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Editor: Mandy Merck

Moving images of the British monarchy, in fact and fiction, are almost as old as the moving image itself, dating back to an 1895 dramatic vignette, The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Led by Queen Victoria, British monarchs themselves appeared in the new 'animated photography' from 1896. Half a century later, the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II was a milestone in the adoption of television, watched by 20 million Britons and 100 million North Americans. At the century's end, Princess Diana's funeral was viewed by 2.5 billion worldwide. Seventeen essays by international commentators examine the portrayal of royalty in the 'actuality' picture, the early extended feature, amateur cinema, the movie melodrama, the Commonwealth documentary, New Queer Cinema, TV current affairs, the big screen ceremonial and the post-historical boxed set. These contributors include Ian Christie, Elisabeth Bronfen, Andrew Higson, Steven Fielding, Karen Lury, Glyn Davis, Ann Gray, Jane Landman, Victoria Duckett, Jude Cowan Montague, James Downs, Barbara Straumann, Deirdre Gilfedder, Jo Stephenson, Ruth Adams, Erin Bell, Basil Glynn and Nicola Rehling.

Open Access (free)
Charles V. Reed

Abbey, celebrated a British monarchy revitalised by the duke and duchess. A century earlier in 1901, William’s great-great-grandparents the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, the future King George V and Queen Mary, were on a worldwide tour of the British Empire. The most ambitious royal tour of the empire to date, their travels had been planned by Joseph Chamberlain and the duke

in Royal tourists, colonial subjects and the making of a British world, 1860–1911
Open Access (free)
The King’s Speech as melodrama
Nicola Rehling

In his review of The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010), Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw remarks that the Oscar-winning film shows ‘some cheek at presenting an English monarch as the underdog’. 1 However, although melodrama traditionally ‘sides with the powerless’, 2 it has become a common mode through which the British monarchy is represented in contemporary British

in The British monarchy on screen
Mandy Merck

, that the ambiguous ‘concern’ about the strike expressed in a palace press release indicated a royal regard for ordinary Britons’ welfare not shared by the elected government of Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. That belief, Williamson argued, has been bolstered by the British monarchy’s cultivation of a middle-class domestic image since the reign of Victoria. In ‘incorporating both

in The British monarchy on screen
Contemporary ‘British’ cinema and the nation’s monarchs
Andrew Higson

INTRODUCTION: THE HERITAGE OF MONARCHY AND THE ROYALS ON FILM From Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V Shakespeare adaptation in 1989 to the story of the final years of the former Princess of Wales, in Diana in 2013, at least twenty-six English-language feature films dealt in some way with the British monarchy. 1 All of these films (the dates and directors of which

in The British monarchy on screen
Outdoor screens and public congregations
Ruth Adams

popularity of these screenings make them, I would argue, a legitimate area of research, and one that has not yet been explored in relation to royal events, although work has been done on live broadcasts in sporting, theatrical and other cultural environments. This omission might be understood in the context of a more widespread neglect of topics relating to the British monarchy by academia, an inattention that

in The British monarchy on screen
Open Access (free)
An allegory of imperial rapport
Deirdre Gilfedder

establishment of what has long been termed in Australia, a ‘bunyip aristocracy’. 2 It also revealed the complexity of an entirely independent Australia’s relationship to the British monarchy. This return to royal honours comes in the wake of a series of mediated public relations ‘successes’ for the British royal family in the twenty-first century. In Britain the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the

in The British monarchy on screen
Open Access (free)
Mandy Merck

international, masked or made manifest the political power of the British monarchy? 1 Elizabeth II is escorted to the 2012 London Olympics by James Bond (Daniel Craig), as filmed for the BBC by Danny Boyle. In what way is the significance of that institution inflected by the key genres

in The British monarchy on screen
Charles V. Reed

early 1980s, when the modern Elizabethan monarchy was experiencing a period of unpopularity stemming from a series of family controversies, Cannadine sought to understand how the monarchy emerged from a transformative age of political reform as a popular symbol of nation and empire. For Cannadine, the answer was to be found in the ritual functions of the British monarchy, what Walter Bagehot had called the

in Royal tourists, colonial subjects and the making of a British world, 1860–1911
James Downs

his life would mirror that of the Prince Consort, with continual ambiguities about national identity, loyalty and belonging. As the star of both German and English depictions of the Victorian court, his career offers a unique double perspective on the representation of the British monarchy. Although his father Adolf Wohlbrück (1864–1940) was a clown, a family tradition of acting stretched back for

in The British monarchy on screen