Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

Is this film KING CHARLES III really the monarch’s future story, or purely the figment of Mike Bartlett’s imagination?



As the stories of King Charles III and his 2nd wife’s Coronation  show no signs of abating we thought we’d share a fabulous one that is a figment of someone’s wild imagination (or is it?)   A new film predicts the reign of King Charles will inspire a sex scandal, violent protests, and Princess Di’s ghost!   

Mike Bartlett wrote King Charles III in 2014—a play staged well in advance of the Queen’s passing—which attempted to predict what would go down when Charles ascended to the throne.  Bartlett is best known for writing COCK which was about a gay man who falls in love with a woman.  Controversial as it was it didn’t stop the BBC filming it and PBS screening it.

King Charles III starts on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, as Charles (Tim Pigott-Smith, who sadly passed in 2017 ) gathers with the royal family to mark the loss of their matriarch.  Before she is even buried Charles is in a battle royal with the Prime Minster who wants to pass a new law stabling new restrictions.  By siding with the media Charles actually gets very favorable press coverage.

But he doesn’t know when to stop and the argument becomes so nasty that Charles winds up dissolving the Parliament entirely, by royal decree, which inspires a major wave of violent protests across the country. The King, in turn, increases his guard at the palace, further isolating himself from the rest of the government.



Meanwhile, the camera also focuses on Prince Harry (Richard Goulding) and his new relationship with a working-class woman named Jess (Tamara LawranceLike Meghan Markle, Jess’ family is of African descent, and she’s also found herself the target of gossip-hungry tabloids, in this case, because she has an ex threatening to leak nude photos of her. There’s even concern over whether or not Harry will leave the royal family to be with Jess as a commoner. 

Remember this is  2014, and Harry and Meghan didn’t  meet until 2016

And there there is the matter of the ghost of Princess Diana (Katie Brayben) who appears to Charles and Prince William (Oliver Chris) throughout the film.  Actually in In a video package accompanying the film, Pigott-Smith acknowledged that Lady Di’s apparitions were upsetting to many—including himself—but ultimately decided, “Diana was divisive in life; all the play says is that’s she’s divisive in death, as well.”



Bartlett’s imagination about what happens is rather fantastical BUT he has been right so far, so who’s to say that it will not pan out exactly as he writes?

NO spoilers here you can find out for yourself King Charles III is streamable on Hoopla and Kanopy and is available for digital rental via AppleTV and Amazon Prime Video.

Posted by queerguru  at  11:46


Genres:  dramedy

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