The Queen


The film depicts the events following the death of Diana in August 1997 and the tumultous following days.

Tony Blair has been elected in the spring and the film explores him as a reformer vs  establishment. New Labour Government vs The Royal Household. His cheery bonhomie to her apparent coldness.

During the film there is a bottle of wills with the PM succeeding in persuading the Royal Household to go for a an in effect state funeral.

Interestingly the film was released in 2012  as the Royal and Family and particularly the Queen’s opularity were on the rise with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and conincidetly with a dropoff in Blair’s


The Queen as villain

Telling the story of the death of Diana and the extraordinary events of after. The film follows the days after Diana’s death, mixes found footage with dramatic reconstructions of events and speculates on  what might have been happening in the royal household.

Although the narrative  is “realife” docudrama there are classic elements as the equilibrium is initially disrupted and then a new equilibrium is restored. Using Parker’s classification this is a tragedy.

Applying Propp’s theorie, Helen Mirren as the Queen is the villain. Considering many hold her in high esteem this must have been an extraordinaryly difficult portrayal. Her Oscar winning performance accurately portrays the monarch as  being in turns  an ex-mother-in-law, mother, grandmother and  constitutional head of state and woman. She creates the disturbance by misjudging people’s reactions and then reacting slowly when the weeping masses of the nation ( or more concerning the  tabloid press)  is clear. At the time there was a degree of national mourning probably not seen since the death of Winston Churchill.

A beautifully edited piece shows the hero Tony Blair ( Michael Sheen ) arriving at Church. As the actual head of state and at the time ‘of” the people because of his landslide election victory  enunciating the ‘peoples’ thoughts to the nation to camera. Edited in we see peoples reactions to his words even the news reader, Martyn Lewis, swallowing hard at the end.

Alistair Campbell (Head of Communications) is the  donor writing  the speech in which Blair calls Diana the “Peoples’ Princess”

The Prince of Wales ( Alex Jennings) acts as  the enabler with Cherie Blair ( Helen McCrory) as helper. The tabloid press as helpers

The princess is good standing with the public/ positive public opinion and/or the press.

Other characters are

Duke of Edinburgh (James Cromwell) -Helper (Sidekick??) – offers acerbic advice.

Robin Janvrin Private secretary to HRH (helper)

Cherie Blair ( Helen McCrory) (Helper)

The Queen as hero/anti hero.

Blair as Donor advising the Queen and helper (defends here against the other Labour Party elements)

Alistair Campbell as helper

The “Tabloid Press” as villains or the  people

Prince of Wales as (indirect) enabler by pushing for the public funeral.

Cherie Blair ( Helen McCrory)


This is an entertaining and thought provoking film. The two analyses work and I suspect it is personal preference as which you choose.


The Queen, [television programme, online], Prod. credit n.k., Prod. company n.k., Prod. country n.k., 20:00 23/6/2012, ITV3, 130mins., (Accessed 25/04/2016).






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