If you love all things British, join your "favourite" Anglophile for my list of the best movies and TV shows about The British Royal Family! Perfect for fans of The Crown!
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Looking for a TV show like The Crown?
If there's anything I love, it's a good British TV show. I subscribe to all the British streaming services, and I'm constantly looking for my next great British drama. And, of course, I love The Firm (The British Royal Family for those of you who are new to Royal fandom!). In recent years, The Crown has brought Royal Family TV to the fore, and aren't we lucky! Though this most recent season wasn't my favorite (I mean, c'mon, Prince Philip isn't that evil...right?), I get asked a lot for my list of the best TV shows and movies about the British Royal Family, so I figured I'd oblige! God Save the Queen!
Shows about the modern Windsors
I divided my (growing) list of shows about the British Royal Family into several different sections. Let's start with shows and movies about the modern British Royal Family, The House of Windsor. Of course, the Windsors trace their roots back to the German George I, though the family changed their name from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor, in response to anti-German sentiment during WWI.
The King's Speech
We'll start with one of my favorite films of all time, The King's Speech, featuring the current Queen Elizabeth (then Princess Elizabeth)'s father's, George VI, efforts to overcome his debilitating stutter after having the throne thrust upon him by the abdication of his brother. Nominated for 12 Oscars (and winning 4), the film features a stunning performance by Colin Firth, with Geoffrey Rush as his linguist.
You'll see Helena Bonham Carter and Derek Jacobi playing other members of the Royal orbit (The Queen Mum and the Archbishop of Canterbury, respectively).
Maybe you weren't expecting to see The Windsors on this list, but here we are! You'll need a bit of Royal knowledge to appreciate the jokes, but for all its slapstick antics, The Windsors really hits the Royals where it hurts (and word on the street is they're laughing right along with us). Harry Enfield's Prince Charles steals the show every time.
The Queen, staring Helen Mirren, tells the story of Queen Elizabeth's struggle to connect to the country following the sudden death of her former daughter-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales. If The Queen reminds you of The Crown, it was written by Peter Morgan, the show's creator and showrunner. The performance earned Helen Mirren an invitation to Buckingham Palace (you read that right).
Historical Shows about the British Royals
Let's kick things off with what's now become a classic, Jonathan Rhys Meyers' The Tudors, probably the best in a long string of recent shows about Henry VIII. In addition to fabulous costumes and scenery, you'll see a few familiar faces, including Henry Cavill, Sam Neill, and Natalie Dormer. It's a bit spicy...as you'd expect.
If you don't mind a spot of historical inaccuracy, tune into Reign for the background on the early life of Mary, Queen of Scots, along with some fun, fluffy costumes, and a bit of teen romance.
Mary, Queen of Scots (2018)
For a look at her later life, particularly the relationship with Queen Elizabeth, Mary, Queen of Scots, staring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, was criticized for its historical accuracy (the two queens never actually met), but I found it hugely entertaining, particularly for people interested in this period.
The Favourite (2018)
The Favourite, a heavily artistic story of the fairly tragic life of Queen Anne, will bring you Olivia Colman as another of Englands famed queens. Filmed partially at Hampton Court, Colman's Oscar-winning performance is about as far as you can imagine from her interpretation of Elizabeth II, and Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone complete a perfect, darkly comic trio.
The Young Victoria
The Young Victoria is one of my favorite recent films about the Royal Family, not only for the costumes, but also because it features of a cameo from some real Windsors, Princess Beatrice, a great-great-great-great granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Emily Blunt is superb.
If you're interested in the storied relationship between Victoria and her husband, A&E/BBC classic Victoria & Albert was a mainstay of the historical romance boxset days.
Telling the historically dubious, but no-less-charming, story of Queen Victoria and her riding instructor and personal servant John Brown, a plain spoken, kilt-wearing Highland man, it's a bit like the anti-Outlander. Judi Dench is, unsurprisingly, a phenomenal Queen Victoria and, though dated, it's worth watching.
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