With the latest release of the movie Diana, with Naomi Watts Naveen Andrews, Douglas Hodge, and depicting a part of Princess Diana’s life, we were reminded that thanks to many Hollywood productions about royal families, we learned a little bit of history.
So, let’s have a look at some of the best movies about royal families.
1. Elizabeth I in Elizabeth (1998)
Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) had an independent personality and an iron will. Proclaimed Queen of England in 1558, she ruled in an era dominated by men and betrayals and conspiracies, which often tested her both as a woman and as a monarch. This historical thriller focuses on the early life of Elizabeth, when he was a princess and the beginning of her reign as queen.
2. Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006)
Helen Mirren became Elisabeth II in the movie The Queen, which captures the time immediately following the death of Princess Diana. The current sovereign of Great Britain, Elizabeth II, was the one who personified the concept of the modern monarch, being the first monarch in Europe to have her wedding broadcasted on TV. Her coronation, in a period of optimism after the World War II, was followed by a sustained popularity for decades, despite the political crisis and the loss of the colonies of the British Empire.
She was criticized, however, for the relaxed attitude displayed regarding the death of Princess Diana.
3. George VI in The King’s Speech (2010)
Classically trained British actor Colin Firth is a veteran of the big screen as well as the theater, with an acting experience of over 30 years. Here he plays the man who would become King George VI.
Plagued by difficulties in articulating words and fear of appearing in public, George (Colin Firth) is forced to face royal duties after his brother abdicates due to an unwanted marriage by the royal house.
The one who will help him articulate thoughts and lead the country is eccentric Lionel (Geoffrey Rush), a speech therapist who employs bizarre methods, but with miraculous results.
4. Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown (1997)
The Victorian period was of great paradox. It was an age of great inventions, explorations, innovations and changes, but also an era of social repression, strict morals and social division. And this paradox was the most evident in Queen Victoria herself.
The film focuses on the unusual friendship between the Queen’s and Scottish servant John Brown, friendship that scandalized the nation and nearly collapsed the British monarchy.
5. Eleonora of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter (1968)
She was one of the most powerful women in Europe during the Middle Ages. She inherited from her father the duchy of Aquitaine, was Queen consort of France (1137-1152) and Queen consort of England (1154-1189).
6. King Mongkut of Siam in The King and I (1956)
The film tells the story of an Englishwoman, Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr), who comes to Siam as a teacher to the royal court in 1860. Although – at first – she has some conflicts with the stubborn monarch (Yul Brynner), over time Anna and the King realize that they should stop trying to change each other and start to understand each other instead.
7. King of Sparta in 300 (2007)
The ferocious story of the Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing an army of invincible value, their sacrifice inspires all of Greece to unite against their Persian enemy, which is extremely important for the preservation of democracy.
8. Queen Cleopatra of Egypt (1963)
The story of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt (Elizabeth Taylor), a fierce who uses the tensions within the Roman Empire to stabilize force.
Caesar visits Egypt and the two have an affair and Cleopatra becomes pregnant. Claiming a place with Caesar, at the head of the Empire, Cleopatra visits Rome. Caesar is killed, however, before taking any decision.
9. Margaret of Valois in La Reine Margot (1994)
The story of the bloodiest massacre in the history of France. The movie presents a religious war which torn France. To keep peace, Catherine de Medicis had planned a wedding between Margot de Valois, the sister of the Catholic King Charles IX, and King Henri of Navarre, a wedding would have ended the war between Catholics and Protestants, but which in reality triggered a massacre known in history as the massacre of St. Bartholomew.
10. Catherine the Great in The Scarlet Empress (1932)
The next to last film by Sternberg with Marlene Dietrich is a chronicle of one of the most famous female figures in the history of Russian Empire, Catherine the Great.