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Willi und die Windzors (1996)

The British royal family was expelled from their country and now they decide to live with their German relatives.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hape Kerkeling ...
Willi Bettenberg
Brigitte Mira ...
Tana Schanzara ...
Else Bettenberg
Charles Brauer ...
Katharina Schubert ...
Elisabeth Ebeling ...
Princess Margareth
Janette Rauch ...
Isabel Varell ...
Alexander May ...
Minister President of Lower Saxony
Gottfried Vollmer ...
Police Officer
Evelyn Meyka ...
Irmela Schlotfett
Heinrich Giskes ...
Herr Schaefer
Herbert Grabbe


The British parliament has decided to get rid of the royal family. All of them have to leave the county and so they move to Germany, where they want to live by their distant relatives, the Bettenberg family. But these are not amused about their snobbish visitors, which all want to reside in their little house without doing any work to earn their living. Written by Michael Zink

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Release Date:

27 November 1996 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Willi and the Windsors  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Referenced in Die Oma ist tot (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Counterfactual comedy
18 August 2009 | by (Yurp) – See all my reviews

This is a cute little comedy with a brilliant premise: an upshot revolutionary British prime minister (probably a premonition of Tony Blair, who took office the year after the movie was released) disposes the royal family and has them sent back to drab Hannover (they are the House of Hanover, after all), Lower Saxony, Germany. The German government decides to treat them as "late resettlers" (i. e. like ethnic Germans from the territory of the former Soviet Union) and shacks them up with their closest surviving relatives, son (Hape Kerkeling) and mother Bettenberg. The decidedly proletarian Bettenbergs (German for "a pile of beds") are themselves struggling to keep their poxy furniture business afloat, and are none too pleased about having to put up with the snooty Battenbergs, who, despite their fall from grace, still insist on "being served from the left".

German comedy star Hape Kerkeling acts, writes and directs in this venture. It has a workable plot and some great actors who make the most of the somewhat threadbare dialogue and limited budget. Tara Schanzara (mother Bettenburg), Brigitte Mira as Queen Mum (a counter-casting, as Mira usually plays proletarian biddies, which works brilliantly) but also minor roles such as Heinrich Giskes (the local upshot), Ludger Pistor (Prince Charles), Charles Brauer (Prince Philipp) and Katharina Schubert as the ditzy Di are all memorable. This movie was undeservedly rendered obsolete when the real "Lady Di" (Diana Spencer) was killed a year after the release.

A solid, though necessarily dated, comedy which shines through its amazing actors.

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