As Lorde sings, “And we’ll never be royyy—alllls!”
(But that doesn’t mean we can’t obsess over them!)
Now that the charming Victoria & Abdul — which tells the true story of Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) unlikely friendship with Indian clerk Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) — is at the Box, I thought it would be the perfect time to debate the best movies about kings and queens.
Here are my 4 favorites:
The King’s Speech – This 2010 Best Picture winner tells the story of the would-be King George VI (Colin Firth), who is unexpectedly heir to the throne after his brother Edward VIII said “thanks, but no thanks” to the responsibility in order to marry his American fiancée. However, George has a stammer that he is self-conscious about and enlists a vocal coach (Geoffrey Rush) to help him overcome before his first wartime radio address. This might not seem like the kind of movie that would have you on your feet cheering by the end, but I assure you, it is!
The Queen – Helen Mirren won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the wake of Princess Diana’s untimely death. This movie is a fascinating look at what happened behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace in 1997 — even more so if you are old enough to remember Diana when she was alive, Princes Harry and William when they were kids, and the outpouring of grief around the world after their mother’s tragic passing.
The King and I – This 1956 classic is based on the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of the same name, and features Yul Brynner in his Oscar-winning role as the stubborn King of Siam, who initially clashes with — but then comes to deeply respect — his children’s headstrong nanny, Anna (Deborah Kerr).
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Hey, I never said they had to be movies about REAL kings and queens! This 2003 epic conclusion to The Lord of the Rings trilogy not only won Best Picture and Best Director, but is also one of the most financially successful films of all time. It follows future king of Gondor, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), as he and his hobbit, dwarf, elf and wizard friends attempt to defeat the evil Sauron once and for all.
What say you? What are some of your favorite movies about royalty?