The Queen is a 2006 British biographical drama film that depicts the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997. Initially, the Royal Family regard Diana’s death as a private affair and thus not to be treated as an official royal death. This is in contrast with the views of Tony Blair and Diana’s ex-husband, Prince Charles, who favour the general public’s desire for an official expression of grief. Matters are further complicated by the media, royal protocol regarding Diana’s official status, and wider issues about republicanism.
- Starring : Helen Mirren / Michael Sheen
- Genre : Biography / Drama / History
- Country : United Kingdom / United States / France / Italy
- Language : English / German / French
- Director : Stephen Frears
- Production : Pathé Pictures International / Pathé / Granada Film Productions / Pathé Renn Productions / BIM Distribuzione / France 3 Cinéma / Canal+ / Future Films / Scott Rudin Productions
- Distributor : 01 Distribution / A-Film Distribution / Applause Entertainment / Avex Entertainment / Cinergia / Concorde Filmverleih / Distribution Company / Festive Films / Golden Scene / Golden Village Entertainment / Icon Film Distribution / Miramax / Monopole-Pathé / Myndform / Pathé Distribution / Pathé / Prime Entertainment / Sandrew Metronome Distribution Sverige AB / Sandrew Metronome Distribution / Zazie Films / 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / A-Film Home Entertainment / Alliance Atlantis Home Video / Argentina Video Home / BBC America / Bazuca Films / Canvas / DeAPlaneta / Evangelische Omroep (EO) / Front Row Filmed Entertainment / ITV3 / Icon Home Entertainment / Rai 1 / Sandrews / Turner Classic Movies (TCM) / Warner Home Video / Yleisradio (YLE)
The Queen movie
The Queen release date
- September 13, 2006 : UK (London) (premiere)
- September 15, 2006 : UK
- September 15, 2006 : Ireland
- September 29, 2006 : USA (New York Film Festival)
- September 30, 2006 : USA (New York City, New York)
- October 1, 2006 : USA (Chicago International Film Festival)
- October 3, 2006 : USA (Los Angeles, California) (premiere)
- October 5, 2006 : France (Dinard Festival of British Cinema)
- October 6, 2006 : USA (limited)
- October 10, 2006 : USA (Scottsdale Film Festival)
- October 13, 2006 : Canada (limited)
- October 18, 2006 : France
- October 20, 2006 : Canada
- October 21, 2006 : Spain (Valladolid International Film Festival)
- November 10, 2006 : Spain
- November 17, 2006 : USA
- December 26, 2006 : Australia (limited)
- December 31, 2006 : Germany (Hamburg)
- January 4, 2007 : Singapore
- January 11, 2007 : Germany
- January 25, 2007 : Israel
- January 26, 2007 : Sweden (Göteborg International Film Festival)
- February 2, 2007 : Sweden
- April 14, 2007 : Japan
The Queen cast
- Helen Mirren as The Queen
- James Cromwell as Prince Philip
- Alex Jennings as Prince Charles
- Roger Allam as Robin Janvrin
- Sylvia Syms as Queen Mother
- Tim McMullan as Stephen Lamport
- Robin Soans as Equerry
- Lola Peploe as Janvrin’s Secretary
- Douglas Reith as Lord Airlie
- Joyce Henderson as Balmoral Maid
- Pat Laffan as Head Ghillie
- Amanda Hadingue as Queen’s Dresser
- John McGlynn as Balmoral Head Ghillie
- Gray O’Brien as Charles’ Valet
- Dolina MacLennan as Balmoral Switchboard Operator
The film was directed by Stephen Frears, written by Peter Morgan, and starred Helen Mirren in the title role of Queen Elizabeth II. The film’s production and release coincided with a revival of favourable public sentiment in respect to the monarchy, a downturn in fortunes for Tony Blair, and the British inquiry into the death of Diana. Michael Sheen reprised his role as Tony Blair from The Deal in 2003, and he did so again in The Special Relationship in 2010. The Queen also garnered general critical and popular acclaim for Mirren in the title role, which earned her numerous awards. Mirren was praised by the Queen herself and was invited to dinner at Buckingham Palace. However, Mirren could not attend due to filming commitments in Hollywood.
The 1997 general election has Tony Blair elected as the prime minister from the Labour Party on a manifesto of reform and modernisation. Less than four months later, Diana, Princess of Wales is killed in a car crash at the Alma Bridge tunnel in Paris.
Immediately, her death presents problems for her ex-husband, Prince Charles, and Blair, to accord the mother of a future king that is no longer a member of the royal family. Queen Elizabeth II wonders if Blair will turn his modernisation pledge on to the royal family since he attempts to have her reconsider her views on the funeral plans. Diana’s family, the Spencers, called for the funeral to be private.
In the press, Diana is dubbed the “People’s Princess”; this begins an outpouring of grief by the general public in broadcasts, and displays of floral tributes so numerous at Buckingham and Kensington Palaces that the main entrances onto the complexes have to be rerouted. The senior members of the royal family make no effort to acknowledge Diana’s significance to society and remain on holiday at Balmoral. The royal family’s popularity plummets, while Blair’s approval rises as he responds to the public outcry of inaction by the royal family.
Blair’s attempts to guide the royal family through the controversy are met with resistance, the Queen describing them as a surrender to public hysteria. He is encouraged by the private secretaries of the Prince of Wales and the Queen, albeit through veiled advice, to continue with his attempts to change the attitude of the royal family. The Queen comes to realise that the world has changed during her reign, and Blair begins to understand that Diana had rejected everything the Queen still holds most dear.
The Queen decides to end discussion about the issue. The royal family returns to London to review the floral tributes to Diana. The Queen pays public tribute on live television to Diana’s significance to the nation and society. The royal family attend the public funeral for Diana at Westminster Abbey.
At Blair’s next meeting with the Queen, they exchange views about what has happened since their last meeting including the controversy surrounding Diana’s death and the actions that followed. Then she cautions the prime minister that, just as public opinion has changed about how the royal family should react to a new Britain, so must he as he may very well find himself in the same position of changing public opinion. [ref]
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