The Queen

The Queen:

The Queen Movie starring Helen Mirem and Martin Sheen.
James Cromwell, Helen McCrory, Alex Jennings, Roger Allam, Sylvia Syms

Running Time: 103 minutes

The Queen (2006) depicts the events following the death of Diana Princess of Wales in 1997. Against a backdrop of a public mourning over the death of “the People’s Princess”, the film looks at the relationships between the Queen and her family, the newly popular Prime Minister (Tony Blair) and the British people. The film is ultimately sympathetic to all the major characters.

The beginning of the film is set on the eve of the 1997 British general election, which saw Tony Blair (Martin Sheen) elected as the UK’s first Labour Party Prime Minister in 18 years. While posing for an official portrait, the Queen (Helen Mirren) talks with the artist and expresses her regret about not being allowed to vote. She is slightly wary of the new prime minister and his pledge to “modernise” the country, but the new PM promises to respect the independence of the Royal Family. When Blair visits Buckingham Palace, the Queen follows custom and asks him to form a Government in her name.

Although a central figure in the story, little is seen of Princess Diana other than genuine archive news footage. The film won an Oscar for best actress for Helen Mirrem and 6 Oscar nominations as well as Bafta Awards for best film and best leading actress. Helen Mirren is known for her flawless and elegant acting in movies like The Queen and Calendar Girls. Tony Blair in the end proved an unpopular Prime Minister, being blamed for falsely bringing the UK into the Iraq war due to “sexed up” intelligence dossiers and over many years his reputation has not recovered. Even in the midst of the deep unpopularity of Boris Johnsion’s conservative government, few have hankered again for a Blairite govenment in the UK.  In the end there was no evidence for Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and Tony Blair’s reputation was tarnished irredeemably. There is no evidence that the Queen knew of this subterfuge.

The film was released on dvd in March 2007 and grossed in excess of $120 million dollars in worldwide box office sales.

In the movie there are several scenes where the queen is driving a land rover – which has prompted many to ask does the queen have a driving licence? The answer is yes – she has a licence and so is legally entitled to drive. Was the Queen’s husband caught speeding?

The Queen – Trailer
Tags: The Queen – Trailer

Critics Reviews

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
“Helen Mirren is the crown jewel in this clever movie about queen and country.”

Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert
“…a spellbinding story of opposed passions…”

Charles and Diana – High Society wedding of the late 20th century

IMDB, The Queen is an intimate behind the scenes glimpse at the interaction between HM Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair during their struggle following the death of Diana, to reach a compromise between what was a private tragedy for the royal family and the public’s demand for an overt display of mourning.

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