The Queen

Published December 28, 2010

The Queen

Film info

  • Title The Queen
  • Director Stephen Frears
  • Year 2006
  • Run time 1hr 43m
  • Genre Drama
  • Tagline Our leaders. Ourselves.

The British Prime Minister and the Royal Family find themselves quietly at odds in the wake of a national tragedy in this drama from director Stephen Frears. On August 31 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris; despite the controversial breakup of her marriage to Prince Charles, she was still one of the most famous and best-loved women in the world, and the public outpouring of emotion over her passing was immediate and intense. However, given the messy circumstances of Diana's breakup with Charles, official spokespeople for the Royal Family were uncertain about how to publicly address her passing.

Live Blog

Time Comment
0:44 He does look like Tony Blair. That’s kinda creepy.
1:26 “The sheer joy of being partial.” Hmm.
3:35 She looks just like the Queen too. I’m officially freaked out.
5:33 I find it surprising you can portray a reigning monarch like this. It feels like it should be treason or something.
6:36 Weird how the Queen carries her bag around the house. Big house I suppose.
8:10 What is the point of that custom if there is no one there to see it? They both look rather awkward doing it.
11:15 I suppose it makes sense they didn’t make Diana a speaking part. No actress would be good enough for the public, I expect.
14:57 It’s fascinating, even if it is probably nothing like what happened.
17:34 They still send the boys to the nursery, even though they are 10 or 11?
20:57 That’s quite a row of antler heads. Some people collect stamps, others…
24:18 Oh, Alistair as in Alistair Campbell? I might have heard of him. Need better politics knowledge.
26:50 He said preeecedent. Far too posh.
32:21 “People’s princess mate, you owe me one.” Amazing.
34:51 Borrowing someone else’s funeral because that’s the one that’s been rehearsed. It’s an odd world, this monarchy business.
36:23 The Queen can’t really be that out of touch? If people are leaving the flowers, you don’t move the flowers.
38:00 He said it: “What a family.”
40:01 There’s a lot of stalking going on at Balmoral. And not in the good “finding a celebrity” way.
43:41 They have to borrow crash barriers from the French?
46:48 Look at all those flowers!
47:28 I like the way he said tabloids with a little wrinkle of the nose.
49:27 Off to do the washing up? They must have a dishwasher at Number 10 surely?
50:56 You have to have a lot of trust in people to be Queen. She signed that bit of paper with barely a glance.
53:20 A statement saying you wish for privacy would help, surely?
58:50 It’s very pretty in Balmoral. There are worse places to break down - in all senses of the word.
1:03:32 He called her cabbage! Some things I do not want to know!
1:04:32 “Statements of support don’t sell papers.”
1:08:37 Mr Blair and his Cheshire Cat grin. Ha!
1:10:51 I can’t remember any of this from real life, but that’s hardly a surprise.
1:20:58 She can’t have learnt that speech off by heart? And with a last minute addition?
1:23:29 Autocue! Thank goodness.
1:28:30 Awkward again!
1:31:30 He can empathise. Politicians are hated all the time.
1:32:46 Friends again.


The BBC iPlayer shows all kinds of strange films over the Christmas holiday, including this one. The only thing I really knew about this in advance is that it was a) about the Queen and b) had that Martin Sheen chap in it, doing the Prime Minister which he had either done before or did again in another film.

This was an insight into a world that I know precious little about, and the entire Diana thing was a bit of a surprise to me really. I know about the conspiracies, obviously, but I never really thought about what went on inside the palaces. Anyway, I thought it got off to a bit of a slow start, but then I realised it was never going to be action packed, but was more of a fascinating, if fictional, glimpse into a life that you’d never normally see.

Rating: 3/5

Rating: 3 / 5

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