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Royal weddings on the silver screen In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA Published: April 27, 2011

marieantoinettePerhaps you’ve heard there’s a wedding on Friday. But no, your invitation isn’t lost in the mail or caught in a spam folder, you’re just not on the list. When Prince William and Kate Middleton walk down Westminster Abbey’s storied aisle (where William’s uncle Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in 1986) to exchange “I do’s” you’ll be at home in your pyjamas watching it on TV with a cup of tea in your hand and a crumpet at your side. The upside? You don’t have to get them a wedding gift.

To prep for the pomp and circumstance I’ve selected a number of royal wedding movies to get you primed for the big day.

The name Marie Antoinette is synonymous with surplus and when little Ms. “Let Them Eat Cake” wed the Dauphin of France no expense was spared. Married by proxy a month before, she arrived at the site of the ceremonial wedding—at the Palace of Versailles no less—in a procession that included 48 carriages. See a recreation of the exercise in excess in Marie Antoinette, Sophia Coppola’s 2006 film. It may not get the details 100 per cent right, but if you want accuracy, watch the History Channel.

Also torn from the history books is The Duchess, the story of the 17-year-old Georgiana Cavendish (Keira Knightley), great-great-great-great-grandaunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, who weds the much older Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes).

Speaking of relatives, the life, love and marriage of Queen Victoria, (Prince William is her fourth great-grandson), are detailed in The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt. Despite being shot by soft candlelight for a glowing historical feel, The Young Victoria isn’t Masterpiece Theatre. Accents and petticoats aside, this is a modern movie, with a modern sensibility, that mixes history, politics, romance, castle etiquette and backroom dealing into one frilly, appealing package.

In the realm of the unreal are two final reel royal weddings. Before Anne Hathaway started taking her clothes off in every movie, she was the wholesome star of The Princess Diaries. In PD2: Royal Engagement, her character, Princess Mia, must get married in order to become queen.

The most recent royal wedding to hit screens happens in Your Highness, the medieval stoner comedy starring Natalie Portman and James Franco. Prince Fabious Franco walks Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) down the aisle but the wedding is interrupted by an evil sorcerer.

Let’s hope William and Kate have better luck.

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