Unlike those dry textbooks you were forced to read in high school history, historical movies about real nobility are extremely interesting and have a huge following. Although these movies paint a colorful picture of what life was like for these famous royals and how events came to pass, many of them take cinematic liberties and push the limits of reality to fit their sensational plotlines. These historical movies about royals made some pretty blatant inaccuracies telling the stories of what happened to the real-life characters who star in them.
1. Mary Queen of Scots – The Two Queens Never Met
In the movie, Mary Queen of Scots, Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) is accused of the murder of her husband, and goes to meet her first cousin, Queen Elizabeth of England (Margot Robbie) for help. In the movie, the meeting is very climactic and rewarding for viewer, however it is not historically accurate. In fact, the two women never actually met in person in real life. Although, they did have a lot of correspondence via letters, so it almost feels as though they did know one another personally.
2. Marie Antoinette – She Never Said “Let Them Eat Cake”
Although an excellent movie, Marie Antoinette director, Sofia Coppola, took a lot of liberties while telling the story of the real-life Queen of France. There are many details the director got wrong (including the number of family members, the personalities of the main characters, even the physique and look of them). However, the most notable inaccuracy is the famous line “Let Them Eat Cake” which many associate with Marie, even before this movie came out. However, she never said this line, ever, and there is no evidence to say that she did.
3. The Young Victoria – They Were Speaking The Wrong Language
This period drama focuses on the private life of Queen Victoria, including her daily activities as well as her romantic relationships. To try and keep the film as historically accurate as possible, the director hired Alastair Bruce, 5th Baron Aberdare, a historical consultant to fact check everything. However, he missed a few details that could have been easily changed such as the scene where Prince Albert and Ernest speak to each other in German. At that time, royals in Belgium were speaking only Dutch or French.
4. Elizabeth – The Makeup And Wig Were There To Hide Her Smallpox Infection
The 1998 film ‘Elizabeth’, starring Cate Blanchett, was deemed “problematic” by many historians who found loads of details that were just plain incorrect. One of the more glaring inaccuracies was that of Elizabeth’s transformation into ‘Gloriana’, the virgin ruler who would begin England’s Golden Age (which also did not start until years after the movie states it does). In this scene she shaves her head and covers her face in thick, white makeup. In reality, Elizabeth did not change her appearance for a grandiose statement of power. Instead, she used the makeup to cover her smallpox, which also ended up thinning her hair forcing her to start wearing wigs.
5. The King – Henry V Was Not Drinking Away His Royal Responsibilities
The Netflix movie, The King, stars Timothée Chalamet who plays Henry V. The movie is all about Henry V’s rise to power and life as a royal during England’s war with France. The movie depicts young Henry V as a delinquent teen, who is always drinking, sleeping with loads of women, and not really caring about his royal duties. In reality, however, Henry V was heavily involved in the royal affairs while his father was king, and was generally a big part of politics even before his own coronation.
6. The Other Boleyn Girl – Anna Probably Didn’t Have Relations With Her Brother
The Other Boleyn Girl movie is based on the novel by Phillipa Gregory, who claims to have taken her plotline straight from history. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case in either the film or the book. There are many details that do not have any evidence or even evidence to the contrary. One of the most inaccurate claims the film makes is when it uses a false allegation about Anne and her brother George having relations. The film takes it a step further and shows Anna trying to convince him to get her pregnant.
7. Queen Margo – King Charles Died of Tuberculosis, Not Poison
The 1994 film, Queen Margo, tells the story of Margaret of Valois, the Queen of France during the 14th century. Although the film is full of inaccurate historical accounts, the most blatant one is that of her brother, King Charles IX’s death. In the movie, Charles and Margot’s mother ties poisoning Margo’s husband with arsenic, but Charles accidentally drinks it first and dies. In reality, King Charlies died of tuberculosis in 1574.