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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 August 2017
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on 9 March 2017
I loved the when I first saw it on TV as a little girl and I'm still a fan now!
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on 11 March 2017
Excellent show
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on 27 January 2003
Having watched the final part of The Lost Prince on BBC1 last night, I felt compelled to visit Amazon and buy the DVD release. Words cannot describe the joy I experienced from viewing this fantastic drama.
With two main leads in the form of Miranda Richardson and Tom Hollander, the roles of Queen Mary and George V could not have been played better or with more conviction.
Telling the story of the harrowing events of the Great War through the eyes of young Prince Johnnie, writer/Director Stephen Poliakoff has managed to render a great tapestry of a tale with nothing short of majesty.
From the initial family gathering at Sandringham where Tzar Nicholas II ordered the formation of his Russian troops, to the subsequent retaliation by the Megalomaniac Kaiser and Britain's emergence into the 1st World War, we follow Johnnie and his journey from house to house - struggling against his epilepsy and yearning for the companionship of his beloved brother Georgie.
What conviction Miranda Richardson conveys in her portrayal of a queen torn between her country and the want to do right by her son. Tom Hollander and George V's amazing plummet of emotions as he hears the fate of the Russian royal family was visually stunning and breathtaking.
And last but not least, Prince John himself, the Lost Prince, hidden away from prying eyes due to his illnesses but determined to enjoy his life.
I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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on 22 January 2006
Anyone having visited Sandringham Church in Norfolk, and seeing the grave of Prince John have wondered about his short life. This drama stunningly recreates the time he grew up in and the ordeals and illness he had to deal with; the possible epilepsy and learning diffculties.
The drama is top quality! The scripts, costumes, settings and casting were all brilliant. The commentary on this DVD is a fascinating feature; with the director taking the viewer through the two parts, not just with on-screen information, but also huge amounts of historical information that he researched and why he changed certain things and adapted pieces of history in the way he chose.
The acting is of the highest order; in particular, Miranda Richardson is fantastic as Queen Mary, and Gina McKee is brilliant as Prince John's nanny Lalla. There are excellent performances by Tom Hollander as George V and Michael Gambon as Edward VII also.
This two part drama will fascinate you and move you to tears, as the young John battles on with his life, mostly unaware of his disabilities. Stunning piece!
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on 14 September 2014
This is a reworking of Noel Cowards Brief Encounter and its lovely. A re-watch again and again will they won't they reunite film. Aaah!
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on 20 January 2006
Oustanding!.....an excellent insight into a turbulent world through the eyes of a young prince (son of George V and Queen Mary). What makes it more intriguing is the fact that this poor prince (Johnnie) is kept hidden from away the public and aristorcracy alike due to his severe fits of epilepsy. This was, at the time, not deemed fitting for a member of the Royal Family. Excellent perfomances from two of Britains greatest acting talents with Miranda Richardson as Queen Mary and Gina Mckee as Johnnie's devoted nurse Lalla. Another superb production from Stephen Poliakoff and the BBC......and, might I add, a bit of a tear-jerker (well it moved me to tears).
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HALL OF FAMEon 23 November 2004
This is a very touching tale of a lost 'footnote' from history - some histories of the British royal family come with handy genealogy charts, showing the progress of royals through the ages in graphic format. Often, the younger children, the 'also rans' of the royal story, are left off the charts, unless they attained fame some other way, or unless they married well. For those royal children who died in infancy or childhood, history is most unkind - they aren't even in the footnotes or indices. Such is often the case for young Prince John - born with a disability that presented like epilepsy, he was (according to the custom of the time) kept out of the public eye. Being rather low on the pecking order, he likely never would have attracted much attention, but with his disability, in a world that did not quite know how to regard those with disabilities, he was indeed an outcast, however royal.
The teleplay shows an interplay of the private life of Prince John and his caregivers, particularly the deeply devoted servant and nanny, Lalla, and the public life of the royal family, as their lives became increasingly complex and involved in public duties due to the outbreak of the first world war. The private life concentrates both on John and Lalla, as well as John and George, another of the younger royal children, close in age to John. George went through the typical royal upbringing of boarding schools with a military emphasis; he was as out-of-place in that world as John was in the stuffy, rigidly-controlled royal world. The camaraderie between George and John was touchingly portrayed in two different age brackets - one of early childhood (Daniel Williams playing John, and Brock-Everitt-Elwick playing George), and one of early adolescence (Matthew Thomas playing Johh, and Rollo Weeks playing George). John, with his lack of inhibitions and oversized features (part of his disability) would occasionally make a truthful-if-not-quite-diplomatic statement, sometimes to a visiting royal, sometimes to the Prime Minister or other such dignitary.
John's expression in life was done through art, music, and physical movements and expression. He made paintings that showed a rather unique way of looking at the world, often over-emphasising details (such as crowns). He also cared passionately for his gardens, working for hours at a time among the flowers and other plants. Lalla (lovingly portrayed by Gina McKee) encouraged him, seeing in him more substance that doctors could with their brief examinations, and more than could his own parents, who rarely exhibited affection to John (or each other, or anyone else).
It was a tense time in the world. King George V (Tom Hollander) and his wife, the regal and inflexible Queen Mary (Miranda Richardson) tried desperately to navigate through a world becoming distinctly unfriendly toward royalty; just a generation prior, their family through Victoria's connections reigned in almost every major and many minor countries in Europe, which at that time through colonialism dominated the world; by the end of World War II, few monarchies were left, and those that were had no power or authority of their own. One of the mistakes of the monarchs, brought out in this teleplay, was the assumption that they still had power. In actual fact, they rarely even had influence.
The scenes with the Russian royal family are interesting to note the similarities and differences between the ideas of royalty; the political leaders, too, are portrayed in somewhat flat but interesting characterisations. Yet, as one other commentator has mentioned, the truly outstanding moment of the drama comes near the end, when John gets to give his performance for the family, and causes the family to reflect on their fortunes - after all, they were still there, silly. Unlike the Russian royals, dead from the revolutionaries; unlike the German and Austrian royals, driven from office by the war; unlike countless other royal persons throughout Europe, dead or in exile from the aftermath, the British royal family (with its newly-minted British name) survived intact, if not in power. One does indeed doubt the historicity of John's final performance for the family, but one can hope that it, or something like it, did indeed occur.
The sets, costumes, and music are very well crafted and appropriately selected for this teleplay. This is a programme I shall revisit again and again. Despite all life's troubles, after all, we're still here, silly.
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on 29 April 2008
Nobody who watches 'The Lost Prince' will fail to be moved by the story of Prince John. However a strong theme that the story conveys is that Prince John's life was brief yet happy. Living in his own environment he was lovingly cared for by Charlotte Bill (Lalla) and the rest of his household. His home and particularly his garden brought him much pleasure. By being seperated from the rest of the Royal Family he was in effect spared the formality and rigidness that characterised the Royal Family's life during the reign of George V. The experiences of his older brother Prince George justify this. The intelligent and artistic George is forced by the King to attend Naval College regardless of his natural abilities and is in effect sentenced to a life of misery. Prince John in his isolation escaped such a fate and was allowed to become his own person.
Looking back on the life of Prince John it is easy and understandable why one should feel sorrow. Yet as 'The Lost Prince' suggests John himself by and large was happy and content by his circumstances and we should not look on him as a tragic episode in British Royal history.
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on 15 February 2005
The Lost Prince is a spectuacular and moving drama charting the life of the little-known Prince John, son of King George V and Queen Mary. We see John and his brother George growing up in the Imperial splendour of Edward VII's court and see the changes that take place during the First World War. John, an epileptic, is kept away from the public eye with his devoted nurse, Lalla (portrayed wonderfully by Gina McKee). John is increasingly isolated from the world, and when the war begins his parents have no time for him. Only his brother George, and his adoring grandmother Queen Alexandra (Bibi Andersson - a wonderful and accurate portrayel) remember him. His parents, King George V and Queen Mary, are very stressed and are forced to pretty much abandon him. As Lalla struggles to remind them that John is a real prince, the Romanovs are murdured and the war in Europe ends. I challenge anyone to watch this and not feel sad at the ending. The drama had wonderful actors - Miranda Richardson is the very embodiment of Queen Mary, Tom Hollander is convincing as George V, and the contrast between him and his father, Edward VII (Michael Gambdon) is clear from the start. Great Stuff!
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