The Queen Reigns in Hamilton

Jason Rand

The British Royal Family has come to be regarded as the posh and proper mascot of England. Sporting tartan patterns, cruising around in Range Rovers, and owning an entourage of Welsh Corgis, Helen Mirren’s Oscar nominated performance as Queen Elizabeth II is truly spectacular.

This drama depicts the Royal Family immediately following the untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Diana’s stature as a beautiful celebrity, a philanthropist, and a caring mother made her the “People’s Princess.” Her death set off a storm of national mourning in the United Kingdom and the world. Despite a distraught nation, Her Majesty the Queen believed the issue was a private matter, and thus should not be discussed publicly. The media slammed the Royal Family for its cold-hearted approach, and the public grew outraged at an apparently uncaring Queen. Despite this, Mirren portrays a sovereign Queen with conviction, who can take her Earl Grey tea without the sugar coating or the cream.

Constructive criticism comes from newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen), who sees the Royal Family’s inability to address Diana’s death as adding to the fire. By doing nothing, Blair believed the Queen would face potential political suicide from an outraged public. By the end, the Queen concedes that public acknowledgement will appease a distraught public.Upon her return to Buckingham Palace, she realizes the public’s distaste for the Royal Family by reading condolence cards applauding Diana and scolding the Royal Family that cut off all ties from her.

The intrigue behind Stephen Frears’ The Queen is the fly-on-the-wall approach to the intimate conversations between members of the Royal Family.While it is never made clear how accurate Peter Morgan’s script may be, movie goers will be shocked by what is said between members of the Royal Family and amongst Blair’s people.Prince Philip’s (James Cromwell) distain for the late Diana Spencer is worse than a senior who just found out her boyfriend made out with a first-year at The Jug.

Politics, a rich family, divorce and death make The Queen a movie worth seeing.The movie may seem frivolous when one considers that Great Britain came to a standstill over Diana’s death, while there are far worse atrocities occurring in the world.Blood Diamond comes to mind.