This weekend is the event of the year, if not the decade – the day millions of British devotees of the Royal Family have been anticipating for months. On Saturday, May 19, Prince Harry of Wales weds Meghan Markle, star of the hit television show Suits.
Although their engagement has been the topic of much discussion, it’s hardly the first time the royals have been the center of widespread gossip – it’s been going on for centuries. Naturally, some of it has made for dramatic cinematic material.
So from Lifetime romances to Netflix epics and Oscar-worthy biopics, these ten titles are essential viewing in the lead up to the royal wedding.
Inheriting the throne in 1558, Elizabeth Tudor (Cate Blanchett) became queen of a divided UK. Although she’s perceived by some as weak, she refuses to take a husband.
The Queen (2006)
Following the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) struggles to find an appropriate reaction. Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) persuades the queen to pay tribute to the late princess.
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
Eric Bana stars as King Henry VIII in a film about the most notorious love triangle in the history of the Royal Family. When sisters Anne (Natalie Portman) and Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson) become involved with the king, heirs will be born, and heads will roll.
The Young Victoria (2009)
Emily Blunt plays Queen Victoria during her formative years. While pressure mounts from her family, she’s introduced to Prince Albert (Rupert Friend), who she’ll one day marry.
The King’s Speech (2010)
As Prince Albert (Colin Firth) prepares to ascend the throne as King George VI, he must overcome a speech impediment. When his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) hires speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to help, the gentlemen form a strong friendship.
Naomi Watts stars as Princess Diana in the final years of her life. As she campaigns against the use of land mines, she carries on a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews).
A Royal Night Out (2015)
Inspired by a short anecdote about Queen Elizabeth II from her youth, this film recounts a night when Princess Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Princess Margaret (Bel Powley) escape the palace one evening to celebrate V-E Day with the masses in 1945.
The Crown (2016-)
This epic Netflix docudrama follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) from her ascension to the throne at 25 years old, through the decades of her iconic reign.
Victoria & Abdul (2017)
When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) travels from India to participate in Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) Golden Jubilee, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Although many disapprove of their camaraderie, it opens the queen’s eyes to the changing world.
Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance (2018)
The royal couple on everyone’s minds has recently been given the Lifetime original movie treatment. After being set up by friends, Prince Harry (Murray Fraser) and Meghan Markle (Parisa Fitz-Henley) must deal with the intense media attention of going public with their relationship.