The British royal family was written out of the Patriot Games (1992) screenplay. It got lots of play in the Tom Clancy novel, but then, for the movie, the Prince and Princess of Wales were traded in for Lord Holmes, a cousin who doesn’t exist in real life. (Clancy reportedly distanced himself from the movie after this and other plot changes were made.)
It’s unclear exactly why this happened. Was it unrealistic to think that saving the royals from the Ulster Liberation Army could get Jack Ryan knighted? And that Ryan would make Prince Philip godfather to his second child? Or was there a fear that having real-life people as terrorist targets was asking for trouble? After all, Jackie Onassis famously resigned from Viking Press when it published a Jeffrey Archer thriller, Shall We Tell the President?, which outlined an assassination plot against Ted Kennedy.
TV movies about Princess Diana aside, the House of Windsor has definitely not had as many close-ups as their forebears (see The Lion in Winter, Anne of the Thousand Days, Elizabeth and so forth). But perhaps the tide is finally. The Queen (2006), nominated for six Oscars, won a best actress statue for Helen Mirren, who played Queen Elizabeth II in “a performance remarkable in its art and lack of sentimentalism,” according to the New York Times.
Will the success of The Queen lead to more movies about the Windsor dynasty? Given how handsome the two current successors to the throne are, it seems criminal not to put the life stories of Prince Harry and Prince William on the big screen if for no other reason than to give two equally handsome actors a chance to prance around Buckingham Palace.Read More