British empire monarch George V (Tom Hollander) and his wife Queen Mary (Miranda Richardson) decide to hide their last-born son, Johnnie (Daniel Williams), from the public, being embarrassingly affected by epilepsy. While his protective elder brother is ruthlessly groomed for court life, Johnnie gets packed off to a country cottage on the royal estate Sandringham. With his full-time governess Lalla (Gina McKee), a substitute-mother, he's abandoned to playfulness and virtual social neglect. The Great War and the Russian Revolution change life in Britain, also at court, even at Sandringham, where royal refugees are expected.Written by
When the Romanovs are in England, Alexandra speaks English with a Russian accent. In real life, Alexandra was a German princess raised in England by her grandmother, Queen Victoria. She spoke English with a British accent. See more »
[Speaking about Prince John]
He was the only one of us who was able to be himself.
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Rondo from string quartet no. 2
Written by Gioachino Rossini
Performed by Peter Vec - Cello, Andrew Strange - Viola, Oliver Heath - Violin From National Symphony Orchestra See more »
This production is outstanding in every way: style, substance and sensitivity. A remarkable glimpse at a remarkable time in Western history told via a very personal and touching biography. Director, Stephen Poliakoff has done what is rare: the combination of otherwise cold dates, places and faces brought to the level of high art. As far as casting is concerned, again quite outstanding. Every role seems as though it were created for the talented actor that inhabited it. Special kudos to Miranda Richardson as Queen Mary, Gina McKee as Prince John's nanny Lala and Bill Nighy as Stamfordham: King George's private secretary. Lastly, congratulations to Adrian Johnston for a lovely and most appropriate musical score.
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