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10 Movies About The Royal Family Full Of History & Drama

10 Movies About The Royal Family Full Of History & Drama

The death of Queen Elizabeth II after more than 70 years on the throne was, in many ways, perhaps the first time many people really thought about changes in the royal family. Her Majesty was, after all, a constant. The only queen most of us have ever known sat on the throne of England. And yet, she was one of many. A monarch in a long line of monarchs, many of whom lived through even more dramatic times than Queen Elizabeth herself. Which seems almost impossible to imagine, what with public affairs, scandals and schisms happening at every turn. But if these movies about the royal family are to be believed in any way, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Although all of these films are fictional versions based on true events, they are at least loosely based on historical events. Like when Queen Victoria became friends with her Scottish hunting guide and everyone hated it, for example. Or when a king abdicated his throne and his younger brother had to do it even though he stammered and was terrified. Or two sisters trying to become queen, one of them gets stuck in prison, while the other plans to kill her. That’s a lot. And it’s all in these movies.

The queen

It could be said that the film from 2006 The queen is less dramatic than some of the older stories. It takes place mostly at Balmoral Castle in Scotland over a long weekend in 1997, but it’s the weekend itself that makes this film so compelling. Not to mention acting. Dame Helen Mirren won her only Best Actress Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth II, a monarch trying to make sense of a new world and a nation grieving the loss of Princess Diana. Her husband Prince Philip (James Cromwell) isn’t much help, and neither is eldest son and heir Prince Charles (Alex Jennings), who is trying to find a way to help his sons William and Harry grieve for the mother they adored. Newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) seems to be the only person who can help her. A solid, quiet, very British film, The queen is a must watch for all royal watchers.

Stream The queenrated PG-13, on HBO Max.

Young Victoria


Emily Blunt really pulled off something remarkable in the 2010s Young Victoria. She took a larger than life character like Queen Victoria herself and made her an incredibly relatable and beautiful human being. The film follows Victoria’s rise from a newly minted queen bullied by royal courtiers like Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong) to a woman confident in her own power. She is also helped by her great love, future husband Prince Albert (Rupert Friend), who seems to understand her better than anyone. Young Victoria is equal parts love story, palace intrigue and feminist tale that you will love.

Stream Young Victoriarated G, on Amazon Prime Video.

The King’s Speech

After his older brother King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson, his younger brother became King George VI. A role he never intended to fill and one he couldn’t give up even if he wanted to. In 2010 The King’s Speech, we see this time period through the eyes of the man himself, King George (Colin Firth). Or so we hear, anyway, as the new king struggles with a speech impediment that makes him afraid of public speaking. Enter Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an unorthodox speech therapist who literally helps King George find his voice. The King’s Speech is a comprehensive historical drama told through an interesting lens and totally worth watching.

Stream The King’s Speechrated R, on Pluto TV.

Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown


Dame Judi Dench has played Queen Victoria more than once, but her first shot at the royal can came when she played the monarch in Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown 1997. In this film, he plays a new monarch in deep grief after the death of his beloved husband, Prince Albert. After retiring from court and society, Queen Victoria begins a friendship with a Scottish hunting guide named John Brown (Billy Connolly). Although this film is mostly fictional and not based on truth, especially when it comes to the implied love affair between the two (hence the nickname given to Queen Victoria by her royal courtiers “Mrs. Brown”), it’s an intriguing watch. And here’s hoping Her Majesty got some love in her life.

Stream Her Majesty, Mrs. Brownrated 7+, on Amazon Prime Video.



When Pablo Larrain chose Kristen Stewart to play the iconic role of Princess Diana in Spencer In 2021, it was a hotly debated gamble. Stewart is a famous actress and, more importantly, an American. But she succeeded, earning herself a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her sensitive role as the former Princess of Wales during the Christmas holidays at Sandringham in 1991. By that point, according to the film, Princess Diana felt like an outsider to everyone except her two sons. And it is precisely this connection that is correct Spencera movie worth seeing just for Stewart and the fashion.

Stream Spencerrated R, on Hulu.



When Cate Blanchett took on the role of Queen Elizabeth I for the film Elizabeth In 1998, expectations were high. General interest in all things royal was at a fever pitch and it seemed as if historical fiction about their time on the throne was everywhere you looked. And yet, this film managed to stand head and shoulders above the crowd. The film follows the rise of Queen Elizabeth I as monarch after the death of her older sister Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th century. She is surrounded by threats, at her own royal court and abroad, and finds solace in the arms of her not-so-secret lover, Sir Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). Although Queen Elizabeth may have been called the “Virgin Queen,” this film gives us a flesh-and-blood version of what her life might have been like.

Stream Elizabethrated PG-13, on Netflix.



Timothee Chalamet’s Prince Hal takes a lot of license from Shakespeare king, especially the elements of characters from several of his plays. This King Henry or “Hal” as he likes to be called looks anything but regal. He’s a party boy who doesn’t care about inheriting the throne, but, as always happens, the throne was pushed to him, whether he wanted it or not, after his father, King Henry IV (Ben Mendelssohn) and younger brother Thomas (Dean-Charles ). Chapman) both die. Battle scenes and plot twists abound, and Chalamet is just as boring and disinterested as you’d expect. Just the kind of escapist film with the slightest hint of historical accuracy to watch on a cold Sunday afternoon.

Stream Kingrated 16+, on Netflix.

Mary Queen of Scots

Apple TV

There was a short time when two queens ruled the United Kingdom, both daughters of King Henry VIII. The two women were more powerful than any man in their respective kingdoms, and of course that couldn’t go on. 2018 movie Mary Queen of Scots stars Margot Robbie as Queen Mary and Saoirse Ronan as Queen Elizabeth I, both trying to make themselves feminist icons, but unfortunately it was only about 400 years too soon. The film is told from both perspectives as they are manipulated and controlled by courtiers, a theme in royal films and perhaps royal life if these films are to be believed.

Stream Mary Queen of Scotsrated R, on Amazon Prime Video.

Another Boleyn Girl


While most of us have surely heard of King Henry VIII and his doomed wife Anne Boleyn, I bet you know there was another Boleyn sister. A sister who allegedly not only had an affair with the monarch before her sister, but also allegedly had a baby with him. At least that’s how the story goes in The Other Boleyn Girl, a highly entertaining 2008 play starring Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Scarlett Johansson as her sister Mary. The two are used as pawns by their family to win the favor of King Henry VIII (Eric Bana, in what felt like a generous choice), and both are doomed as a result. Based on the book of the same name by Phillip Gregory, Another Boleyn Girl is one to watch.

Stream Another Boleyn Girlrated PG-13, on Netflix.

The Favorite


When King William III died in the early 18th century, his wife Queen Anne became the ruler of England. And this is where the famous story behind the piece from 2018 begins The Favorite. Olivia Colman stars as Queen Anne, a hot-tempered, fickle monarch who is often manipulated by her favorite lady-in-waiting, Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz). Until ambitious Abigail (Emma Stone) comes on the scene and wants to be the one pulling Queen Anne’s strings. The Favorite sees two women vying for power over Queen Anne and, perhaps most interestingly, shows the consequences that can come when they lose favor. Based on true events, the strongman acting alone in this movie makes it worth watching.

Stream The Favoriterated 16+, on Disney+.

Whether you’re a royal watcher or a royal scoffer, you know you’ll love the sly intrigue and glamor of these fictitious glimpses behind the crown. It’s escapism at its best.

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