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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 »
2,316 ( 1,366)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 36 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Schack Carl Rantzau
Enevold Brandt (as Cyron Bjørn Melville)
J. H. E. Bernstoff
Augusta - Princess of Wales
Juliane's Officer (as Jakob Ulrik Lohmann)
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 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 USA:

$38,212, 11 November 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Swedish actress Alicia Vikander had to learn Danish. Vikander spent two months in Copenhagen in Denmark learning Danish prior to principal photography. See more »


Juliane Marie tells the servants that if they know about the affair and try to conceal it, it's a mortal sin and they will end up in purgatory. The danish religious view in the 18th century was Lutheran protestantism, which denies the presence of purgatory. 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.
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Referenced in Vsechnopárty: Episode dated 6 January 2017 (2017) See more »


Water Music, HWV 350, Suite No.3 in G Major (III. Minuet)
Music by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
(P) Zentropa Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Compelling Historical Drama
24 November 2012 | by 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.

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