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)
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)
Royal weddings and the media promotion of British fashion
Jo Stephenson

refreshes. In the 2011 coverage of the royal wedding there is much talk of a new generation of royalty, embodied by the modern relationship of William and Kate. They met at university and lived together before marriage. Minibuses conveyed their lesser relations from the Palace to the Abbey. Their wedding was viewed world-wide on contemporary social media sites, smartphones and tablets. It is as though the

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

, namely the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This research is far from comprehensive or conclusive, but it does, I believe, flag up some key themes and issues, and gestures towards possibilities for future research. Ten respondents completed long-form open-ended questionnaires, and in four cases this was followed up by

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

the 2000s, bolstered by the ceremonial surrounding the death of the Queen Mother and the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. At least sixteen different monarchs appeared in ‘British’ films of the 1990s and 2000s, charting the history of the nation from the decline of the Roman era to the present

in The British monarchy on screen
Open Access (free)
The King’s Speech as melodrama
Nicola Rehling

film aptly dubbed ‘[a] picnic for Anglophiles’ by Hoberman. 67 If, as Kara McKenchie argues, the royal biopic responds to conceptions of the monarchy dominant at the time of production, 68 then, released just before Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding, The King’s Speech played well into the resurging popularity of the royal family after it had reached its lowest ebb in the 1990s with the

in The British monarchy on screen
Continuity and change
Erin Bell and Ann Gray

linked this to wider national issues: ‘By putting William and Kate’s marriage in its historical context, David Starkey reveals it as the logical next step in a century-long struggle to return our monarchy to its native roots, preserving it as a focus of national identity.’ 19 Despite these claims the programme was criticised by several reviewers, including Benji Wilson of the Telegraph , who considered

in The British monarchy on screen
Open Access (free)
Association and distinction in politics and religion
Rodney Barker

York: ‘Other guests for the dinner were an ex-Maharaja from India, whom everyone deliberately “highnesses” much to his delight. Royalty in exile is generally very exacting.’ 44 Royal weddings are forever attended by self-proclaimed monarchs not only from monarchies which no longer exist, but from countries which no longer exist. When Prince William and Kate Middleton were married in Westminster Abbey in 2011, the guests included King Michael of Yugoslavia. Two messages and two audiences; avoiding indifference The published and

in Cultivating political and public identity