Saturday, September 15, 2007

Watching the film The Queen

Last night, my wife and I watched the movie The Queen, which stars the wonderful British actress Helen Mirren. Prior to this film, I'd seen Ms. Mirren in her mini-series Prime Suspect. Fascinating film, and I'm very thrilled that Ms. Mirren won an Academy Award for her performance. The Academy Awards, IMHO, often is otherwise too much like a popularity contest; how extremely-overrated Julia Roberts has an Oscar is absolutely beyond me.

There's a line in the film that British prime minister Tony Blair's character utters that got my attention. He talks about how Queen Elizabeth II never wanted the job of monarch and how she'd watched it kill her father. Assuming Blair really said this, it's perhaps fitting since it's a fluke--if you will--that Her Majesty became queen: her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne in 1936 in order to marry his divorced American wife.* His brother and Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI, then became king. Her Majesty, being the firstborn in a family of two daughters but no sons, then became Queen after her father's death on February 6, 1952 (exactly 21 years before I was born).
Besides Ms. Mirren, I also enjoyed the performance of James Cromwell, a good American actor who played Prince Philip.

As I watched the movie, though, I could see the Queen's love for her grandsons, but an overall coldness in the family for Princess Diana. Even Charles seemed very saddened by the death of his ex-wife. I told Jennifer that I really hope the British monarchy moves forward into the 21st century as Princes William and Harry eventually marry: the aggravation that could've been averted if they would simply let the royal family members marry out of love. It's clear Prince Charles wanted to marry Camilla in the first place. It's little things like this that make me wonder if, should the Lord tarry, the British monarchy will still exist 500 years from now.

*If my British history serves me correctly, King Edward VIII (later known as the Duke of Windsor), was the only monarch to willingly abdicate the throne.

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