Royal love story ends in tragedy
of frock dramas will swoon over this wellcrafted historical drama from Danish director Nikolaj Arcel. Set in the 18th century at the court of the mentally ill King Christian VII of Denmark, A Royal Affair recounts the gripping details of one of the most dramatic events in the history of the Scandinavian state. A tragic love affair ignites a political bonfire in which the forces of liberal idealism threaten to overthrow the traditional stranglehold of the Danish nobility. The story begins when Christian’s cousin Caroline Mathilde, the youngest sister of English King George III, leaves Britain at 15 to wed the mad monarch. Their marriage is an unhappy union and the young queen is resigned to despondency until she falls in love with the king’s physician, who shares her interest in philosophy. Reforms are on the agenda for this progressive pair, but the court council, desperate to protect their own self-interests, are out for blood. The corrupt officials eventually expose the clandestine romance and plot the lovers’ downfall. This saga is enthralling right to its tragic end, although at just over two hours the film’s sombre mood is a little too grave in parts. The film won several awards at the Berlin Film Festival, including Best Actor for Mikkel Boe Folsgaard as King Christian.
Danish director Nikolaj Arcel