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Films/Shows/Books about the British Monarchy

I have started watching The Crown and wanted to get back into films about the British monarchy or the royal family.

by Anonymousreply 56July 15, 2024 3:26 AM

Elizabeth (1998) is a favorite of mine.

Cate Blanchett is perfect as Elizabeth I, but the rest of the cast is superb- Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes, Richard Attenborough, Edward Hardwicke, Daniel Craig, Vincent Cassel, and Sir John Gielgud

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by Anonymousreply 1July 8, 2024 5:34 PM

The Madness of King George (1994)

Nigel Hawthorne, Helen Mirren, Ian Holm, Jim Carter, Julian Wadham, John Wood, Rupert Graves, Geoffrey Palmer, and Rupert Everett

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by Anonymousreply 2July 8, 2024 5:36 PM

If you want really good history, for the 16th century try the old BBC series The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R (Glenda Jackson is superb); for the 17th century, try The First Churchills. It will take you from 1670 to 1715, through all the later Stuarts.

by Anonymousreply 3July 8, 2024 5:36 PM

Has anyone read The Mitford Sisters book?

by Anonymousreply 4July 8, 2024 5:36 PM

R3 Thank you!

by Anonymousreply 5July 8, 2024 5:38 PM

Restoration - Robert Downey, Jr. is a doctor in a time of plague. Sam Neill plays King Charles II who hires him. Also David Thewlis and, unfortunately, Meg Ryan.

The Devil's Mistress - This is a two part TV show about a woman who was a favorite in the court of King Charles I. It carries into the Commonwealth period with Dominic West playing Cromwell.

by Anonymousreply 6July 8, 2024 5:39 PM

The Lost Prince - This is a short TV series about Prince John, the son of King George V (Tom Hollander) and Queen Mary (Miranda Richardson). Prince John had some neurological disorder and at some point was removed from public view. He died in adolescence. His nurse is played by Gina McKee.

by Anonymousreply 7July 8, 2024 5:42 PM

Wolf Hall, the series and the book. It's fiction but based on research, and not as fictional as most of the Crown (which i liked).

by Anonymousreply 8July 8, 2024 5:47 PM

The Queen with Helen Mirren

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by Anonymousreply 9July 8, 2024 5:57 PM

The great Peter O'Toole playing Henry II is always worth a watch:

Beckett (1964) about Henry's relationship with the Bishop Thomas Beckett, played by the equally brilliant Richard Burton. Also starring John Gielgud, Sian Phillips, Felix Aylmer, and Sir Donald Wolfit

The Lion in Winter (1968) which chronicles Henry and his wife Eleanor (Katharine Hepburn) choosing the heir to the thrown during the Christmas holiday. Also starring John Castle, Nigel Terry, Timothy Dalton and Anthony Hopkins as Richard the Lionheart

by Anonymousreply 10July 8, 2024 6:09 PM

Wolf Hall.

oh god Henry VIII has been done to death so I wasn’t going to watch. Then there was a repeat broadcast on PBS and the tv happened to be on. I was reading but within 15 minutes I was watching and then glued to the screen. It was so good, the acting! Warning though, I read they shot it with natural and candlelight so it’s dark, like who’s that talking now? dark.

by Anonymousreply 11July 8, 2024 6:12 PM

A Question Of Attribution, an Alan Bennett drama where the Queen (Prunella Scales) meets Anthony Blunt (a Fox) before he was revealed as one of the Cambridge spies.

by Anonymousreply 12July 8, 2024 6:35 PM

South Park S26E02 (#321) "The Worldwide Privacy Tour"

by Anonymousreply 13July 8, 2024 9:19 PM

The Tudors

The Other Boleyn Girl

Unfortunately so much of film and TV series are centered around Elizabeth I and II and Henry VIII we miss other bits. But I would also encourage anything about the Churchills too.

I found "Bertie and Elizabeth" You Tube

The King's Speech is excellent, too.

by Anonymousreply 14July 8, 2024 10:09 PM


A series that, sadly, got cancelled after 2-3 seasons. Beautiful soundtrack.

by Anonymousreply 15July 8, 2024 10:20 PM

Are there any on Mary?

by Anonymousreply 16July 8, 2024 10:22 PM

Which Mary, R16? There have been a few.

by Anonymousreply 17July 8, 2024 10:31 PM


by Anonymousreply 18July 8, 2024 10:33 PM

Princes at War by Deborah Cadbury, which tells the story of George VI and his three brothers, Windsor, Kent and Gloucester during WWII.

And the most enjoyable of all royal biographies Queen Victoria by Lytton Strachey, which is elegantly written, insightful, funny and short enough to read in an afternoon.

by Anonymousreply 19July 8, 2024 10:39 PM

R17 Mary Tudor, the bitter old rug muncher.

by Anonymousreply 20July 8, 2024 10:45 PM

"I Shall Rip Camilla's Fvckin' Head Off : A Memoir" by Lady DIana Spencer.

by Anonymousreply 21July 9, 2024 12:16 AM

Books? Edward VII Queen Victoria's eldest is a wonderful biography, gives a fascinating glimpse of the times. Victoria was a terrible mother, BTW.

There was a great book about the Mountbattens. Very gossipy too.

Of course Wolf Hall is wonderfully written.

by Anonymousreply 22July 9, 2024 12:22 AM

You have to watch The Tudors. It is very well done and Jonathan Rhys Myers makes a very credible Henry VIII. But that's not the only reason. Henry Cavill's Charles Brandon is simply the most delicious ass to ever grace a series about British Royalty.

by Anonymousreply 23July 9, 2024 12:23 AM

“The Quest For Queen Mary” by James Pope-Hennessy, edited by Hugo Vickers, is delightful (I know - I”ll “MARY!” myself).

Pope-Hennessy wrote the original approved biography of Queen Mary with all the salacious bits edited out. Fifty years later Vickers has accessed all Pope-Hennessy’s expurgated notes and the result is great fun as most of the upper crust and aristocratic interviewees seem to have been barking mad.

Pope-Hennessy was as gay as a goose so he didn’t hold back with the notes.

by Anonymousreply 24July 9, 2024 12:48 AM

Start with Queen Victoria by Elizabeth Longford. It's from 1964 but it was the book that started my interest in monarchies (as institutions, not as media phenomena). Majesty, by Robert Lacey, Queen Mary by Pope-Hennessey are all good. Read books on the aristocracy to get a full picture. David Cannadine is very academic but accessible.

by Anonymousreply 25July 9, 2024 1:33 AM

Young Victoria with Emily Blunt was excellent. Mark Strong makes a wonderful villain.

by Anonymousreply 26July 9, 2024 1:46 AM

The Madness of King George. Great movie with Helen Mirren, Nigel Hawthorne and Rupert Graves.

by Anonymousreply 27July 9, 2024 1:47 AM

"A Question of Attribution," with Prunella Scales as Elizabeth II and James Fox as her "Surveyor of Pictures" (and former Soviet spy) Anthony Blunt, is a fascinating story and brilliantly acted.

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by Anonymousreply 28July 9, 2024 2:12 AM

One summer in high school I read two biographies of Edward VIII. Both covered the same ground but the events and people described were radically different. One book was flattering and sympathetic, the other caustic and merciless. It was fascinating to see that the same event could be interpreted different ways and what does that say about history?

by Anonymousreply 29July 9, 2024 11:13 AM

Do you think Walls Simpson really loved Edward VIII?

by Anonymousreply 30July 9, 2024 1:33 PM

Also curious if there is anything about the Romanoff's or Kaiser Wilhelm

by Anonymousreply 31July 9, 2024 1:34 PM

For something really trashy, there's Kitty Kelley's book The Royals.

by Anonymousreply 32July 9, 2024 1:36 PM

I wish there were a really good movie/TV show about George IV and his German wife. Rupert Everett does not cut it, sorry.

by Anonymousreply 33July 9, 2024 1:36 PM

R32 Didn't she also write about the feud between Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush?

by Anonymousreply 34July 9, 2024 1:37 PM

[quote]"I Shall Rip Camilla's Fvckin' Head Off : A Memoir" by Lady DIana Spencer.

Good one, R21, but you have forgotten the subtitle: 'After Fucking Every Married Man Who Crosses My Path and Pretending that I'm The Wronged Party in My Arranged Marriage'.

Diana was extremely charismatic, engaging and very media savvy, not to mention that she put out part of the Windsors' dirty laundry for all the world to see, but she was far from the angel that many people like to pretend that she was and also lacked intelligence, culture and any ability to self-reflect.

by Anonymousreply 35July 9, 2024 2:04 PM

Actually the Kelley book is less trashy than some of the cheesy movies that manufacture events out of whole cloth. She's a decent researcher even though she clearly enjoys puncturing royal shibboleths (they're just a bunch of Germans!!).

R29 Was one of those books "The Traitor King"? What a hatchet job. I read Edward's own memoir "A KIng's Story" which of course was exculpatory (I'm not a Nazi) and another bio that was the most even-handed. It was like Goldilocks with the porridge, hot, cold, and just right.

by Anonymousreply 36July 9, 2024 2:04 PM

R28 — thank you! I never thought to look there for these two outstanding dramas. I love the scene with “HMQ” and Blunt. Coral Browne is magnificent in AEA. Thanks again!

by Anonymousreply 37July 9, 2024 3:07 PM

The Windsor Story by J. Bryan I think, and here's a must read :Dancing with the Devil by Christopher Wilson. Then there's The Traitor King by Ziegler. I know there are a lot of books written about the Windsors but stay away from "official biographies" or books written by themselves. Those are all rubbish. Sugar coating and elevating their BIG LOVE. They were awful people.

by Anonymousreply 38July 9, 2024 4:03 PM

I know I asked for British monarchs, but I love Nicholas & Alexandra (1971)

Richard Rodney Bennett's score is one of my go-to's when I'm feeling down and out.

The costumes and set design by Yvonne Blake and Antonio Castillo are top-notch.

Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman play the titular couple. Tom Baker is Rasputin. The rest of the lengthy cast consist of a who's who in British acting- Michael Redgrave, Jack Hawkins, Eric Porter, Irene Worth, Harry Andrews, Timothy West, Michael Bryant, Roy Dotrice, John Wood, Ian Holm, Brian Cox, Julian Glover, and Sir Laurence Olivier

by Anonymousreply 39July 9, 2024 5:20 PM

R34 - Yes, she did two books:

"Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorized Biography" and "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty"

by Anonymousreply 40July 9, 2024 6:14 PM

R39, OP, I too love that movie and the Romanov Saga. In that vein, I really enjoyed Dr. Zhivago with Omar Sharif. It was excellent as a companion to the Nicholas and Alexandra. And if you can find it, of course Anastasia with Yul Brynner and Ingrid Bergman. Damn he was hot.

by Anonymousreply 41July 9, 2024 10:53 PM

R41 Thank you! I only knew of the animated Anastasia!

by Anonymousreply 42July 10, 2024 12:28 AM

My favorite of all filmed versions of the BRF is the miniseries "Edward the King," which was released in the US as "Edward VII." The whole thing is probably too long , but at its center is the best portrayal of Queen Victoria I have ever seen, by Annette Crosbie (who won the BAFTA for her performance). Her Victoria is the only version I've ever seen who corresponds to the portrait of her in her biographies: she is so completely ruled by her emotions that she sometimes literally does not understand how she is going to react to an event cognitively until her body and feelings have a chance to express themselves. A very young grandchild can knock something over at a palace family get-together, and her adult children will stare in horror at her as her whole body trembles, as she is unsure for a moment whether she is going to erupt in fury or in laughter.

There are also fine performance sin it by Timothy West as the titular king--basically kind and intelligent, but dominated by his mother and fundamentally unserious--, Helen Ryan as his sweet, forgiving, and nearly deaf queen Alexandra, and Felicity Kendal as his sister Vicky, who becomes Empress of Prussia only briefly and who cannot control her awful son the Kaiser.

by Anonymousreply 43July 10, 2024 12:37 AM

Wolf Hall. Mark Rylance is brilliant.

Becoming Elizabeth. It goes a bit into the soap opera, but I love how they weave Lady Jane Grey into the story. She’s usually glossed over but they’ve done a good job of including her.

by Anonymousreply 44July 10, 2024 1:38 AM

R36. I think these books were published in the 50s. My mother was always picking up things at library sales.

by Anonymousreply 45July 10, 2024 3:22 AM

Was Traitor King good? I saw it was free on Audible

by Anonymousreply 46July 10, 2024 2:03 PM

I'm on Season 3 of the Crown

S1 was prime television. I think it was perfectly cast, Claire Foy and Matt Smith as the royal couple, Vanessa Kirby as Margaret, Eileen Atkins as Queen Mary, Jeremy Northam as Anthony Eden, and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill are brought so much to their characters.

However, my favorite was Alex Jennings as the cruel and witty King Edward VIII.

by Anonymousreply 47July 14, 2024 8:20 PM

What, no Anne of the Thousand Days or Mary, Queen of Scots (1971) yet? You bitches are slipping. They may not be too historically accurate but they're fun and gorgeous to look at.

by Anonymousreply 48July 14, 2024 8:31 PM

The Favourite is about Queen Anne and her ladies in waiting. Starring Olivia Coleman as Queen Anne. Very good!

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by Anonymousreply 49July 14, 2024 8:34 PM

There are tons of documentaries on youtube on royals of all kinds. Also a short interview with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor which is fascinating.

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by Anonymousreply 50July 14, 2024 8:37 PM

There was a decent BBC series from the 70s. Edward and Mrs. Simpson

by Anonymousreply 51July 14, 2024 9:58 PM

The Crown, The Favorite, The Tudors, and Queen Charlotte (in the Birdgerton universe) are mostly fictional and only loosely based on history; I wouldn't use them to understand history. Mary, Queen of Scots, although there are two scenes of Mary and Elizabeth meeting that are fictional, is otherwise pretty historically accurate, as are Cromwell and A Man for All Seasons. The First Churchills, The Six Wive of Henry VIII, Elizabeth R, The Madness of King George, and The King's Speech are wonderfully accurate, as well as good quality drama.

by Anonymousreply 52July 14, 2024 10:41 PM

I hated A Man for All Seasons. Thomas More was a rigid, sadistic,cruel, self righteous, Uber Catholic, a right pompous ass and the king was right to kill him. Wolf Halle does an excellent job of examining that relationship. A Man for All Seasons was propaganda for the Catholic Church.

Mary Queen of Scots (2018 version) was excellent. Definitely worth watching. I have to say, that while I absolutely loved Elizabeth starring Cate Blanchett, the sequel, was not to my liking.

by Anonymousreply 53July 14, 2024 11:56 PM

What about Shaespeare? Henry IV both Parts, Henry V and Richard III.

by Anonymousreply 54July 15, 2024 2:10 AM

R54 Shakespeare makes a villain of Richard II. I know a really good series, historically accurate, but with lots of drama, called The White Queen. It is about Edward IV and his brothers George Duke of Clarence and Richard of Gloucester. (Richard III.) I think it was on Starz. It is worth watching. I think OP will love it.

As for books, look up Sharon Kay Penman. She wrote some excellent historical fiction about Henry II and Eleanor of Acquitaine, and their brood, also wrote about Edward IV and Richard the III, and some great historical figures in Wales. Also wrote about John of Gaunt. I urge you to check her out. IMO she was far superior to Allison Weir or Phillipa Gregory. Both of them were awful in comparison.

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by Anonymousreply 55July 15, 2024 3:23 AM

Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) is a wonderful film

by Anonymousreply 56July 15, 2024 3:26 AM
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