intrigue within the British aristocracy goes, none was as outrageous as that of Queen Anne's reign. And this was made into an award-winning black comedy film, 'The Favourite,' back in 2018. British actress Olivia Colman, who played Queen Anne, even won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role. In the film, Queen Anne surrounds herself with her favorites, namely Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, played by Rachel Weisz. When Churchill's cousin, Abigail Masham, played by Emma Stone, arrives at the palace, the two go head-to-head in a fight to earn and maintain the position as Queen Anne's favorite. A whole lot of wild comedic sequences ensue!
Source: SearchlightPictures YouTube Channel
Who could ever forget Cate Blanchett's incredible performance as Queen Elizabeth I in the 1998 film, 'Elizabeth.' Although many movies, TV series, and the like have portrayed the famous monarch's life, now have captured her so beautiful than that of this Shekhar Kapur-directed period film. It chronicles the early days of Queen Elizabeth's reign, starting with her taking up the throne and having to fight all those who've gone against her. Amidst various plots to assassinate and invalidate her, she remained headstrong as the undeniable queen of Great Britain. In the end, despite many calls for marriage, she announces herself as the spouse of England, forever taking on the title as 'The Virgin Queen.'
Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers YouTube Channel
To this day, the British Royal Family still enchants people from all around the world. Their stories, from tumultuous romances to inspiring legacies, continue to make for great premises for films that go on to gain worldwide acclaim.
Though it's not exactly Buckingham Palace, many of London's luxury homes are upscale enough to make you feel like royalty yourself!