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A Royal Affair (2012)

En kongelig affære (original title)
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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 »
2,514 ( 361)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 36 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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Their passion changed a nation forever 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
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Did You Know?


In the scene when Doctor Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen) first meets King Christian VII of Denmark (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard) they quote three different William Shakespeare plays. They are: "Hamlet, prince of Denmark"; "As you like it"; and "All's well that ends well". 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 »


[first lines]
Caroline Mathilde: [writing a letter] I'm trying to remember him. Johann. I have to tell you about him. About us. Why we did the things we did.
Caroline Mathilde: My beloved children, you do not know me, but I am your mother. Perhaps you have never forgiven me. Perhaps you hate me. I hope not. I now know that I will never see you again, so I am writing to tell you the truth, before it's too late.
See more »


Trio Sonata No. 6 in F Major: II. Allegro
Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck (as Christoph Gluck)
(P) Zentropa Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Exquisitely made dramatic knockout
28 November 2012 | by (Los Angeles, Calif.) – See all my reviews

A fantastic film about a country whose history is seldom portrayed, A Royal Affair is a historical drama set in the latter half of the 18th century in Denmark. An English girl is sent off to marry the Danish king, only to find out that he's not fully sane. In her loneliness she falls for the king's doctor, and they find they share not only amorous feelings for one another, but a passion for Enlightenment ideas and political reforms.

There are a few caricatures in this movie that keep me from giving it a higher score: the reactionary forces are pure, unalloyed evil; the reformers are probably far more liberal in thinking than would have been possible in that era; and the preaching against established religion is a bit thick. But otherwise, this is a gem of a movie with outstanding performances in all three key roles, particularly the doctor who is portrayed with an incredible intensity and realism. Also noteworthy is the king who is not quite sane yet not totally loony either; the acting here is frighteningly good and utterly convincing. Last but not least, the queen excels in showing real pathos and long-suffering endurance trapped in her destiny, and then comes alive beautifully in her relationship with the doctor.

As icing on the cake, costumes are sumptuous, period settings flawless, and the music is era-appropriate and delightfully arcane. Original music is also quite good, though most of the time one is so engrossed in the story that the music just vanishes. Movie is almost all in Danish with English subtitles, and I felt the size/font choice for the titles was too big, too pushy, you never quite forget that you're reading titles.

This is a tale of exploration of the darker side of the human experience: what does it mean to be sane, how can a divinely ordained monarch be deprived of his wits, to what lengths will a person go to promote his/her progeny into power, are the "unwashed masses" really grateful to those who try to emancipate them? This movie (and its three main characters) will haunt you for many days.

25 of 27 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
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Romance not well-prepared achun
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