Be honest, just how excited are you when there’s an impending royal wedding? Do you find that it’s kind of all you think about? Do you get worried that you might be just a wee bit obsessed? Well, if you do, don’t worry about it. As Dr. Sudeepta Varma, a psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, told writer Caroline Bologna, “We are fascinated and obsessed with fairy tales. They have been a part of our society’s fabric since childhood. They help us escape from the everyday mundane.” Whatever the reason for it, if you’re looking for even more royal wedding fun now that Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank have finally tied the knot, we’ve got you covered with this guide to royal romance in the movies.
It may be hard to believe, but long before Eugenie and Jack, Harry and Meghan, and even before the ancient days of Prince William and Kate Middleton, there were actually a lot of films that combined the ideas of romance and royalty. Sometimes the romance was strictly between royals, but more often than not, they dealt with one royal getting involved with a member of the commonfolk and having to overcome incredible odds to be together. We don’t think it’s spoiling anything to say that they usually did.
These films from over the years range from options like Disney’s Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, to classics that starred true Hollywood royalty like Audrey Hepburn, historical dramas taking you back to the days of Queen Victoria, biopics looking at the romance of William and Catherine, and full-blown musicals like The King and I.
Whether you believe in princes and princesses and happily-ever-afters, you’ll find whatever you’re looking for right here. Take a look below to see if your favorite royal wedding movie made the cut!
Royal Movies Cinderella
Probably one of the first royal romances a kid is exposed to is Disney's classic animated film Cinderella, and its tale of the orphaned title character who is kept in a form of slavery by her cruel stepmother, and mistreated by her equally cruel stepsisters. But thanks to some friendly and industrious mice and birds (as well as the magic of her fairy godmother), she is made ready to go to the Prince's ball, which is being held to help him find a bride. You know the rest: Lost glass slipper, hunt for the foot that fits it, a reunion between the Prince and Cinderella, and happily ever after. Ah, if only real life could be so easy.
There have been many other versions of Cinderella over the years (including a pair of made-for-video animated sequels to the Disney film). The most interesting variation of the theme was 1998's Ever After: A Cinderella Story, where Drew Barrymore plays Danielle de Barbarac/Comtesse Nicole de Lancret, who makes "Cinderella" a lady of action. Definitely worth checking out.
Royal Movies Royal Wedding
Royal Wedding (1951)
This one is admittedly a little different, as the royal part of the romance is actually the backdrop. Made in 1951, the focus starts on Broadway sibling stars Tom and Ellen Bowen, who take their show, Every Night at Seven, to London. The belief is that it will cash in on the royal wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip Mountbatten that is to take place shortly. Traveling by boat, Ellen meets and falls in love with Lord John Brindale, and once in London, Tom falls in love with a dancer named Anne Ashmond. As things evolve, both couples make plans to be married on the same day as Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Starring are Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, and Sarah Churchill.
Royal Movies Roman Holiday
Roman Holiday (1953)
This film is classic Hollywood in every sense of the word, particularly in terms of the casting. Audrey Hepburn plays Anne, a princess who decides to sneak off in Rome to get away from the pressures of royalty while on "tour." While there, a prescribed sedative kicks in and she ends up falling asleep on a park bench. That's where American reporter Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) finds her and, for safety reasons, brings her back to his apartment (yeah, try getting away with that in 2018, Mr. Peck!). Discovering who she is, he makes a bet with his editor that he can get an exclusive interview with her. Complicating his winning that bet is that he starts to fall in love with her.
The part of Joe Bradley was originally offered to Cary Grant, but he turned it down. Before casting Audrey (who was a newcomer), director William Wyler approached Elizabeth Taylor and Jean Simmons, both of whom weren't free. Amusingly, about 20 years later Jean would play a similar role in an episode of The Odd Couple, her suitor being Jack Klugman's Oscar Madison.
Royal Movies King And I
The King and I (1956)
Deborah Kerr is Anna Loenowens, a governess and English tutor who has come to Siam to teach the wives and children of Yul Brynner's King Mongkut the English language, as well as American customs and etiquette. It's no easy task as Anna and the king continually butt heads with each other while she tries to prepare the king himself for a meeting with visiting diplomats, hoping they can see another side of the hard-headed man. And with all of this going on, growing love develops between them; however, it's a love that "must never be spoken of."
This musical film is based on the Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway show that debuted in 1951, and which in turn was based on Margaret Landon's 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam.
Royal Movies Beauty And The Beast
Beauty and the Beast (1991/2017)
This tale really does feel as old as time, but there's something comforting in that, especially when you consider there has never been more delightful versions than Disney's. It began with the 1991 animated musical that introduced us to Belle (voiced by Paige O'Hara), who has been imprisoned in a castle by Beast (Robbie Benson). He is actually a prince, cursed for his arrogance and cruelty to others by being turned into a creature, and the only cure is the kiss of true love. Is that Belle? What do you think? Pure magic all the way, and the inspiration for animated shorts, theatrical productions (including Broadway), and last year's live-action film starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as Beast.
But none of it beats the animated original.
Royal Movies The Prince And Me
The Prince and Me (2004)
Julia Stiles is pre-med student Paige Morgan, who finds herself attracted to wealthy Danish student Eddie Williams (Luke Mably). What she eventually discovers is that he will one day be the future king of Denmark. So while he is trying to get used to his life as a student in America, she attempts to come to grips with who he really is, and the two of them have to see if their growing romance is the real thing.
Royal Movies Enchanted
Another one where we're slightly cheating here, in that Giselle (played by Amy Adams) is a princess-to-be who is supposed to wed Prince Edward (James Marsden). But that's in the animated portion of the film, until the Queen banishes her to New York City on Earth, where she becomes a flesh-and-blood human being. There she is disoriented, and is (reluctantly) befriended by divorce lawyer and single father Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey), who's pretty cynical when it comes to romance. Yet despite that, Robert is supposed to propose to his longtime girlfriend, Nancy (Idina Menzel), while at the same time Prince Edward springs to life from Earth as he comes to rescue Giselle. Suffice it to say, the heroes of our story — Giselle and Robert — do work their way to each other's hearts.
Royal Movies The Young Victoria
The Young Victoria (2009)
Queen Victoria ruled over Great Britain and Ireland from 1837 to 1901, and this film begins with her teenage years as Victoria (Emily Blunt) finds herself caught up in the manipulations within family politics. She is torn between her mother's wishes, and her uncle, who is trying to arrange a marriage between her and her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Rupert Friend). We're so used to modern royalty that it's intriguing to take a look back at the way it once was.
Royal Movies William And Catherine
William & Catherine: A Royal Romance / William & Kate (2011)
Kate Middleton and Prince William kicked off the most recent string of royal weddings with their union, which took place on April 29, 2011. Prior to those nuptials, we were given two movies telling their love story. The first was the Hallmark Channel's William & Catherine: A Royal Romance, starring Dan Amboyer as the dashing royal and Alice St. Clair as his future bride. The other was William & Kate, with Nico Evers-Swindell as the prince and Camilla Luddington as Catherine, which aired on Lifetime. Both were pretty rushed, but that's part of the charm, isn't it?
Royal Movies Crown For Christmas
Crown for Christmas (2015)
When a hotel maid named Allie (Danica McKellar, who played Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years) doesn't have a guest's room ready in time, she's fired. She's then hired to be the governess to a girl in the country of Winshire ('cause, you know, that sort of thing happens all the time). When she gets there, she discovers that her employer is actually King Maximilian (Rupert Penry-Jones) and that the girl she's working with is Princess Theodora (Ellie Botterill), who hasn't been the same since her mother died. Despite the fact that the king is arranged to be married to Countess Celia (Alexandra Evans), it isn't long before it's obvious that he's actually feeling a connection with Allie and that she returns the feeling.
Royal Movies A Christmas Prince
A Christmas Prince (2017)
Aspiring journalist Amber Moore (iZombie's Rose McIver) travels to the country of Aldovia to cover a press conference being held by Prince Richard, who is going to be taking the throne. His reputation is pretty awful and she's ready to expose him for the man he is. But once she's there, she ends up pretending to be his sister's governess. She eventually realizes that Richard is a man who cares far more about his country than anyone realizes, but is not sure he's ready for the crown. As events unfold, they get to know each other and.... well, you can kind of figure out the rest.
Royal Movies A Royal Winter
A Royal Winter (2017)
While on a last-minute European holiday, a young woman named Maggie Marks (Merritt Patterson) finds herself in the middle of a real-life fairy tale when a chance meeting with a handsome local (Jack Donnelly) leads to something more. However, things get complicated when she learns that the “local” is actually Prince Adrian, who is about to be crowned King, and whose mother is completely against her royal son’s romance with the tourist.
Best Wedding Movies
Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance (2018)
Of course, the folks over at Lifetime just had to pay tribute to the other royal wedding from 2018 with their fictionalized version of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's romance. With Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser (shown above) taking on the roles of the duke and duchess, the film also highlights young Harry's bond with Princess Diana.