Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

The late Tim Pigott-Smith's 'King Charles III' is a crowning achievement

The late Tim Pigott-Smith's 'King Charles III' is a crowning achievement

The actress will portray Kate in the upcoming made-for-TV film, King Charles III, based on the Tony-winning play of the same name that imagines the beginnings of Prince Charles's eventual reign - with some Shakespearian-style twists and turns.

King Charles III airs on BBC Two on Wednesday at 9pm.

In one particular scene a ghostly figure of Diana is seen on screen and many viewers took to Twitter to express their distaste.

Tim Pigott-Smith returns to the title role of Charles, with Oliver Chris as William, Richard Goulding as Prince Harry and Margot Leicester as Camilla. Whatever the aging heir's eventual decision, "King Charles III" underscores that no matter what their fate, the royals never fade away.

"I watched a lot of footage that was on YouTube, that was people's own footage, on their phones, of them filming (the royal family) arriving or them shaking hands with people", she said. "But I don't think we've done anything unreasonable or cruel".

"She's just being pragmatic", Riley told The Guardian.

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"We can only, as the subjects, imagine what that might be like, which is exactly what this does", he said.

The drama was slammed by some ahead of its showing on Wednesday night, with MP Andrew Bridgen saying: 'It is unfortunate that the BBC would seek to promote this flight of fantasy, which many licence-fee payers will find distasteful and which I believe undermines and denigrates our Royal Family. Five days after Diana's death, she came back to London and acknowledged the public's outpouring of grief in a live video from Buckingham Palace, and the following day, Diana's public funeral took place. It's shit that the only way I can connect with the public is by being a bloody clotheshorse, but if I have to do that for the monarchy to stay relevant, then so be it. Let's suck it up. "And I'm sorry, Charles, but we're relevant and you're not any more'". And the Duchess of Cambridge reveals a steely interior life quite different from the benign exterior projected by the real Kate Middleton.

In King Charles III, Catherine has been given a slight Lady Macbeth-esque character, with Charlotte describing her portrayal as cunning and even a bit manipulative. "I doubt they'd watch but hope if they do, they'd see it as a piece of theatre".

A black "John Travolta" dress by Victor EdelsteinPhoto: Courtesy of Kensington Palace/Richard Lea-Hair.

A "Debs" dress from RegamusPhoto: Courtesy of Kensington Palace/Richard Lea-Hair.

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