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MONARCHY ON SCREEN - A lecture by royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams

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Westminster Reference Library

35 Saint Martin's Street

London

WC2H 7HP

United Kingdom

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This talk will be illustrated by clips from Henry V, Richard 111, A Man for All Seasons, Shakespeare in Love, The Madness of King George, Mrs Brown and The King’s Speech.

In Britain we have the world’s most high profile monarchy and there has been enormous interest in how different monarchs have been portrayed over the decades on screen. The next series of The Crown about the reign of the Queen is due for release at the end of 2017.

Britain has an obsessional interest in the Tudors and there have been many fascinating portrayals of Henry V111 and of Elizabeth 1, some of which have won awards. A few such as Charles Laughton and Robert Shaw or Damian Lewis as the King in the recent TV series Wolf Hall and Cate Blanchett playing the young Elizabeth and Judi Dench as the Queen later in life in Shakespeare in Love have justly become famous.

Olivier’s Richard 111 and Henry V in which he played the title roles are classics. Both Peter O’Toole’s performances as Henry 11 were nominated for an Oscar which is rare.

There has been a reassessment in the public mind of two monarchs sympathetically portrayed on screen. Both George 111, whose fight against illness in Alan Bennett’s The Madness of George 111 and Victoria, whose recent depictions on screen include that by Judi Dench in Mrs Brown, have now been seen from a very different perspective.

More recently films such as The King’s Speech, depicting George V1’s moving struggle with his stammer, and The Queen, which examined the monarch’s response to the events following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, have been popular with the public and with critics.

Monarchy has a special mystique and there is enormous worldwide interest in this institution, which has been an integral part of British life for over 1,000 years.

www.richardfitzwilliams.com @RFitzwilliams

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Westminster Reference Library

35 Saint Martin's Street

London

WC2H 7HP

United Kingdom

View Map

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