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Royalty In Film > England: The Lost Prince (2003)

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message 1: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
This is a BBC made for TV movie from 2003. The movie brings us the heartwrenching true story of Prince John (son of George V and Queen Mary) a loving but, epileptic child. Unable to cope, John's parents pack him off to a remote farmhouse far out of sight as to guarantee he won't besmirch the family name with his disability. John's caretaker, Lalla (Gina McKee), shows the young royal the love and understanding he needs and tries to expose his parents as contemptible cowards.

message 2: by Melisende (new)

Melisende | 75 comments Warning: do not watch without a box of tissues. I cried like a baby at the end.

message 3: by Manuel (last edited Mar 07, 2010 02:33PM) (new)

Manuel | 86 comments Its been a few years since I saw this BBC program, and even though King George V and Queen Mary are not the most demonstrative or warm parents, I don't agree they were "contemptible cowards".

Yes, Prince John was packed off with his own household to the family estate in Sandringham; but you have to keep in mind the British upper class routinely packed off their "healthy" children to boarding school. Giving Prince John his own household was the next best option.

What I liked about this program was the unusual behind closed door view, of palace life from the perspective of a children. I was especially surprised by the scenes taking place during King Edward VII's funeral, when all the pre WWI European kings/cousins were gathering for a unique family reunion.

There are a few points about the production that bothered me a lot. The Russian director took pains to include the Russian Royals into many scenes through Prince John's memory and imagination.
Empress Alexandra at Osborne is portrayed as a German accented foreign princess unfamiliar with English customs or the weather; in actuality, she grew up in Queen Victoria's court and spoke English with a British accent; she would have been very comfortable and familiar with her English relatives.

My other problem with this production is the actor who plays the teenaged Prince John. He is supposed to be the youngest member of the family, but he clearly looks much older than his brother/companion Prince George. Prince John's other brothers and sister Prince David(Edward VIII) and Prince Albert(George VI) and Mary Princess Royal are all virtually ignored.

message 4: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
Hey! That was a netflix synopsis I abreviated.

I did think the large, fat oaf they portrayed John as when he was a teenager was a strange choice. Also, I agree that the Russian relative inclusion seems so out of place.

As for the behind closed doors take, that reminds me of the butter race scene, so sweet to see the then King taking on a distinct grandfatherly note with the children!

message 5: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 86 comments I think it's well worth seeing if only for Miranda Richardson as Queen Mary. Queen Mary is often portrayed as the unsmiling companion to her husband the King/Emperor, she has never really been shown as a real person.
Miranda Richardson does a great job showing Queen Mary's turmoil as her role as mother is overwhelmed by her role as queen; this is made much more difficult when WWI starts. Her job suddenly becomes making herself a source of comfort and strength to the nation and her husband, yet she is still mother to a little lonely boy in the country.

Miranda Richardson shows how the battleship-like queen, is human. The scene when she is walking in the country and she comes across a chapel, is very telling. She has just learned the entire Russian royal family (her relatives) are dead; she tells her ladies in waiting she wants to be alone a few moments; presumably to cry in private, because she must never show emotion in public.

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