In honour of the royal baby's imminent arrival, we've compiled a list of five of the best films inspired by the British royals. With subjects including the Queen, King George VI and King Richard III, there is something to capture all imaginations as we await the birth of the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, and Prince William's second child.
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Dame Helen Mirren won an Oscar for The Queen
1. The Queen (2006)
31 August 1997: A date that will forever evoke the untimely and tragic death of Princess Diana. With as much precision as grace, The Queen depicted the British Royal Family’s response to the Princess of Wales’s death with an Oscar-winning performance from Dame Helen Mirren.
2. The Young Victoria (2009)
A refreshingly different take on one of Britain's most famous monarchs. Casting a close eye at Queen Victoria's younger years, the film shows her rise to the throne at the tender age of 18, along with her relationship with the charming Prince Albert.
3.The King’s Speech (2010)
After his brother abdicates the throne, a reluctant Prince Albert (Colin Firth) is forced to become the stately King George VI of pre-WWII Great Britain. However a speech impediment causes him to struggle with being the confident leader the country needs. With the help of an unlikely speech therapist, the new King gains a friend and finds his voice. A worthy Oscar-winner.
Colin Firth portrayed King George VI in The King's Speech
4. Elizabeth (1998)
The BAFTA, Golden Globes, and Oscar-nominated film that brought Australian Cate Blanchett to international attention. Loosely based on the early years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, the film documents the life of an unexpected monarch who, at the tender age of 25, assumed the throne of a Catholic nation and ruled it as a Protestant; evading assassination by family members, rivals, and even the pope; rejected all suitors in order to protect her throne and nation; and then proceeded to rule England for 45 years.
5. Richard III (1995)
A wildly original, intellectual, and alluring twist on one of Shakespeare’s more difficult works, it is no wonder that Richard III won universal acclaim from critics. Harold Bloom, a distinguished Shakespearean literary critic, even noted that Sir Ian McKellen played the greatest Richard III he had ever seen. A cinematic marvel that’s well worth a watch.
A new royal documentary, William, Kate, and George: The New Royal Family gets its UK Premiere on True Entertainment (Sky 184, Virgin 189, Freeview 61, Freesat 142) at 9pm on Sunday 26 April.