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"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" - Henry IV, Part II
Award-winning 2006 drama about how the popular and media reaction to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales came to shape the relations between the British Royal Family and the Blair government, with the main focus on the developing relationship between HM the Queen (Helen Mirren) and new Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen).
Surprisingly low on actual Diana-presence (occasional bits of archive footage only), and generally treats all the characters rather more sympathetically than might have been expected, including such stock figures of media fun as Charles and Philip, and for that matter the Blairs (though Cherie makes only fairly brief appearances).
The same production/writing/director team having made a previous film about Blair starring Sheen, 2003's The Deal, The Queen is now
retconned viewed as the second installment in the "Blair Trilogy", which was concluded by The Special Relationship (about Blair and Bill Clinton, with some Blair/Bush towards the end) in 2010.
This film contains examples of:
- And the Adventure Continues...: The film ends with Prime Minister Blair and Queen Elizabeth II discussing education reform as they walk the royal grounds, proving they had both settled into their new roles and are back at work...
- Based on a True Story - and relatively light on But It Really Happened!.
- There was serious effort to get all the details of that week correct. Some of the events they couldn't confirm - such as Blair's private discussions with Elizabeth - were based on how the persons were known to say and behave.
- Born in the Wrong Century: The Windsors are perpetually bewildered by the not-so-traditionally-British ways of the current Brits.
- Not true. Many other people were surprised by the reaction. Mostly it was the media playing it up to epic proportions.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Blair, lampshaded by the Queen Mother.
- Cool Old Lady
- Deadpan Snarker: The Queen, and to some extent (and surprise) Prince Philip and the Queen Mother. Also (on the other side) Cherie Blair and Alastair Campbell.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: The Queen
- Flanderization: Largely avoided, the Windsors (and the Blairs) are shown as rounded, if dysfunctional, people. If anything, this is probably the most toned-down version of Alastair Campbell's personality and role in politics you'll see (compare The Thick of It, just for starters).
- The film highlights that Prince Charles of all the Royals had the best sense of how people were going to react to Diana's death, and it shows him as genuinely upset when he visits Diana's coffin.
- Fake Brit: American James Cromwell as Prince Phillip.
- The Ghost: Diana, Princess of Wales.
- Granola Girl: Yes, it's Charlie. Who also appears to be The Unfavorite of both parents, even without any of his siblings being mentioned or shown.
- Heartwarming Orphan: Thankfully mostly off screen. You know who.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Poor Queen.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: DCI Tennyson is the Queen! That tall guy from L.A. Confidential and Babe is Prince Philip! Tony Blair is a werewolf and married to Narcissa Malfoy!
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Prince Phillip.
- Impersonation Paradox: Largely averted - Sheen's Blair, in particular, is eerily like the real thing in voice and mannerisms, despite not looking all that much like Tony Blair.
- Though most actors end up looking like who they're playing, with only two exceptions: Charles, whose actor doesn't look at all like him, and Phillip, who is also a well-known actor, as noted by Hey, It's That Guy!.
- Jerkass: On both sides. Prince Phillip doesn't get all the furor and keeps giving his wife the Queen bad advice. Blair has to deal with Alastair constantly making rude remarks about the Royals, leading up to Blair's passionate defense of the Queen.
- Kick the Dog:
Charles: Why do they hate us so much?
The Queen: Not us, dear.
The Queen: Hm?
- The Men of Downing Street: The film's subplot of how a Prime Minister interacts with the Queen - namely, how a "modern" Minister like Tony Blair is going to work with a woman who's so experienced she can name-drop Winston Churchill on you and get away with it.
- Never Mess with Granny: Guess. Eventually, anyway.
- Not So Stoic: The Queen.
- The Obi-Wan: The Queen Mother, to whom The Queen goes for advice when relations with Blair (not to mention the media furor) reach a tipping point.
- Precision F-Strike - The Queen -- yes, Her Royal Majesty -- when she busts an axle in her Range Rover:
- Reality Subtext: Near the end of the movie, the Queen warns Blair that what happened to her can happen to him as well. It is almost certainly intended as a reference to Blair's Fallen Hero status in the eyes of many people following the Iraq War.
- Royally Screwed-Up: The House of Windsor, unsurprisingly. But it's mostly presented as them simply being very out of touch with their modern subjects.
- Royal We: The Queen uses it occasionally.
- Spiritual Successor: To The Deal.
- Sympathetic POV: Used for just about everyone involved, and for the most part it's pulled off successfully.
- The only POV we don't get in full is Diana's. From the still photos and interview clips, the film tries to hint that she's unhappy and alone.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Oh, go on, then, guess.
- Wrench Wench: The Queen reminds one of her assistants she used to be one during the War.