Aging King George III of England is exhibiting signs of madness, a problem little understood in 1788. As the monarch alternates between bouts of confusion and near-violent outbursts of temper, his hapless doctors attempt the ineffectual cures of the day. Meanwhile, Queen Charlotte and Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger attempt to prevent the king's political enemies, led by the Prince of Wales, from usurping the throne.
His Majesty was all powerful and all knowing. But he wasn't quite all there.
Did You Know?
When Willis (Sir Ian Holm) first restrains King George III (Sir Nigel Hawthorne) in the restraint chair, the music that plays is George Frideric Handel
's "Zadok The Priest", commissioned for King George II, and performed during his and every subsequent coronation. As the music reaches its climax, the King is fully restrained in the "throne", with a leather strap around his forehead resembling a crown. The music establishes the restraint scene as a mock coronation. See more
The servant Fortnum states that he is leaving royal service to open a provisioner's shop in Piccadilly ("a step up from emptying piss-pots"), a comical allusion to the Fortnum & Mason's establishment. The film takes place in 1788, 81 years after F&M was founded in 1707. In fact, the company's co-founder's grandson entered royal service in 1761, which led to an expansion of the company's business. See more
To be kind does not commend you to kings. They see it, as they see any flow of feeling, as a liberty. A blind eye will serve you better.
Referenced in Madagascar
Zadok the Priest
Music by George Frideric Handel
(as G. F. Handel) See more