70 years ago, Europe was celebrating the end of World War 2. The streets of London were filled with people who had suffered so much at the hands of the Germans and were now standing at the precipice of a brave new world. So it was to their King and Queen (George and Elizabeth), who had stayed with them during it all, they turned on this most important of nights.
The gates of Buckingham Palace strained against the weight of the crowds as they waited for their King, Queen and the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret to appear.
Big Ben struck midnight and a hush settled over the gathering, their faces turned up towards the balcony we all know so well. The King and Queen appeared …. but where were the Princesses?
The Princesses were, unbeknownst to anyone but a few, among that very crowd, waiting for the King at the palace gates.
Elizabeth (Gadon) and Margaret (Powley) had begged their parents to allow them out that evening. To their great surprise and absolute delight, permission was granted. However, there was a catch. They were allowed out on the proviso that they were escorted by two Officers from a barracks nearby. The girls reluctantly agreed but it wasn’t long before they outsmart the army boys and made off into the night alone.
The entire storyline for these Officers was absolute rubbish. It was tawdry and ridiculous and is best summarily ignored.
Princess Margaret manages to get herself into some pretty dicey trouble and it is her naiveté about the world at large that actually saves her. She winds up with some not so savoury characters and yet it is these people who come to the young Princess’ aide. I’m not sure if I read too much into the situation but social standing does not necessarily reflect a person’s true character.
And then there is Princess Elizabeth and her dashing soldier boy Jack (Reynor). They meet on a London bus as she is looking for her sister, the Princesses having become separated just after they ditched the two dopey Officers, and what transpires between ‘Lizzie’ and Jack is the sweetest of sweet almost romances. He helps her in her quest and the pair spend the night together with Elizabeth even meeting Jack’s mum. I won’t give too much away but I will say this …..
I know it’s not true, I know this is just a movie but I secretly hope that perhaps, just maybe, say once a year, a very secret and personal afternoon tea is planned with only the Queen and her long time friend Jack in attendance. They catch up and talk about simple things, about life, their families, about the past. Perhaps they share photos and tales of their grandchildren and great grand children. And at some point, for just a flicker of an instant, they catch each other’s eyes and the years fall away and they are a young Jack and Lizzie again and they are allowed to fall in love.
Gah I need to stop now.
Needless to say I adored this sweet, funny movie. It’s not the best I’ve seen, not even close, but it has a heart and a kind of stolen moment of joy that no other story could ever hope to have because there is no other story like it.
Love Flick xx
Director : Julian Jarrold
Starring : Sarah Gadon, Rupert Everett, Emily Watson, Jack Reynor, Bel Powley, Ruth Sheen, Jack Laskey, Sophia Di Martino
Running Time : 97 minutes
Release Date : 15 May 2015