Diamond Jubilee Celebration: Films About the British Monarchy

As a self-confessed Anglophile, I must say there is a bit of me that has a passing interest in what taking place on the other side of the Atlantic this weekend – Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee – a celebration of her 60 years as the head of the United Kingdom and its commonwealth. The American in me always was both fascinated and perplexed by the monarchy. But one must admit – it makes for interesting real-life drama. It is a subject ripe for translation onto the screen.

With that, here in no particular order are a few of my favorite feature films whose subject is the British monarchy.


The Young Victoria (2009)

Emily Blunt was stunning as the young Princess (Queen) Victoria. This film exceeded my expectations when I saw it in late 2009.


Elizabeth (1998)

This film was a lush, vibrant and MAGNIFICENTLY costumed drama, which earned Cate Blanchett an Academy Award nod for her portrayal of Elizabeth I.


The King’s Speech (2010)

Recipient of the 2011 Academy Award for Best Picture, The King’s Speech will probably be the best picture you will see about a speech impediment. Standout performances all around, with a fine turn by the lead actor, Colin Firth.


Lady Jane (1986)

Back in the day when Helena Bonham Carter was the “Queen of the Costume Drama” and Cary Elwes was not in Saw, this is a part of the Tudor story that is gripping and tragic.


The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933)

Featuring Charles Laughton at his ribald finest; this is a fictionalized account of the Tudor monarch, but still a very entertaining watch.

For more on the Tudor dynasty check out my previous post titles Tudors on Film.


Do you have any favorite monarchy-related films?


  1. LOVE most of these, The Young Victoria is just so sweet and romantic. I need to see Lady Jane, oooh Cary Elwes makes for a hunky prince 😀
    ruth recently posted..Monthly Roundup: May Movie Watching RecapMy Profile

  2. I liked the costumes in the Cate Blanchett version of Elizabeth’s life story (but I thought both films were a bit too much like music videos) but when it comes to acting and script, I much preferred Glenda Jackson’s series that played on PBS years ago. Magnificent. So that’s one of my faves. I am also an Anglophile Iba, and I’m wondering if just us Anglos were paying attention to the festivities going on over in England. The newspapers here hardly covered it at all. Don’t know about the tv news though, I don’t get cable anymore.

    I loved THE KING’S SPEECH very much. It remains one of my all time favorites.

    I haven’t seen YOUNG VICTORIA, but I’ve been meaning to. It’s on my queue. 🙂

    Not a film about monarchy, but I also loved Flora Robson’s interpretation of Elizabeth in the Errol Flynn movie, THE SEA HAWK.

    Also HENRY V with Kenneth Branagh is tremendous.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but I’ll shut it down for now. 🙂
    Yvette recently posted..Forgotten (or Overlooked) Film TuesdayMy Profile

    • I think so. I was flipping between BBCA and CNN International. The BBC coverage was a bit dull. But let’s face it – watching boats moving slowly along the Thames can be but so exciting 🙂

    • And I agree about Cate’s “Elizabeth” it was rather LUSH but the first one was enjoyable it must be said.
      And I LOVED the HBO series with Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons; that was brill.

  3. Rod Croft says:

    Here in Australia, we enjoyed extensive coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee cerebrations….and what a celebration it was – successful in every way !. Which brings me to one of my favourite films of 1953 – “A Queen is Crowned” – a Technicolor record of the Queen’s 1953 Coronation.

    As a child at school at the time, we were marched up to the local cinema and treated to a screening of the film ; that same evening I re-visited it with my family at another theatre. I understand that the film has been restored and re-released into British cinemas to coinside with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Only a big cinema screen could do justice to the pomp and pageantry of the occasion. It is doubtful if we, in Australia will have an opportunity to see the restored version on our cinema screens, however a DVD of “A Queen is Crowned” is available in local stores.

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