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One hour before the State Opening of Parliament, something very unusual happens. The Prime Minister appears and demands an adjustment to the Queen's speech. The speech concerns aid to Africa. Even with all the pressure around the State Opening, Beatrix goes back in time, and remembers her banishment to Canada, the visit to the victims of the Flood disaster and the turbulence suffered by her parents at Palace Soestdijk during the Hofman case. Written by
"Inside the Dutch Royal family" but quite fake of course
Script writer Ger Beukenkamp wrote already 2 film-scenarios for TV about members of the Dutch royal family (the affairs around Mabel Wisse Smit and Maxima Zorreguieta, now our Crown princess) but as an anti-monarchist not much credibility can be expected of him and of course some satire. There is always an aura of grandeur around any royal family and to some extent that is also preserved in this film but it also contains some laughable conversation that the royals will never have in reality. The characters resemble the real royals fairly well. There's hardly ever a doubt as to who someone is supposed to portray but I don't think any of the royals will be pleased with how they have been portrayed and surely also Prime minister Balkenende not. The story is set in 2003 during the day of the annual "Troonrede", the Queen's speech for parliament in the Ridderzaal in The Hague. Of this real day there is quite some footage in the film, as the Royal carriage would never be used for anything else, surely not for a film for which the filmmakers had to go to Belgium for the interior shots of palaces. Of the real "Prinsjesdag" event, horses are shown, the carriage itself but in such way that nothing is visible of who really sat in it. Queen Beatrix (Carine Crutzen) is not happy with what she has to say, a speech written by the prime minister. She disagrees with a last-minute change in something about Africa (that indeed was in the real speech in 2003). The whole film is a mix of what happens after that, her talks with various people that day, including Prince Willem-Alexander ,and of past history when Claus was still alive, a wonderful role by Jeroen Willems who got the Dutch "Oscar" (Golden Calf) for this role.It is clear that they loved each other, possibly the only not fake detail in this film and this is a moving part. This film is the first one about Dutch royalty for cinema but looks like a TV-film in that all scenes are very static (a lot of talking without action). There are some visits across the border, namely in Africa and London and it is not too obvious that the palaces are Belgian ones and some footage was really shot in my town The Hague and I even saw the cinema in it where I watched this film,Buitenhof (a strange feeling). The film suggests that none of the sons of Beatrix are really interested in taking over the crown or with their role as exists now. We see Beatrix struggling to keep the monarchy together. In the end she sits in the Golden Carriage (but not the real one of course) and holds her speech in parliament. Will she have changed anything in it or not? The film is worth watching but the fact that the royals will be anything but happy with this fake story with all sorts in insinuations is something that takes away from the joy. One has to be better an anti-monarchist also to appreciate this film but the acting and cinematography are great. All in all a welcome change from the many banal films made in my country.
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