History vs Hollywood
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Was The Madness of King George an act of cruel calumny?
01 The king’s son, the Prince of Wales, played by Rupert Everett, is depicted as a scheming villain who cannot wait to be named as regent on behalf of his father. In reality, the prince was far more conflicted over his father’s illness, despite his desire for the regency. 02 The movie includes scenes where the king, played by Nigel Hawthorne, is given various treatments by his physician Dr Warren to try and cure his illness. These include blistering, purgatives and cupping, all of which were really given to George. 03 Queen Charlotte, played by Helen Mirren, is shown as devoted to her mentally unwell husband throughout the film. Although Charlotte was known to adore George, in real life his illness frightened her, to the point where she wouldn’t be left alone with him. 04 The film inaccurately shows the prince preventing his mother from visiting the king and hiring the physician, Dr Willis, to treat him. In fact, it was the queen who stopped her son from seeing the king and she was the one to discover Dr Willis. 05 In the final scenes of the movie, the king regains his senses and races to Parliament to prevent the Regency Bill from passing. It is true that the George’s recovery vacated the need for the bill, but he did not have to dramatically rush there to stop it.
Verdict An enjoyable film that relies on inaccuracies to ramp up the drama