By Kaylee Brewster
While the U.S. does not have official royalty, royals still remain important figures in history and politics.
That is why they often pop up in film. With the royal wedding coming up May 19 with Prince Harry set to marry American actress Meghan Markle, here is your chance to review some real and fictional royals. While most of these are not available on various streaming services they can be rented from many services.
Helen Mirren won an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II during the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death. A film that delves into the behind-the-scenes life of the British monarch.
“The King’s Speech”
Colin Firth earned an Oscar for acting in this Oscar-winning film for his performance as the stammering King George VI during the start of World War II. It is an emotional story with some humor, a good crowd pleaser.
Awkward teenager Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) finds out she is the heir to the throne of Genovia. Hathaway shines in her breakout role and the story has all the essentials: comedy, romance, heart — and Julie Andrews playing the royal grandma.
Judi Dench plays Queen Victoria (she also played the famous queen last year in “Victoria and Abdul”) who is in deep mourning after the death of her husband, but her stubborn, Scottish servant John Brown (Billy Connolly) refuses to let her stay that way. The unlikely friendship between the royal and her servant is entertaining enough, but it’s compounded by the flawless performances of the two leads.
“The Young Victoria”
This film explores the first few years of Queen Victoria’s (Emily Blunt) rule and her romance with Prince Albert (Rupert Friend). It has all the sets and costuming of a perfect period movie, along with a stunning performance by Blunt.
Streaming on Netflix and Britbox.
“Ever After: A Cinderella Story”
A classic Cinderella story. Danielle (Drew Barrymore) is forced into servitude by her evil stepmother and falls for a prince (Dougray Scott). Unlike some Cinderella versions, this film has fleshed out its characters to give them life and adds some spunk to the heroine.
Another Cinderella story and another Anne Hathaway film but in this case Ella (Hathaway) is cursed with the gift of having to obey every order given. She embarks on a quest to end the curse and meets Prince Char (Hugh Dancy). A fun, fantasy story with some musical numbers thrown in and a collection of lovable misfit characters.
Streaming on Netflix.
“The Other Boleyn Girl”
This film is a history lesson on two sisters (Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman) competing for the affection of King Henry VIII (Eric Bana). If you like drama. “The Other Boleyn Girl” has heaps of it, along with a stylish setting.
“The Lion in the Winter”
King Henry II (Peter O’Toole) must decide on one of his three sons to succeed him on the throne while his wife, Eleanor, (Katharine Hepburn) plots to force his hand. The acting and script are both strong in this classic.
Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn in her first film performance) escapes from her guardians and enjoys a day out in Rome with Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), a reporter looking for a story. Everything about this movie is absolutely charming, from the characters to the shenanigans they get into. It’s a pleasant breath of fresh air.
Streaming on Starz.