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Queen Elizabeth IIs Grief over the Death of Princess Diana

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 3 8

Few days ago I saw the movie The Queen as portrayed in 2006 by Helen Mirren. The film is telling the story about Queen Elizabeth II at the time when Tony Blair was elected prime minister of Britain and when Princess Diana died.

In the film, Queen Elizabeth was confronted by the death of Diana, the dearly beloved Princess of the People aka Princess Diana. The Queen reacted apparently without any sorrow, and felt that she had to follow certain protocols. According to the protocol, she and her tea-loving husband and the Queen Mother did not want to make a big fuzz out of the death of Diana, after all Diana was no longer a Royal Highness, an HRH.

Queen Elizabeth and the staff of Buckingham Palace wanted to leave it to Diana's family, the Spencers, to have the responsibility and decision to handle the funeral. However, the young and very newly-elected Tony Blair had another point-of-view; he thought that the palace had to do something, especially because the people were waiting to hear something from the palace. It came to the point where the monarch's popularity was in severe jeopardy, one of the issues were the fact that the flag over Buckingham Palace was not on half as a symbol of sorrow and respect.

The Prime Minster Tony Blair encouraged the queen to do something before it was too late for her and the rest of her elegantly dressed royal family, who apparently continued their daily life with hunting parties etc. In the end, Queen Elizabeth had to break these protocols and outside of Buckingham Palace she shared the grief with the mass on the loss of the Princess of the People. Queen Elizabeth was also obliged to perform on the television by making a respectful speech in honor of Diana. Who could have known what would have happened had Queen Elizabeth continued to follow the protocols.

The public known reaction of Buckingham Palace and Queen Elizabeth II made many people ask the question: Your Highness, are you really necessary?

The movie The Queen can very well make many think that monarchs are way too appreciated. While many claim that to have a monarchy in a country is cheaper than to have changing presidents, and that a monarchy is a very lucrative asset, because it is generating income by tourism etc., then many people think the opposite. In particular the exposure in the movie The Queen of the incidents around Princess Diana's death made more people realize that these royal highnesses are no longer necessary in a modern democratic world.

Anyway, let's go back to the movie. I thought it was OK. Helen Mirren's acting was awesome. Of course, I wouldn't know whether Queen Elizabeth's overall character was clearly portrayed by Mirren, but I believe Mirren made me see what could be the true image of how the Queen is. I found that the Queen Mother was so ridiculously funny, because in the film she either looked like a nosy neighbor hanging out with Queen Elizabeth or an evil alter ego. The Queen's husband, Prince Philip's character was interesting, I felt that he was either an ornament or a bored person who only knows about hunting and tea drinking.

I think that the film maker and the writer have made a film in fine balance. It is not a direct tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, or an ugly critique. In the end the viewer can reflect over which side of the fence is the better. Is it a yes to monarchy or not?



Feb 6, 2010 9:08am
Well said, I have not seen the movie, I did think about it but decided to give it a miss simply because of the way she appeared about Diana.
I might still go and see it, Now I have seen it through your eyes. thanks
Feb 6, 2010 9:59am
It is a well made movie, and worthwhile to see. Of course it is actors who perform, but the movie is made in such a way so you seem to forget that it is acting. It is almost as a documentary (and the truth could very well be close to the story of the film).
Feb 27, 2010 4:02pm
It seemed almost like a character repair piece "PR" if you will for poor Queen Elizabeth II. It IS truly not her fault she's so remote
Feb 27, 2010 6:08pm
I understand what you mean, but I believe that the movie gives a balanced view of the whole story. And it would most likely have been a disaster for the Queen if Tony Blair hadn't guided her to be more 'in line' with the peoples opinion.
Jul 10, 2010 1:54pm
I did see it, an agree that it was a well balanced movie. Yet it made feel quite angry at the public, demanding a show of grief, as if two young childrens mothers death was not traumatising enough they had to go in fron of a crowd and look sad.

Although she was a well loved person who did try to do good, people who did not know her shouldn't be telling her family how to mourn.
Jul 11, 2010 9:18am
I agree with you in general, but I also understand the demands from the public to the Royals. In my opinion royalty has two different spheres. A public and a private, and there are different sets of rules for each sphere.
Jul 29, 2010 1:11pm
I remember well the feeling of disbelief and shock that was universal in Britain at the time, living there as I did, myself included though I am anti-monarchy. I have not seen the film, preferring to rely on memory, rather than facts chosen to make a profitable film.
There WAS amazement that the queen was quite so po-faced about the whole thing and a general perception that she was jealous of Diana's popularity. Yes the situation had never cropped up before, but there are some very well-paid advisors who are paid to modify protocols as dictated by circumstance
Jul 29, 2010 7:22pm
You ought to see the film. It isn't made only to make a profit. And you (LOL) do not run the risk of being converted to a royalist.
I would label the film as semi-fiction and semi-documentary, but I think it is closer to reality than fiction (I believe that the word is 'faction')
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