A Royal Affair

November 16th, 2011

A Royal Affair looks to be an historic drama ripe with sex, scandal, and betrayal set in one of them most important historical political events in Denmark's history. The plot, the young Queen, Caroline Mathilda (Alicia Vikander), falls secretly in love with her insane husband Christian VII's (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard) physician, Johann Friedrick Struensee (Mads Mikkelsen). The pair are strong, brave, idealistic and willing to risk their lives for each other and for the freedom the Danish people deserve. Rather than rewrite something that is already well written, I've included a snippet of the story below, which can be read in full at the Copenhagen Post.

  

After settling down to practice in Altona, Struensee’s sharp intellect and controversial political treatises began to impress several aristocrats who had been rejected from the court in Copenhagen. His fledgling relationship with Danish politics intensified in the summer of 1767 when Struensee began treating King Christian VII of Denmark – a psychotic and violent young royal with a voracious sexual appetite. His treatment was effective and he gained the king’s affections, becoming his travelling physician on a foreign tour to Paris and London. The pair developed a close relationship during the trip and the king began to trust Struensee absolutely. Pleased with the doctor’s positive influence, powerful courtiers supported Struensee’s permanent appointment as the king’s personal physician upon their return to Copenhagen.

Now Johann Struensee was not only a clever doctor but also an astute and ambitious man. He saw the potential to manipulate the ailing king in order to experiment with the Danish state. Struensee calculated that he should also win over the young queen to consolidate his influence at court. However, the king’s wife was at best indifferent to her husband’s new pal.

Queen Caroline Mathilde – the sister of George III, the king of Britain – was in an unfortunate position. Having been forced to leave her home and move to Denmark at the age of 15 to marry her cousin, she was now neglected by Christian VII. His affections for his young wife were lukewarm, to put it mildly. It is reported that despite being a regular at the city’s brothels, he had to be persuaded to consummate their marriage for the sake of the succession.

Spurned by her husband and her subjects, Caroline Mathilde eventually fell into the well-placed arms of Struensee, who provided the attention and affection that she craved. Her capitulation was helped by the doctor’s successful inoculation of Crown Prince Frederick VI, saving the child’s life as smallpox ravaged Copenhagen. By spring 1770, the pair had become lovers.

 

I'll stop there so I don't give away the ending to anyone who doesn't wish to hear it! The trailer for the film can be watched at the Trust Nordisk site. The highly anticipated film is set to be released 15 March 2012 in the UK. Director Nikolaj Arcel has recently been nominated for The Nordic Film Council Prize, the most prestigious film award in Scandinavia, for the comedic drama Truth About Men (2010). Arcel wrote the screenplay for Stieg Larsson's The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, and has won numerous awards for King's Game (2004) and The Island of Lost Souls (2007). 


Caroline Engel for Danish Teak Classics

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