In Eighteenth Century Denmark a new Queen (Alicia Vikander) arrives from her native England to meet her new King, Christian VII (Mikkel Følsgaard) for the first time. The King instantly fails to live up to his reputation and the Queen is shunned by him and infuriated by his temperament and apparent madness. What’s worse is that Denmark’s outdated censorship bans many of her favourite Enlightenment era books which are returned to England. In a small Danish colony in Germany, two ex Court favourites persuade a local Doctor to apply to be the King’s physician in the hope that they will once again gain favour with the Court. The Doctor (Mads Mikkelsen) is an instant hit with the King but with few others. The Queen slowly learns of their like-mindedness and they begin a slow seizure of power from the lame duck Monarch as well as embarking on a risky sexual affair.
It always annoys me when I miss a critically successful overseas film at the cinema but I simply couldn’t find anywhere showing A Royal Affair on its theatrical release. The film has since been Oscar Nominated and just the other day won a couple of converted Kermode Awards so I was thrilled when my online DVD rental service sent me the film. A Royal Affair is pretty much all I was expecting of it. It’s a lavish and pretty costume drama with a political heart and save for a run time I would happily shorten, I really enjoyed it.