The Queen (2006 film)

The Queen (2006 film) Fictionalizing the Royals

In Great Britain, the royal family holds a particular fascination. Given its long and storied history, it is no wonder that the foibles and eccentricities of the monarchy have become fodder for so many dramatic portrayals—in literature, theater, television, and cinema. The British monarchy is inextricable from British identity and culture, so it is unsurprising that there are so many films and novels centering on the family's dramatic evolution.

Novelists like Philippa Gregory have made their entire careers around writing historical novels about the evolution of the British monarchy, while screenwriters like Peter Morgan, who wrote The Queen, have fictionalized the contemporary British royal family multiple times for the screen. Films and television shows that dramatize the lives of the Windsors (the current British royal family) include William & Kate (about William and his wife, Kate Middleton), Diana, starring Naomi Watts as Diana Spencer, The Queen, The King's Speech, about King George VI, and the most recent popular series, The Crown, which is available on Netflix.

In addition to these films and television shows, there is also The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria, Yorgos Lanthimos' film The Favourite, starring Olivia Colman and Emma Stone, about Queen Anne, Wolf Hall, a television series about the Tudors, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth: The Golden Age, about Elizabeth I and starring Cate Blanchett, and Mary Queen of Scots, starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.

There is undoubtedly a certain obsession with the British monarchy that is compounded by the fiction that is created about its members. In an article in 2012 for BBC News, Mark Easton wrote about Britain's fascination with the monarchy: "The British have always chosen the quirks of our history against foreign rationalism. The Romans brought us straight roads and decimalization. As soon as they left, we reverted to impossibly complicated Imperial measures and winding country lanes...The British monarchy is valued because it is the British monarchy. We are an old and complicated society that yields a deference to the theatrical show of society."