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A light-hearted retelling of the true story of future prime minister Margaret Thatcher, during the fifties when, working as a research chemist, she begins her attempts to be selected for parliament, and meets her future husband Dennis.
British empire monarch George V and his wife Queen Mary decide to hide their last-born son, Johnnie, from the public, being embarrassingly affected by epilepsy. While his protective elder brother is ruthlessly groomed for court life, Johnnie gets packed off to a country cottage on the royal estate Sandringham. With his full-time governess Lalla, a substitute-mother, he's abandoned to playfulness and virtual social neglect. The Great War and the Russian Revolution change life in Britain, also at court, even at Sandringham, where royal refugees are expected. Written by
BBC1's 'The Lost Prince' is one of the best television dramas that the channel has shown for a long time. The story of King George V's youngest son, Johnnie, the programme explores the boy's learning difficulties and his autism-related problems, as well as the horrors of war as seen through the eyes of the Royal family.
Those are the facts, but the drama is so much more than a re-telling of a royal story. Moments of poignancy, such as Johnnie's frank but heartbreaking honesty with his parents, are touching without becoming schmaltzy or obvious, and the harsh burden of the First World War on the British keeps the drama well within reality.
Good performances all around, particularly from Miranda Richardson as Queen Mary and Tom Hollander as King George, who invoke sympathy from their seemingly impassive facades. Bill Nighy is excellent as the King's adviser, Stamfordham, and the children - especially Rollo Weeks -are more than capable of carrying such a difficult and weighty subject.
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