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A Royal Affair (2012)
"En kongelig affære" (original title)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  29 March 2012 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 28,451 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 71 user | 222 critic | 27 from

A young queen, who is married to an insane king, falls secretly in love with her physician - and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Enevold Brandt (as Cyron Bjørn Melville)
Bent Mejding ...
Jakob Ulrik Lohmann ...
Juliane's Officer
Søren Spanning ...
Frederik Christian Johansen ...
John Martinus ...


In 1767, the British Princess Caroline is betrothed to the mad King Christian VII of Denmark, but her life with the erratic monarch in the oppressive country becomes an isolating misery. However, Christian soon gains a fast companion with the German Dr. Johann Struensee, a quietly idealistic man of the Enlightenment. As the only one who can influence the King, Struensee is able to begin sweeping enlightened reforms of Denmark through Christian even as Caroline falls for the doctor. However, their secret affair proves a tragic mistake that their conservative enemies use to their advantage in a conflict that threatens to claim more than just the lovers as their victims. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Their love affair would divide a nation. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »


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Release Date:

29 March 2012 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

A Royal Affair  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$38,212 (USA) (9 November 2012)


$1,545,726 (USA) (26 April 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Swedish actress Alicia Vikander had to learn Danish. See more »


While all of the characters all speak Danish in the film, the court language in Denmark at the time was actually German. In real life neither Count von Bernstorff nor Johann Struensee spoke any Danish, and it is more than likely that Christian and Caroline also conversed in German rather than the "people's language." See more »


Johann Friedrich Struensee: Your majesty.
Caroline Mathilde: You recognized me.
Johann Friedrich Struensee: I would recognize you blindfolded.
Caroline Mathilde: But your costume is not very imaginative.
Johann Friedrich Struensee: I'm afraid I'm not very good at the masquerade.
Caroline Mathilde: I believe this is the one night when everyone can be themselves.
Caroline Mathilde: But you never remove your mask. Do you?
See more »


Featured in 70th Golden Globe Awards (2013) See more »


Trio Sonata in B-Flat Major, RV 77: III. Allegro
Music by Antonio Vivaldi
(P) Zentropa Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Compelling Historical Drama
24 November 2012 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

"A Royal Affair" is a Danish/Swedish/Czech production about the reign of 18th century King Christian VII of Denmark, his Welsh wife and a German physician whose progressive ideas shake Denmark's conservative ruling class to its foundations. As best I can discern the film tries to keep true to actual history with some embellishments added concerning the role of the Queen in the political machinations along with some reasonable speculation about a possible menage a trois. The screenplay by Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg does a nice job of capturing the unusual atmosphere of life at a court governed by a mentally unstable monarch who's little more than a nuisance puppet of the nobility and the church. In the middle of all that is the young English Queen trapped in a loveless marriage. She is also disturbed by the unwillingness of her adopted country to accept the ideas of the Enlightenment then circulating around Europe. Under the direction of Nikolaj Arcel "A Royal Affair" is an effective recreation of a bygone age yet one in which we can see our contemporary quagmire between those who advocate change and those condemning it. Mikkel Folsgaard is excellent as the King. He never descends to caricature and is both powerful and pitiable. Mads Mikkelsen is compelling as Dr. Johann Struensee a noble but flawed man given a rare opportunity to improve the lot of the lower classes who are suspicious of him as a foreigner usurping the state. Alicia Vikander is Caroline Mathilde a Welsh princess sent to Denmark in an arranged marriage of noble households with no idea of what's in store for her. This is very good intelligent costume drama that should please fans of the genre. Well worth seeing.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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So do Danish kids learn about the queen in school, jerry4444
Age difference too big! Seraphine3
How much nudity is in the film? director-norah
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