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May is the month for the wedding of the year! So it’s only appropriate to do a cinematic tribute to the British royal family on the blog. In case you are not informed, we are talking about the marriage of Prince Harry and Megan Markle. Prince Harry is the youngest son of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles (who recently visited Greece with his second wife, Camila).
Admittedly the comparisons between Harry & Meghan and William & Kate are inevitable and between you and me I am partial to Kate Middleton. I mean Meghan is a sweet girl for sure and I’ve been a fan ever since I saw her in Suits, long before she met Harry, but I have a soft spot for Kate. What can I say?
But I digress! So back to the issue at hand! These are the best movies and series to binge watch this weekend and celebrate the royal wedding in style. So get comfy, grab some popcorn and wine and enjoy!
The series does not need an introduction! If you are to binge watch on just one series this weekend, then this is the series to watch. Amazing performances by the whole cast and in particular by Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II.
I have a strong suspicion that Hellen Mirren is better at portraying the Queen than even Her Majesty herself! A truly remarkable portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II during the difficult period immediately after the death of Princess Diana that rocked the British nation.
The King’s Speech
King George 6th’s unexpected rise to the thrown following the abdication of this older brother, brought to the fore the problem of his stutter and filled him with anxiety about how to manage public speaking. With the support of his wife and the help of an unconventional speech therapist, he will work to overcome it, all while the storm of WWII rages on.
The series stars Jena Coleman as the young Queen Victoria in a brilliant TV series about the formidable queen’s early reign, her insecurities, her passions, but also her determination to establish herself as a respected sovereign despite her being a woman.
The Young Victoria
Alternatively, you can choose to watch the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign as a movie this time, starring Emily Blunt. The film won Best Costume at 2009’s Oscars.
Victoria and Abdul
Queen Victoria’s later years were just as interesting as the early ones. Judi Dench plays an elderly but still witty Queen Victoria (once again!) in a film that explores the queen’s friendship with Abdul Karim, a man who came from India to present her with a unique gold coin for her Jubilee.
Another episode of Queen Victoria’s later years, again starring Judi Dench. This time the queen still mourns the loss of her beloved husband Albert and has withdrawn from life and from people. The only person capable of drawing her out of her depression is her late husband’s personal servant, as Scotsman named John Brown.
Mary Queen of Scots was a controversial historical figure who ultimately became a victim of her time. This series explores her time in the French court as the Dauphin’s fiancée and her turbulent relationship with her formidable mother-in-law Catherine de Medici, ultimately leading to her return to Scotland and her tragic death at the hands of her own first cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. The series is more fiction than historical fact, but good entertainment nonetheless.
The life of notorious King Henry the 8th. Yes, the one with the six wives. He married six times, divorced two of his wives, executed two more, one (his favourite) died shortly after birth and only one managed to outlive him. A truly passionate and troubled man, who is also known for being the father of perhaps England’s most illustrious sovereign: Queen Elizabeth the first. Fun fact: fans of Game of Thrones will recognize Margaery Tyrell (aka Natalie Dormer) as the tragic Anne Boleyn.
Elizabeth & Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Speaking of Queen Elizabeth I, these two lavish films feature the wonderful Cate Blanchett as the queen, from the time of her ascent to the throne until the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
The White Queen
This series presents, in 10 episodes, one of the most turbulent times in British history: the Wars of the Roses in the 15th century. Main characters are three important, yet completely different, women: Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville. All three will scheme, seduce and manipulate their way to the English throne with passion and ambition.
So happy binge watching and all the best to the new royal couple!