11 thoughts on “18th Century Quest: A Royal Affair (2012)

  1. I enjoyed the movie and thought the costumes so-so but pretty. But now I’m seeing Christian doing George III Hamilton’s song bc he has that vibe.

  2. I always thought the dresses on Caroline were so pretty,but fit too tight around the bust and the sleeves seemed to end much above the elbow point.Otherwise they did well with the renting.
    Those inaccurate side part half updo hairstyles,so pretty they are to behold,so inaccurate in silhouette for the historical accuracy to excuse.But the arranging of the side plait(or rather hot curled sausage of hair)is pretty accurate for some 1740s English portraits(but take my humble statement with a grain of salt and a chalice of vinegar,because said portraits have a weird abundance of similar hairstyles and satin silver dresses,so they might be allegorical.And some of those portraits do feature side parted hair,maybe that’s what the movie referenced?)

  3. The movie: It was a mixed bag for me, but it’s been a while since I saw it. I think I expected it to be a forbidden historical romance movie and instead it was a historical political movie with a forbidden affair thrown in. Also, the insane king was off-putting in the sense of “Why does every historical royal movie have a crazy king?” It may be historically accurate, but it just tires me out. I thought Vikander and Mads Mikkelson (sigh) had good chemistry, and I would have preferred a “romantic” movie over a “realistic” one.

    The looks: Is it shallow for me to admit that I would’ve loved for your post to consist solely of stills of Mads Mikkelson?? The best-looking items here are Mads Mikkelson (of course), the portrait of King Christian VII, the Robe a l’Anglaise from The Met, the dress recycled from The Duchess, and the satin riding habit. What color is that riding habit? It seems like a pale grey or pale blue, but I can’t tell from the picture.

  4. I think the ‘maternity gown’ is some kind of pet en l’air; there’s a distinct hem at the back just above the bottom of the picture.

  5. To be fair to the “lace bib”:

    It used to be a thing for many centuries that at the funerals of royalty and upper nobility.a fully-dressed effigy of the deceased would be carried on top of the coffin. Westminster Abbey has a collection of these.In some cases the clothes were clearly made specially for the effigy, but in others they seem to have been the deceased’s real clothes. One of the latter is the effigy of Robert, Marquess of Normandy, who died in 1715 aged 3, poor little lad, and whose body was moved from St Margaret’s Westminster to the Abbey in 1721. It’s thought that the effigy was made for the move (although there’s apparently a side-bet on 1735-6 when his surviving brother dies and had an effigy made).

    Anyway: wee Robert, not old enough to have been ‘breeched’, is dressed in a long Polish-style velvet open robe over a long coat of French silk brocade, fastened with a silver brocade ribbon sash. He wears a pleated stock of fine linen with two horizontal slits at the centre front; and a cravat made entirely of bobbin lace that’s only 16 inches long and folded to be about 2½ inches wide. It is worn simply slotted through the slits in the stock. This device means there’s no need to put stress on the lace by knotting or twisting it, and allows all the expensive lace to be seen. So it pretty much IS a ‘lace bib’, although a flat narrow one. There’s no telling how commonplace this was, or whether it was specific to small boys’ however, it did exist.

    The arrangement in that picture above could have been (I don’t say it was) produced by similar means.

  6. Poor Caroline Matilda! She was in a bad situation, but she showed some bad judgement too. Some historians think that his little sister’s disastrous marriage was the reason George III was reluctant to marry off his own daughters. It could be true. A doating father might well have nightmares over what might happen to his little girl if he sent her overseas to a strange court beyond his power to protect her.

  7. I saw the film in the Cinema.

    I had the Impression, that they did the most difficult part very well (Christian’s illness and the
    situation in the later part of the film with the ruler under the orders of his own doctor) but the easier part very bad (Struensee just looks like a old highwayman and not like a politician). I would suppose that this was a low Budget production or all money went into the two leading roles (Vikander and Mikkelsen). The uniforms were looking poor and we don’t get the Impression of the scale of the Danish castles (Christiansborg for example) and the importance of Denmark during this period (ruling Norway too and Controlling the passage to the Baltic sea). It’s surprising that “1864” obviously had a far larger Budget as a TV-production. Maybe the Story was more important for Denmark.

  8. I wish they’d cast actors that looked more like the historical Caroline Matilda and Struensee too (and in the latter case, closer to the right age – I feel like it’s important to the story that he was still only 34 when he was executed, and Mads Mikkelsen was over a decade older than that when they did this movie). But I did think they were both very good in their roles, so that helps. Alicia Vikander’s acting in the scene where she learns about Struensee’s death was particularly incredible.

    Overall, I thought it was a very good movie, and stuck close to the history from what I can tell. The deviations they made (like giving Christian VII more agency in the story, as opposed to him just letting Struensee do whatever he wanted) I actually think were understandable, and made for a better story. The thing that bugged me most was definitely the styling of Struensee’s character, especially that stringy hairstyle! If you’re going to be inaccurate, at least do it in the name of something that looks good.

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