The King’s Speech
One of the most sensitive and intimate portrayals of any member of the British royal family on screen would have to be in The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper. It starred Colin Firth, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of George VI. A man who was never meant to be king, George VI had to step into the role when his elder brother, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to marry the American divorcée, Wallis Simpson. George VI had a speech impediment, and the movie follows his struggles to overcome it with the help of an unconventional speech therapist, played by Geoffrey Rush—all of this accomplished with the shadow of World War II looming overhead.
An epic, multi-layered series that explores the reign of Queen Elizabeth II from the time leading up to her ascension to the throne to present day. Claire Foy was magnificent as the young Queen Elizabeth, and the series offers insight into the human side of the royal family and the inner workings of Buckingham Palace—albeit one that is heavily fictionalized.
W.E. looks at the British Royal Family through the eyes of Wallis Simpson, the American divorcée for whom King Edward VIII famously abdicated the throne. Perhaps Madonna showed her affinity with one of the most famous “Material Girls” of the twentieth century, Wallis Simpson, when she directed this movie. Wallis Simpson is one of the most divisive figures in history, reviled as a gold-digger, a Nazi sympathiser, and even a spy by some, romanticised as a star-crossed lover and helpless victim of the British establishment by others. Whatever the truth, Wallis was certainly the love of Edward’s life, as this intimate portrait of the couple shows.
A brilliant performance from Cate Blanchette dominates this tour de force directed by Shekhar Kapur. The film portrays the early years of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign, weaving together political intrigue and personal struggles as she grew into her role as Queen and Emperor. The settings and costumes are lavish, the narrative gripping—altogether a must-see.
Starring the brilliant Helen Mirren, The Queen is a biographical drama that focuses on the British Royal Family in the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death and the dilemma over how to respond to the overwhelming public grief over the loss of the “People’s Princess”. Mirren won an Academy Award for best actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II. In an interview, Mirren said that in preparing for the role, she grew to love the Queen. A precursor to The Crown, this movie gave us a rare glimpse into the imagined private emotions of the Windsors and the Queen in particular, as they struggled with one of the greatest public and personal crises of the Queen’s reign.
Could she be the secret daughter of the Prince of Wales? In this dazzling novel by the author of Sisters of the Resistance, a young woman seeks to discover the truth about her mysterious past. Perfect for readers of Shana Abe, Bryn Turnbull, and Marie Benedict.
Cleo Davenport has heard the whispers: the murmured conversations that end abruptly the second she walks into a room. Told she was an orphan, she knows the rumor—that her father is none other than the Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne. And at her childhood home at Cairo’s Shepheard’s Hotel, where royals, rulers, and the wealthy live, they even called her “The Princess.”
But her life is turned upside down when she turns seventeen. Sent to London under the chaperonage of her very proper aunt, she’s told it’s time to learn manners and make her debut. But Cleo’s life can’t be confined to a ballroom. She longs for independence and a career as a jewelry designer for Cartier, but she cannot move forward until she finds out about her past.
Determined to unlock the truth, Cleo travels from London, back to Cairo, and then Paris, where her investigations take a shocking turn into the world of the Parisian demi-monde, and a high-class courtesan whose scandalous affair with the young Prince of Wales threatened to bring down the British monarchy long before anyone had heard of Wallis Simpson.
Women's Fiction Historical [William Morrow Paperbacks, On Sale: September 12, 2023, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780063268241 / ]
Christine Wells writes historical fiction featuring strong, fascinating women. From early childhood, she drank in her father’s tales of kings and queens and epic struggles for power across the globe, and has been a keen student of history ever since. She began her first novel while working as a corporate lawyer, and has gone on to write about periods ranging from Georgian England to World War II France. She loves dogs, the beach and antiquing on Instagram and lives with her family in Brisbane, Australia.
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