Canadian by birth, Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method) invests her portrayal of a nineteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth – ‘Lilibet’ to her inner circle – with resourcefulness, propriety and winning optimism, in marked contrast to her far more flighty younger sister, Margaret Rose (Bel Powley). Gadon has cited Audrey Hepburn’s performance in Roman Holiday as an inspiration in her own approach to playing a true-life princess.
Dramatic licence being what it is, Jarrold’s fairytale version of events has fourteen-year-old Margaret leading the princesses’ inept military chaperones a merry chase from The Ritz to Trafalgar Square and on to Soho’s less than salubrious establishments – all in the name of good fun, of course.
Emily Watson and Rupert Everett play it straight as Queen Elizabeth and King George VI, though the veteran actors manage to sneak in a droll expression, arched eyebrow and bon mot here and there for effect.
"All very jolly… Julian Jarrold (Brideshead Revisited, Becoming Jane) successfully evokes the spirit of 1945 London in party mood. [Bel] Powley is an exuberant scene-stealer…and Gadon…make[s] a convincingly demure English rose." - The Age
A Royal Night Out
29 Aug - 8 Sep
It’s VE Day – May 8, 1945 – and as jubilant crowds gather in London to celebrate the end of WWII, the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret are adamant they’re not going to miss out on the fun. History records that the princesses royal were chaperoned on a visit to The Ritz that evening. Director Julian Jarrold’s ‘what if’ account elaborates rather fancifully on that scenario but remains respectful throughout and is utterly charming.