A Royal Scandal (TV Movie 1997) Poster

(1997 TV Movie)

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Cara-815 March 2000
As a devoted reader of Regency romances, I was delighted to see a movie about the scandalous Regent himself and his much-lamented marriage to Caroline. And I'm pleased to say this movie lives up to my expectations. Sure, Richard E Grant will never look like the extra-large Prince Regent, but who cares? Here we get gorgeous costumes, wigs, palaces and mistresses, and a fun soap opera which we can pretend is a good-for-you historical snob-picture. Now back to my Regencies!
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Intriguing and enthralling TV movie based on actual events
Owen L.20 January 2000
"A Royal Scandal" is an interesting TV movie that recreates the 19th century marriage and subsequent marital problems of King George and his wife Princess Caroline of Brunswick. The whole saga has many interesting similarities to that of the Charles/Diana affair but is significant in the fact that it occurred in the 19th century when traditional values and the notion of the "sanctity of marriage" prevailed.

Ian Richardson is an excellent narrator with the right tone of voice to narrate such a tale. Richard E. Grant gives an outstanding performance in his role as King George and Susan Lynch also gives us an outstanding and convincing performance as Princess Caroline of Brunswick. In fact all the actors and actresses in this TV movie are outstanding and their convincing performances are to be commended.

I found "A Royal Scandal" intriguing and enthralling and historically accurate. It draws upon personal correspondence and diaries that were kept at the time to help make the story complete. I would certainly label this as recommended viewing for anyone interested in watching a production that draws upon both real history and good cast members
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Royal Adultery in the Regency Period
theowinthrop16 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This was an enjoyable docudrama regarding an actual incident of the early 19th Century that most Americans don't know about.

At the end of the film THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III that monarch is furious with his son George ("Prinny"), Prince of Wales. Prinny had been angling with the Whigs to get a regency bill through putting him in charge of Britain because Daddy was crazy. But George III had recovered (if temporarily). George III waited for his chance.

If you saw either of the films of BEAU BRUMMELL you know that Prinny was tutored into being a cultured fop and gentleman by Brummell, but Prinny was also a gambler and spendthrift and rake. He had a girlfriend, Maria Fitzherbert, who was a Catholic, and whom he married because she requested this for her conscience. Mrs. Fitzherbert was an admirable friend/lover/pal for Prinny because she respected his rank and she was a sensible and intelligent woman. But her religion made her impossible for a Queen.

Prinny had debts, and his father refused to help pay them unless he got legally married (i.e. to a Protestant Princess) and produced an heir. He agreed, temporarily sending Maria away until he'd contact her again. King George and Prime Minister Pitt finally chose Princess Caroline of Brunswick (whose father was a leading European General). It was a disaster. Prinny, who had been a handsome youth, was putting on weight by this time due to the good food Brummell introduced him to. Caroline was also quite a heavy eater. Prinny prided himself on his fine clothing and appearance (despite the weight). Caroline wore loud patterns and clothing. Her manners were okay for a small German Principality or Duchy, but not on par with Prinny's. Still they did get married, and had one child. This was Princess Caroline, who would reach adulthood and marry, but die in childbirth with her child in 1817,

A long comedy of errors developed as Caroline took umbrage at her husband resuming life with Maria Fitzherbert, and began a series of affairs. In 1807 the government was forced to make "the delicate investigation", and found she was fooling around with members of Parliament (including, possibly, one future Prime Minister). Caroline was given a stern warning, and the now publicly humiliated Prinny waited for his revenge.

Thirteen years later, finally becoming George IV, Prinny ordered his Prime Minister to begin proceedings against Caroline for adultery. It should have been easy There were plenty of witnesses to her trysts. Her lover Razelli came to testify against her before the House of Lords. But Caroline had the services of Henry Brougham, the best barrister in England (and a future Lord Chancellor). Brougham destroyed Razelli's testimony by asking pointed questions about his own behavior with the Princess, and his taking money from the Government for his testimony (Razelli's phrase, "No me ricorde" - "I don't remember" - became as famous in the 1820s as "I plead the fifth amendment, as my statements may tend to incriminate me" in the testimony before HUAC or Kefauver's anti-Mafia committee in the 1950s).

Caroline was acquitted - a fact that did not sit well with King George IV. He still had one final card to play - and he did play it.

Ian Richardson did the dry, humorous narrative for the production. It was well acted, and well worth watching for an intriguing look at a scandal that shook up Britain for awhile.
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Docudrama of the marriage from hell between royals George and Caroline.
weezeralfalfa7 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Not to be confused with the 1945 Hollywood film of the same title, which is a fictional story involving Catherine the Great, of Russia. Both films are currently available at YouTube and on DVD. Actually, the present film is an extra on the DVD for "The Queen's Sister". The film sticks to the facts, as expertly narrated by Ian Richardson. In it's brief 60min, it packs quite a bit of info. The main topic is the troubled marriage between George, Prince of Wales, and the German princess Caroline, of Brunswick. This docudrama chronicles the appropriate significant events from the time Caroline arrived to meet George to her death and burial, denied the title of queen when George became King George IV . It is revealed that this problem marriage was largely the doing of George III, who demanded that his son marry his rather coarse cousin, as a requirement to giving him substantial money to reduce his bloated debt. Throughout their marriage, the King favored Caroline over George in their disputes. In time, Caroline would be embraced by many commoners, in contrast to the typically negative reception of George. Naturally, this increased George's resentment of her. Actually, George thought he had been married to another girl 10 years ago. But, she couldn't be accepted in a royal marriage because she was Catholic and commoner. Seems like he should have been forced to abdicate in marrying her. She still sometimes figured in his life. ...After 21/2 years, Caroline had had enough of the cold shoulder treatment and restrictions on her freedom imposed by George. She was also sick of having to dine alone with Lady Jersey: her maid in waiting , and George's current favorite mistress. She managed to move away from George, outside of London, while the King made Lady Jersey also move out. The couple wanted to divorce each other, but that required proof of adultery, which would open a can of worms in George's case. So, they settled for an official separation..... Eventually, she grew weary of this life, which saw her in increasing isolation from other members of the aristocracy..... Thus, soon after Napoleon's defeat, she negotiated a bargain with the Foreign Secretary, agreeing to leave the UK in exchange for an annual allowance of 35,000 pounds sterling. She soon spent most of her time in Italy, or cruising the Mediterranean with her servant and presumed lover Pergami....... Her improper conduct instigated a divorce proceeding in the UK. Thanks to the skill and imagination of her lawyer, she was acquitted. However, her reputation was ruined. Yet, many commoners still supported her. ...Eventually, King George III died. Caroline tried to attend the coronation of her husband, but was excluded. Later, that day, she felt ill, and got worse over the next several weeks. She thought she had been poisoned, but more likely was suffering from a cancer. Not portrayed is the funeral procession through several towns. London was not on the original itinerary, but some of her fans blocked roads to other destinations, requiring travel through parts of London.....I enjoyed the film, and can heartily recommend it to those who enjoy such stories.
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