British empire monarch George V (Tom Hollander) and his wife Queen Mary (Miranda Richardson) decide to hide their last-born son, Johnnie (Daniel Williams), from the public, being embarrassingly affected by epilepsy. While his protective elder brother is ruthlessly groomed for court life, Johnnie gets packed off to a country cottage on the royal estate Sandringham. With his full-time governess Lalla (Gina McKee), a substitute-mother, he’s abandoned to playfulness and virtual social neglect. The Great War and the Russian Revolution change life in Britain, also at court, even at Sandringham, where royal refugees are expected.
This short drama focused on the epileptic Prince John, son of George V and Queen Mary, and brother to the present Queen Elizabeth’s father, George VI.
We see the story of John from the perspectives of himself and of his nurse, Lalla (the emotionless Gina McKee). As he becomes more out of control and an embarrassment to his family, the little boy becomes more special to the viewer. Johnny is a crank but a lovable one.
Daniel Williams and Matthew Thomas both make an impact as Prince John at different ages, while Tom Hollander and Miranda Richardson are excellent as his repressed and bewildered parents. There’s also key roles of interest for Bill Nighy (Stamfordham), Frank Finlay (the PM, Herbert Asquith), and David Barrass (Kaiser Bill).
Aside from the problems accorded by John’s illness and confinement, we also see how events unfold in Russia for George V’s cousins, the ill-fated Romanov family.
‘The Lost Prince’ is another winner for writer/director Stephen Poliakoff, and well worth your time. Enjoyable whether you know the story or the intricacies of the Royal family, or not.
Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Writer: Stephen Poliakoff
Stars: Daniel Williams, Matthew James Thomas, Brock Everitt-Elwick
Countries of origin: United Kingdom, United States
Filming locations: Black Park, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Format : Matroska
Format version : Version 2
File size : 1.52 GiB
Duration : 1 h 29 min
Overall bit rate : 2 430 kb/s