King Ralph (1991) - full transcript

When an accident obliterates the British royal family and most of its branches, a desperate geneological search discovers the next King: Ralph, a sleazy American lounge singer. Can Ralph measure up to the job, even with the help of loyal aristocrat Willingham?

The rain has stopped, Your Majesty. We
should be able to continue with the portrait.

So I should hope, Albert. First time we've
had the whole family here for six years.

Let's try and get one in.
We'll need both banks to fill light.

I've already strung the cables, sir.

- All set up, sir.
- Thank you. We're ready now, everybody.

Please remember to look straight into the
lens and keep your eyes wide and bright.

Now, after three. One, two...


I know, at a time like this, it's
difficult to apply oneself to any task.

But a surviving heir to the throne
must be found.

The nation, the Commonwealth, and I dare
say the known world await your findings.

Good luck, gentlemen.

Since when do we give a toss
about this kind of bullshit?

Shut up, Dysentery. Where's your
sense of national flippin' pride?

- Excuse me, Sir Cedric.
- Yes?

- I do believe we've found an heir.
- That's wonderful, Duncan. Who is it?

His name is Jones. Ralph Jones.

Ralph Jones.
Is he everything we might have hoped?

Well, he has his strengths
and his weaknesses.

You see... he's an American.

Quickly. The strengths?

And here's one from the great Don Ho,
the godfather of Hawaiian soul.

And he's in there!

Are you shittin' me?

Thank you.

- Brady, I got that 20 for you tomorrow.
- Yeah, right!

Hey, Mitzi. Your show
went a little better than mine.

Hey, Ed, what are you doin' down here?

I've had it with you, Jones.
We're not payin' you to watch television.

Hello. My name is Duncan Phipps
and this is Inspector McGuire.

What did I do now? Couple cheques bounce?

No, he's here for your protection.

Hey, Jones, get over here.
I'm not finished talkin' to you.

Come on in. I'll sign a picture for ya.

Smashing show, by the way. Smashing.

- We're not renewing you after this week.
- What?!

I'm puttin' Mitzi in your slot.

You little backstabbin' bitch.

- Just turn in your tux, Jones.
- What?

Cos I wouldn't sing
'The Impossible Dream'?

Vacate your room by noon
or we'll throw your stuff out.

Shit. Can you believe that?

It's beyond all comprehension,
Your Majesty.

But I have news
that might bring you cheer.

I doubt it.

It is my glorious duty to inform you...

that you are the new... King of England.

You see, the late king's uncle,
the Duke of Warren...

had a small dalliance
with your grandmother, Constance...

who was a waitress at the hotel
where he was staying.

One Gastro Death-Dealer
with onions, jalapeños and Tabasco.

Thank you.

At any rate,
Constance had a son, your father.

Now, since he and your grandmother
are both dead...

you are the only surviving royal heir
in your line.

Look, even if I believed ya,
which I don't...

I haven't got time to be
the King of England. I gotta get a job.

This is more than a job.

I may put a band together,
get back to playing rock and roll.

But you can't refuse the throne.
It's a sacred trust.

- Yeah? What does a sacred trust pay?
- You don't get a salary, as such.

- As I figured. I pay you, right?
- You don't need money.

Everything's taken care of. The king has
his own castle, five castles, in fact...

a fleet of cars, a yacht,
a full staff of servants.

Good God, the future
of a nation's at stake.

You're good, Dunc. Real good.

- Do you remember your grandmother?
- Connie? Yeah.

Remember a ring she wore?

Sure, she'd brag about it all the time.
She said she got it from some prince...

There's only one other like it...
the Duke of Warren's.

Was this the ring?

Holy shit.



How long do you need me? I've never
held a job for more than six months.

Well, you see, a king is a king for life.

No problem. My schedule's pretty open.

There it is, Your Majesty. Your new home.

- Which room's mine?
- Um... all of them.

Excuse me, Sir Cedric.
His Majesty is here.

Very good.

Allow me to introduce
our sovereign lord, Ralph Jones...

King of Great Britain, Northern Ireland
and all her other realms and territories...

Head of the Commonwealth,
Defender of the Faith.

How you doin'?

How do you do, Your Majesty?

- I'm Cedric Willingham.
- Glad to meet ya, Ced.

Have you ever been to England before?


But I have almost all
the Rolling Stones albums.

Well, then, you're practically a native.

Dunc says you've been here 25 years.
You must be a hell of a typist by now.

I'm not that type of secretary.

My duty is to instruct you in the arts
of sovereignty, to make you a king.

Uh, look, my 'duties' are
mostly for show, right?

I hope you're not countin' on me
to solve problems...

because I don't have a lot of experience.

English law prohibits monarchs
from solving problems.

Unfortunately, it doesn't
prohibit you from creating them.

Good! That's a load off my mind.

So... where do we start?


You might be thinking
what name you'd like to use as king.

'Edward' and 'George'
have been popular this century.

- What's wrong with 'Ralph'?
- It lacks a certain... majesty.

I can't really think
of any notable Ralphs.

Well, sure...

Ralph Macchio. Ralph Lauren.

Ralph Kramden.

Oh, this is extremely nice.
Better than I'm used to.

This is the picture gallery. Many of the
people in the paintings are your relatives.

That's the Duke of Warren,
your unfortunate grandfather.

You have his chin.

That's George III. You may remember him.

He was king during that little temper
tantrum you call the Revolutionary War.

Sounds like sour grapes to me, Ced.
After all, we did kick your ass.

The loss is entirely yours,
or rather theirs.

Try to remember you're an Englishman now.

OK, but I still think they kicked our ass.

Just a few quick questions to probe
your knowledge of English history.


When she failed to give him a son,
Henry VIII had Anne Boleyn...?

- Look into adoption?
- Beheaded.

Jeez, this is a tough country.

Would this be to your liking,
Your Majesty?

You know, I kinda like that.

That's an upholstery fabric, Your Majesty.

English people don't generally like
their monarch to look like a sofa.

These are traditional English dishes,
some of which you will be served tonight.

Here we have roast beef
and Yorkshire pudding...

bangers and mash
and the ever-popular spotted dick.

Spotted dick?!

- Dick of what?
- These are the bangers.


The spotted dick is a dessert.

Could I just have some ice cream?

Quite an eventful first day, Your Majesty.
I'll leave you to rest now.

This is Your Majesty's bedroom.

There you go, chief.

Unfortunately, you can redecorate
your private quarters as you see fit.

- Good. I got a few ideas.
- The velours industry is on stand-by.

Through those doors is your dining room,
and across the way, the bath.

Through here is your study...

and there is your dressing room.

Anything we've left out?

I don't know. How about a bowling alley?

One other thing.
At your coronation four months hence...

you will be required to wear
the imperial state crown.

It's usually kept in the Tower of London,
but we placed it near your bed...

as a reminder of
the eminence of your office.

It contains the Star of India,
the second largest diamond in the world.

You should practise wearing it
to get used to the weight.

- Good evening, Your Majesty.
- Thanks.

- Hey, Ced.
- Yes?

What exactly is it
that a king does all day?

Scarcely a minute is unaccounted for.

Nevertheless, what you do is
not as important as what you are.

What am I?

To be the King of England is
a responsibility like no other on Earth.

You must become a symbol of
all that is best about England.

An embodiment of our history, our culture,
our morality, our pride of achievement.

In short, our ideal of civilisation.
You must, under harsh public scrutiny...

exhibit all of our virtues
and none of our shortcomings.

Wait a minute. I thought all I was
supposed to do was dress up and wave.

- I don't even know what our virtues are.
- You will learn soon enough.

I'm afraid it's a god's burden to bear.
Unfortunately, it must be borne by a man.

Good evening, Your Majesty.

It's not enough simply to be the king.
You must look and act like one.

We'll begin with the walk.

Imagine yourself to be
the master of your domain.

A leader of men.

Don't swing your arms.

Back straight.

Head up.

But relaxed.

How am I doin'?

It's an unmitigated catastrophe,
Prime Minister.

This song-and-dance man
from the colonies...

It's the end of everything
that we hold dear.

And please try to keep in mind that Jones
will need a certain period of adjustment.

He's American.
He's impervious to adjustment.

Better to declare his line at an end than
subject England to this embarrassment.

Are you suggesting that
we have no king at all?

Certainly not. Simply choose a king
from the House of Stuart...

who reigned in glory before the
Wyndhams. Make theirs a royal line again.

That would be your line, Lord Graves,
making you next in line for the throne.

Yes, I believe it would.

Removing Jones would be a drastic
measure for us to take at this juncture.

After all, he does have royal blood,
no matter how badly diluted.

So until he commits some grievous error,
we will simply have to live with him.

Well... yes.

I suppose so.

Well, Jones, you really
fell upstairs this time.

Too bad it's only gonna last
the rest of your life!

- You called, Your Majesty?
- Which one are you, again?

Gordon, Your Majesty's page.

Yeah, Gordon.
Could you bring me something?

- Anything.
- Anything, Your Majesty?

I've never had anybody bring me
something. I wanna try it out.

Certainly. Perhaps
an assortment of fine chocolates?

Got any Milk Duds?

Sir Cedric, the king's gone!
He just walked out.

- Why didn't anyone stop him?
- We tried, sir, but he is the king.

- McGuire's with him.
- We've got to find him before the press.

Think! You've been made King of England.
Where's the first place you would go?

Our headliner, Miss Fanny Oakley.
Thank you, Fanny!

And now a young lady
making her professional debut...

straight from Las Vegas, Nevada...

Miss Flamingo Mirage!

Yes, sir. Brewer Street, Soho.

I will, sir.

I'm sorry. I can't do this.

Moving along now, let's welcome
that saucy Southern Belle...

Hey, Flamingo. Hi. Really unique show.
Striptease without the nudity.

My name's Miranda.
And the show was terrible.

- Who are you?
- Ralph Jones. You know...

- you don't really have a Vegas accent.
- I wouldn't know. I've never been there.

How embarrassing!
Why did I ever think I could do this?

You just gotta remember to take
a crossover step before your spinback...

or you'll never make it around
for the hip reveal.

- A lot of girls have trouble first night.
- This is my only night.

They already sacked me. Know anybody
who'd wanna buy a tearaway dress?

- How about one of the maids?
- Your Majesty...

we should stay with the present uniform.

Phippsy, you old hound! I didn't know you
went for this sort of thing. Meet Miranda.

- Do you guys work here?
- Well, no.

- Then what are you doing backstage?
- Well, it's OK.

- I'm the new king here.
- The king of what? Burlesque?

No! England.

That isn't a proper thing to joke about.

I'm not jokin'. They just hired me.
I could get you your job back.

- I don't think...
- I don't want it back.

I just wanna get dressed.
Excuse me, please.

This'll only take a minute.
I'm new here. I don't know many people.

I thought we'd get together tomorrow,
have a drink...

- discuss the mood of the country...
- Alan!

- Who's Alan?
- The bouncer.

This is ridiculous. Nobody believes me.
Maybe we should get some cards printed.

- Alan!
- Look, I'll make you a deal.

If I can prove to you by tomorrow night
I'm the King of England, go out with me.

- Why are you guys in here?
- Hold on.

- These friends of yours?
- No.

Don't you be touchin' him now, lad.

- Have we got a deal?
- Yes, all right, fine.

Coming here is the best thing
I've done so far.

Hiya, Ced.

I need hardly remind you that this is not
the preferred entertainment of royalty.

Sorry, Ced.

That's it, Your Majesty. Grip the bat.
Swing it vertically, not horizontally.

In baseball the ball comes to you on the
fly. In cricket it usually hits the ground.

The bowler is trying to hit your stump.
If he does, you are out.

So the better shot to learn initially
is the forward defensive shot.


At first, Your Majesty,
just try to block it.


Pitch a few up, bowler. Nice and slow.

It's outta here!

Although there's relief in most quarters
that a new sovereign has been found...

doubts remain as to whether
the American born king...

is cut from the proper cloth.

The son of an itinerant pool player...

the king's life thus far has been
relatively free of achievement:

His mother is currently serving
a two-year prison term...

- Miranda Greene?
- Yes.

I'm Lord Percival Graves. Do you have
a moment? It is a matter of some urgency.

Do come in.

I understand you've met our new king.


Looks like I did.

And you made quite an impression on him.

- Who said that?
- Have you seen today's Bugle?

72 per cent of the people see
the ascendancy to the throne of England...

by an American commoner as a serious
threat to the status of the monarchy.

I'm sorry. What's this got to do with me?

You are in a unique position
to be of service to your country.

I'm sure that you are aware
that members of the royal family...

are expected to maintain
certain standards...

particularly with regard
to the company they keep.

Now, if the King of England were to
become involved with someone like you...

Someone like me?

...then the pressure on him
to abdicate would be considerable.

- You're asking me to sleep with him?
- Oh, no, no, no.

No, nothing like that.
I simply want you to spend time with him.

To befriend him,
nurture his burgeoning affection...

until such time as
a simple photograph can be taken.

Little snapshot of you together in public.

Forget it.

He is making a mockery
of centuries of tradition.

We are on the brink of a national crisis.

I think we'll survive.
What's in this for you?

I'm prepared to make it
well worth your while.

Thanks, but I don't need the money.

What about your family?

What about them?

Your father and brother have been out
of work for almost a year, haven't they?

Such a tragedy,
the demise of the steel industry!

My enquiries tell me that their savings
have dried up. Debts are mounting.

It's only a matter of time
before the house is repossessed.

Get out.

I don't think you understand quite
how much I'm offering. Close the door.

£15,000 to start. And if you're
successful, enough to ensure...

that you never have to worry
about money for the rest of your life.

You or your family.

Now, surely, you're not prepared
to sacrifice their future...

for the sake of an American usurper
that you don't even know?

I think not.




One lump or two?

Two for me. A little bonus there.


What's on the agenda today?

One word of advice, Your Majesty.
When you meet the Prime Minister...

it would be best to say 'How do you do?'
rather than 'How you doin'?'

No problem. How do you do?

Excuse me.
I didn't get much sleep last night.

Still on Vegas time, plus I haven't had
a day job for four years.

I'm more of a night owl,
but what the hell? As long as we're all up.

Your Majesty, may I present
the Prime Minister, Geoffrey Hale?

How do you do, Geoff?

- It's a pleasure to meet Your Majesty.
- Think nothing of it. Call me Ralph.

No, I'm afraid I can't.

Shall we sit?

I don't want to keep you, Your Majesty...

but there is a matter of
some pressing national interest.

- Fire away, Geoff.
- As you may know...

there's considerable unrest in Africa...

resulting in the emergence
of several new states.

Well, the first thing we're gonna
have to do is buy all-new globes.

Beyond that,
we shouldn't rush into anything.

There's no problem that can't be ignored
if we put our minds to it.

Yes, well, of these new states...

Zambezi is the most important, owing
to its recently discovered mineral wealth.

That's pretty much my feeling.

So we've decided to invite King Mulambon
of Zambezi to visit England on the 23rd.

- I didn't know Zambezi even had a king.
- They didn't until recently.

Mulambon is anxious
to legitimise himself...

by rubbing elbows with
the royal houses of Europe.

So, Your Majesty, we would be grateful
if you would host a reception for... him...

You'll have to excuse him, Prime Minister.
He is more of a night owl.

Extraordinary fellow.
Could I have a word, Willingham?

He simply won't do. He's common,
ignorant and extremely ill-mannered.

The man's an orangutan.
God help us with the King of Zambezi.

- Your Majesty?
- Yes?

- Did you have a nice nap?
- I guess the jet lag caught up with me.

- I'm ready to go now, though.
- Good. There's much to cover.

The new uniforms are ready
and I brought some books to read.

One on English history,
one on the lives of the monarchs...

and a primer on etiquette. What's this?

Date night. Where does the king eat
in this town? I'm in the mood for sushi.

That's out of the question.
We haven't arranged security.

Japanese are dangerous here?

Your Majesty, there are elements at large
who might seek to do the king harm...

- ...for their own personal ends.
- What kinda harm?

Well, kidnapping you for ransom.
In some cases, even...

Even what? Killin' me? You know, Ced,
I can't take too many more surprises.

Where was this when Phipps
was goin' on about the castles?

We didn't want to alarm you. There's
nothing to fear if precautions are taken.

You must accept some limitations on your
personal freedom, and on your wardrobe.

So far, there are no royal luaus planned.

There's still gotta be a way
to get this date in. I'm serious, Ced.

After all, I am the king, right?

Very well... Your Maj.

I've got the king's special permission.

Go through.

Miss Greene, Your Majesty.

- Your Majesty.
- You don't have to worry about that.

- And please, call me Ralph.
- Oh, I'm sorry. I could never do that.

Yeah, God knows what could happen!

Well, I guess just the seven of us.

That was a lovely dinner. I can't believe
I'm eating in the throne room.

Yeah, well, Willingham
wanted it to be intimate.

I asked Gordon to get us some music,
something we can dance to.

Oh, here's dessert.

Would you care for some spotted...



I came to London to study design.

I only tried exotic dancing
because I needed some extra money.

I went to night school for a bit.

But when my dad lost his job,
I started sending money home.

There wasn't enough to live on
and go to school.

Now I don't know
if I'll ever get back to it.

Sure you will. Something'll break for ya.

I've never done anything my whole life
and look where I am. There.

- What's this?
- What's what?

- There's no such word as 'yo'.
- Are you crazy? I use it all the time.

You don't have to look it up. We're using
the King's English. If I say it, it's a word.

By the way, the Y's on a triple-word
score. I'm starting to catch up here.

Narrowed the gap to 164 points.


I don't know.
You're not the kind of girl I'm used to.

You can spell, you wear clothes to work.
You just have more class, I guess.

I'm just a sales girl from South London.

It doesn't count for much class down here,
but it's nice of you to say so.

Look, I know our deal was just for one
date, but do you think we could extend it?

You don't really know me.

There are things about me
you might not like.

Like what? You're beautiful,
you're smart, you're honest.

I should go.

- Thank you for a lovely evening.
- Thank you.

I'm sorry it took such a long time,
Your Majesty, but I found you some music.

I hope you aren't enamoured of her.

- It would never work out.
- Why not?

As king, you are expected
to marry a woman of noble birth...

particularly given
your less-than-perfect breeding.

And Miss Greene, fetching as
she may be, does not qualify.

Your Majesty may remember, in 1936...

King Edward fell in love with a commoner
and had to abdicate his throne.

The House of Wyndham can ill afford
another such disaster.

I didn't say I'd marry her.
I just wanna take her out.

With respect, your Majesty,
it would be best for both of you...

if you did not see Miss Greene at all.

But if you insist, it's imperative that
you only see her here at the palace.

I'll teach you a poem to help you
remember the order of the kings.

One, two, three Eds, Richard two,
Henry four, five, six, then who?

Edward four, five, Rich the bad,
then Richard III...

Then Henrys twice and Ed the Lad.

Mary, Lizzie, James the vain,
Charlie, Charlie, James again...

She's already seen him twice this week.

We could tip off the press next time.
Have some photographers outside.

No, let's wait a bit longer.

Give him enough time to become
hopelessly infatuated with her.


Now this is what I call a room.

Your Majesty,
the Sovereign King Mulambon of Zambezi.

Welcome, Your Majesty, on behalf
of the people of the United Kingdom...

And the Commonwealth.

And the Commonwealth, for which we... no.

It's a great pleasure...

to have you as our guest.

We hope you had a pleasant trip.

Oh, look! See the swan?

Keep those knees tight in. Sit back.

Grip with the knees.

Heels down! Heels down!

Your Majesty.

Oh, blast!

Hello, newsdesk?

I have something
you might be interested in.

When in public,
a royal personage must refrain...

“from chewing gum, using profanity...

“picking his nose,
scratching his private parts...

and staring dawn the bust lines
of female dignitaries.

What? That's everything.

Good morning, Your Majesty.
I'm afraid I have some distressing news.

Miss Greene's presence last night
did not go unnoticed.

Your Majesty, for the sake of the
monarchy, this gives you little choice...

but to end your friendship
with Miss Greene.

What?! I can't do that.
I don't even wanna do that.

Don't worry.
We'll find you an exemplary consort.

A woman of such distinction
as to far exceed your standards.

I've always liked my standards
down where they are.

Welcome, Your Majesty, on behalf
of the people of the United Kingdom.

It's our pleasure
to have you as our guest.

Welcome, Your Majesty,
on behalf of the people...

You got a good thing goin' here.
Don't blow it.

Don't worry, Your Majesty. You'll be fine.

Your Majesty, may I present His Royal
Highness King Mulambon of Zambezi.

Hey, homes! What's happenin'?

Gimme a quintet, brother!

I do not comprehend, Your Majesty.

Welcome, Your Majesty, on behalf of
the people of the United Kingdom...

You wanna go get a beer?

Do you feel that being the king of a
major nation is tougher than you thought?

Yes, it is difficult sometimes, with all the
ceremonial duties and official obligations.

But I'm quite pleased with the economic
progress my country has made.

We are hoping to be the first in Africa
to market an automobile.

Really? I might be in the market myself
soon. The Rolls doesn't have much poop.

- This car gonna have fuel injection?
- Everything. Five-speed transmission...

- Reclining buckets? Rear spoiler?
- No, but it'll get excellent gas mileage.

Gas mileage is fine, but keep in mind
the first question any car-buyer asks:

'Will this get me laid?'

Beautifully stated.

Looks like that's all she wrote.
Wanna go again?



- What was that, a five?
- No, it was a three.

- Not on the line?
- Makes no difference.

- I plan to claim victory with this throw.
- Be careful not to foot-fault there.

If he gets anything better
than a seven here, we're screwed.

- You're good. Can I get a set of those?
- I'll send you one.

Listen, I've been meaning to ask you. Do
they tell you who you can date over there?

Of course not. I am the king.

Damn. I knew I was
gettin' hosed over here.

Well, I think he did pretty well,
considering. It could have been worse.

Yes, he could have
exposed himself, I suppose.


The Prime Minister for you, sir.

Good afternoon, Prime Minister.


Oh, really?

Well, it's a strange world
we live in, isn't it, sir?

Yes, thank you. Goodbye.

The Prime Minister spoke to King Mulambon.

The king said he couldn't remember
when he'd had so much fun.

- Sherry?
- Please, yes.

King Ralph seems to have passed
his first diplomatic test with high marks.

The king's personal style, which had
raised some eyebrows in official circles...

is now being characterised as
"a breath of fresh air".

Congratulations, Your Majesty.

We were a little nervous when we first
decided to take a chance on you...

but, erm...

- I really did all right then, huh?
- Yes, but don't let it go to your head.

Today's 'breath of fresh air'
can quickly become tomorrow's 'ill wind'.

Now the Zambezi thing's over with, I got
a couple weeks of vacation coming, right?

If anything we will have to increase public
appearances in light of your popularity.

And the ball season will soon be upon us.
You will need dance lessons.

Waltz, foxtrot, even eightsome reel.

Come on, I haven't had a day off
since I've been here.

I can't go out, I eat alone, I live
in a museum, I sleep in an auditorium...

- You will get used to it.
- I got no family, no sex life.

Good. Less chance for scandal.

I don't see anybody that doesn't
work for me. I'm gettin' palace fever.

Are you trying to tell me in your uniquely
American way that you are lonely?


Don't lose patience, Your Majesty.
We are working on the problem.

Good evening.

Right, I'm gonna give you guys
one more chance. Fetch!

Sir Guy Cracknell...

Knight of the British Empire.

Ooh, I'm sorry. Are you all right?

I got him. I got him good.
I'm sorry. Really, I'm terribly sorry.

I gotta get outta here.

Your evening cocoa, Your Majesty.

- You haven't seen this, Gordon.
- Haven't seen what, Your Majesty?

- I really need a night out, Gordon.
- There are easier ways.

Stay, boy. Stay.


Congratulations, my dear.
The king has broken out of the palace...

and is at this very moment
on his way to see you.

When he calls,
meet him wherever he chooses.

There will be a photographer
following you.

Make sure that he gets what he needs.
Good luck.

Oh, yeah!

Hello, Miranda? It's me, Ralph.

Am I glad to see you!
People are lookin' at me.

- Are you alone?
- Yeah. There's somethin' I wanna do.

Two double Whoppers with fries
and two giant Cokes.

Two double Whoppers,
two fries, two giants!

- Got any money? I haven't been paid.
- Sure.

You know, you look familiar.

Aren't you...?

Yeah, you are, aren't you?
You're the new king!

What, are you crazy?
What would I be doin' in here?

It's the king!

Could I have the burgers, please?

- Oh, look! It's the king!
- No, you got the wrong guy.

I ain't him. I can't...

All right, all right, one or two.

Your Majesty,
here's a burger on the house.

- I think I'm gonna need a new burger.
- Over here, Your Majesty.

Maybe just one quick one.

Could you move a little closer together?
That's lovely.

Maybe put your arm around him
and give him a little kiss.

Very nice.

- What the hell did you do that for?
- We've got to go.

- The fries aren't ready.
- There'll be photographers everywhere.

- How about some onion rings?
- Your Majesty, I've got your burger.

- You should get back to the palace now.
- I don't wanna get back to the palace.

- There's gotta be some place we can go-
- Well, maybe one.

Two, three, four, side...

Two, three, four, forward...

Two, three, four, side...

Hope you're not too upset
about this 'mystery woman' thing.

The girls at work said it was
probably some East End tart...

trying to get her picture in the papers.

I wish we could meet again, somewhere
else, in different circumstances.

Different circumstances?

We got the park, we got the lake,
we got the moon, we got the stars.

What else do we need?


What? What is it, this 'commoner' thing?

Edward VIII and that Wallis broad?
That was 50 years ago. This is the '90s.

We gotta be able to work somethin' out.
Anything's possible.

Not in England. Not for royalty.

Don't say that.

I can't see myself making it here
without you, Miranda.

Now, this is exceptional.

You realise, don't you, that you're looking
at the fall of the House of Wyndham?

And before long, the House of Stuart
will be restored to its rightful place.

And you, Gordon, will be
private secretary to the king.

- Thank you.
- Excuse me, my Lord.

A Miss Miranda Greene to see you.

Lord Graves.

What an unexpected surprise.

Here's your money. All of it.

I'm just glad that I got out now
before any real damage was done.

You can't bluff me.
I know what you're after.

You just want more money.

You're right.
Then there'd be more to give back.

Come back here, you little strumpet!

I rather enjoyed that.

Welcome to Windsor Castle, Your Majesty.
The Prime Minister will be here shortly.

There's something
he wishes to talk to you about.

The peak goes to the front, Your Majesty.

Now that you've handled
the Zambezi reception so famously...

we feel that you're ready to help us with
a matter of even greater national import.

I don't know if you're aware of it...

but Finland recently discovered large oil
deposits in their area of the Baltic Sea.

One of our companies is
bidding for the contract...

to supply all the platforms
and drilling equipment...

a contract that could create
thousands of jobs in the Northeast.

Unfortunately, we're getting
spirited competition from the Japanese.

I've heard they can be a problem.
What are we hunting, Ced?

I believe it's pheasant, Your Majesty.

At present, the competition seems to be
what you call a 'toss-up'.

However, we have one more ace to play.

The King of Finland is due here
in two weeks on a state visit.

- Is this gun loaded, Ced?
- Yes.

You will, in keeping with tradition,
be hosting a royal banquet for him.

I'm afraid we won't be able to get by
on pretzels and beer this time.

The king will be with his daughter...

Princess Anna, one of the most
socially desirable women in the world.

Does that mean she's ugly?

Far from it. We're organising a ball
in her honour to follow the banquet...

so that you two can
get to know each other better.

Excuse me, Your Majesty.
The beaters are approaching.

Here they come, Your Majesty.

They're over.

- Did I get one?
- Fortunately, it's only a flesh wound.

Now, if everything proceeds
as it should...

this ball will be the first step
toward the royal wedding of the century.

Wedding? You mean her and me?

Yes, you and her.

This is going too far.
You can't tell me who to marry.

- Isn't being king worth something?
- Yes, that's why you must marry.

- To protect your birthright.
- What about matters of the heart?

They must be subordinated
to the good of the monarchy.

You're the last of the Wyndhams. A queen
must be found to perpetuate the line.

Princess Anna is the best
of the acceptable candidates.

I know it's difficult, but there are times
when you must put aside personal desires.

A king's life is not always his own!

- You're serious about this.
- Yes!

Well, I got news for ya. My life is my own
and I can't take this shit any more.

I got everything in the world and nothin'
I need. No friends, no freedom, no fun.

At least back in the States
I could screw up my life as I saw fit.

Take this job and shove it down somebody
else's throat, cos I quit! I'm outta here!

You'd walk out on the English people?

- I told you I was the wrong guy for this.
- You're wrong for everything, Ralph.

Who are you callin' 'Ralph'?
It's 'Your Majesty'!

Not any more. You quit,
just as you quit the bear scouts.

- Cub scouts.
- Little League, high-school band...

three colleges and an assortment
of jobs too numerous to mention!

Now you want me to quit on Miranda
and any chance at a normal life.

That shirt is not yours.

I wasn't born to this crap. You can't
expect me to accept these restrictions.

What of the thousands of workers
who will benefit?

- Maybe something else'll come along.
- Will it?

Are you willing to bet their future on it
for a woman you've known a few weeks?

You want me to marry one
I don't know at all!

I'm asking you to think of
something larger than yourself.

To accept responsibility for once...

without beating retreat
at the first sign of difficulty.

The throne of England is not a job to be
discarded when it's your bowling night!

First sign of difficulty? You've been
destroying my fantasy for weeks.

It's up to you whether you embrace this
situation as a challenge to your abilities...

or simply to chalk it up as another
failure, a monument to your own passivity.

I think it's time you made
a stand somewhere for something.

If not now, then when?

There's no guarantee
I'll be attracted to her.

Then we'll get her
a G-string and some pasties...

but you must not shrink from your duty.

To refuse to receive her now
would be disastrous for England.

Your family, your government and the
people of England are counting on you.

You owe it to them and to yourself.

OK, I'll give it a shot.

Thank you, Your Majesty.
You won't regret it.

I remain your humble servant.


- Hello, Ralph.
- Miranda?

- There's something I have to tell you.
- Yeah, I was just gonna call you.

- I don't think we should see each other.
- What?

I mean, I really wish I could. You just
have to trust me. It's not a good idea.

Yeah, they're puttin' the pressure
on me over here, too.

It could never have worked out.

Sure, I understand.

I guess we should just be glad for
the time we had, that kind of thing.

We did have a good time, didn't we?
Please don't think badly of me.


It just wasn't meant to be.


Goodbye, Miranda.

Bye. Ralph.

Now, I have a little errand
for you, Gordon.

My Lord?

This is my invitation to the Finnish ball.

Make sure that Miss Greene
gets one just like it.

- Of course.
- And write this on the back.

- But...
- Just do it.

Shoulder... arms!

Royal salute! Present... arms!

Welcome. On behalf of the people
of the United Kingdom...

it's a pleasure to have you as our guest.

Thank you, Your Majesty.
We are honoured by your invitation.

- May I present Queen Katherine.
- Queen Katherine.

- And Princess Anna.
- Princess Anna.

It's a pleasure to meet you.

Allow me to introduce
the Prime Minister, Mr Geoffrey Hale.

Your Majesty.

Your Majesty.

Your Royal Highness.

With His Majesty's compliments.

He also instructed me to give you this.

I have no doubt that they will be
the toast of the continent.

Good evening, Your Majesty.
Lord Percival Graves.

I know that you will acquit yourself
as famously with the Finnish royals...

as you have in your other endeavours.

One word of advice, if I may.

If things become too staid,
too formal for you...

don't hesitate to display
that wonderful American flamboyance...

for which you are so justly celebrated.

With your lustrous charm...

I wouldn't be afraid to
show them who you really are.

Thanks. I'll try to keep that in mind.


His Britannic Majesty, King Ralph I...

and Their Royal Majesties, King Gustav
and Queen Katherine of Finland...

and Her Royal Highness, Princess Anna.

I am told you are something of
a sportsman. My particular passion is polo.

- No game like it for a gentleman.
- I've heard that.

If I ever get to be one, I'll take it up.

Do you ever do any fencing?

Just a little, when I was a kid.
A couple of watches here and there.

- The princess is lovely, isn't she?
- She doesn't say much...

but she is what they call
in America a fox.

I am glad you find her so. Best wishes
in your fox-hunting, Your Majesty.

Fox-hunting? You like fox-hunting?

I don't get around much lately, but
I used to go out almost every weekend.

- One club or another.
- Really? That often?

You must have collected several tails.

Well, I admit I slept with a few,
but I'm not like that any more.

Nowadays you can't be too careful.
You never know who they've been with.

No... I suppose not.

Of course, once I had a steady girl,
that put an end to it.

- She didn't like fox-hunting?
- Well, of course not!

Anna isn't into it, is she?

Oh, yes, she loves it. Most royals do.

Gustav, let the king eat.
His guests are waiting.


Sorry, they don't feed
the chickens enough over here.

Excuse me.

Just spectacularly bad luck.
It could have happened to almost anyone.

I'd be better off doing things my way.
When I try to do things right I screw up.

All is not lost, Your Majesty.

If things go well between you and the
princess at the ball, it will be forgotten.

Shall we dance?

- You dance great.
- Oh, thank you. So do you.

I'm curious about
what kind of things you like.

Oh, I don't know. Certainly the fine arts.

The opera, the ballet, the symphony.

- And I love to travel.
- Oh, yeah? Me too.

- Have you ever been to Hoover Dam?
- No, I missed that one.

- We prefer Deauville.
- Deauville?

France. Daddy played in
the Gold Cup there this summer.

- Then, of course, we went to Ascot.
- Oh. What country is that in?


What do you say that
we take a little breather?

- It seems to be going well, Willingham.
- Yes.

We've been settin' a torrid pace in there.
I hope the rest of our life isn't as wild.

Now that we've gotten
to know each other...

our representatives can get together
to work out a schedule for our courtship.

I have a few travel commitments
that have to be worked around.

I need to talk to you about this.

Don't you think we should develop
some special feelings for each other first?

It would be a charming bonus,
but I hardly think it's necessary.

We're royals.
We marry for the... position.

If I wanted to marry for love...

I would have married Gunnar Jann
back in Penike.

But do you really wanna marry me?

Well, I must admit, you'll require
a bit more work than I'd hoped.

You are unsophisticated, ignorant
and totally lacking in social grace.

But I console myself with the fact
that you have nice buttocks.

I beg your pardon?

As you were dancing...

I drowned the memory of
your behaviour at dinner...

with a vision of you
bending me over the Queen-Anne desk...

in the white drawing room.

Wouldn't that be uncomfortable,
with all those pens?

Yes. Or best of all...

you could strap me to the throne
with strings of pearls.

- The servants might see us.
- I would hope so.

Ah, there you two are!

Come, Anna.
You haven't danced with your father.

Coming, Father.

Yes, yes, they do make a lovely couple.

- How's it going, Your Majesty?
- Great.

We have nothing in common,
she sounds like a tuba...

she wants to have sex on
a bed of nails on national TV...

but at least the party stinks.
I gotta do something to liven things up.

Time for some of that
American flamboyance.

- Your Majesty.
- I got a little number I'd like to do.

- You guys got a piano?
- No, but we've got a harpsichord.

Good enough. Let's go over the changes.

Thank you.

- You guys ready?
- We'll do the best we can, Your Majesty.

Ladies and gentleman, I'd like to
welcome you all to the ball again.

Is everybody havin' a good time?

Well, as you may have read, I love music.

Since this is the biggest audience
I've ever had...

I'd like to play somethin' for ya, maybe
pick up the tempo, get things rollin'.

This is a sweet
Little Richard Penniman tune.

A little rusty.

Here you go. Help me out here.


Coat was crampin' my style.

Your Majesty, one of the guests
asked me to give you this.

Thanks. You've been a wonderful audience.

Thanks a lot, guys.

- Great to see you! Why are you here?
- What do you mean?

- Who is this girl?
- Miranda. Who are you?

I am Princess Anna,
the king's future bride.

Future bride?

I see. Excuse me,
I think I should be going.

No, wait, Miranda.
I can explain this. Sorta.

- Anna, we are going.
- I want to know who that girl was.

Never mind him. He is not worth it.

Please wait, King Gustav.
I'm sure His Majesty regrets...

In the wake of last night's
disastrous royal ball...

the Finnish government has awarded its
equipment contract to a Japanese firm.

King Ralph not only shocked his guests
with his rock-and-roll gyrations...

but further insulted King Gustav
and Princess Anna of Finland...

by parading with his "mystery woman",
a former stripper named Miranda Greene.

Business and political leaders
have condemned...

Never, in recent times, has a monarch
so shamed and embarrassed his country.

- Hear! Hear!
- Must we stand idly by...

and suffer the degradation
of our most sacred traditions...

by this witless ivory-tinkler
from across the sea?

I say no!

Hear, hear!

I say it is time to reclaim our heritage.

Hear, hear!

I say it is time to reclaim
our national pride.

Hear, hear!

I say it is time to reclaim our throne!

Hear, hear!

Sorry, Grandpa.

I had a chance to make a mark for our
side of the family and I screwed it up.

Maybe I should have myself beheaded.

Tommie, this is Ralph. I need a favour.

- Mrs Greene?
- Yes?

Hi. Is Miranda here?

As I live and breathe!
You're him, aren't you?

Just barely.

I know I shouldn't have come,
but I wanted to see you.

Parliament wants me to resign.
Hale agrees.

- You're not gonna do it, are you?
- I don't know.

I've never done anything of importance.
I usually bail out long before that.

But I am the king, even if I shouldn't be.
I don't wanna be the last of the line...

the one who embarrassed the country
and had to crawl out the back door.

King Ralph the Chickenhearted.

- What do you think I should do?
- I'm in no position to give advice.

I'm sorry about all the stuff in the
papers, all the things they've said...

Ralph, there's something
I have to tell you.

After we first met at the club...

- Lord Graves came to see me.
- Graves?

He offered me money to help my family...

if I would... see you...

and compromise you in some way.

You went for it? You let him bribe you?

- To begin with.
- I don't believe this.

Ever since I've been here,
I've had people sayin'...

'Stay away from her.
She's the wrong class.' And I ignored 'em!

I kept tellin' myself 'Everything'll work
out fine once they know you like I do...

once they find out what a great gal
you were.' And you were settin' me up!

What did they give you for the night
in the park? Triple-word score?

It wasn't like that. After that night,
I gave Graves his money back.

- I didn't know he already had photos.
- Yeah, right!

Why do you think I kept you
away from the photographers...

and called to say I couldn't see you
any more? It was too dangerous.

I wish I could believe that.

I don't expect you to,
or to believe that I've missed you.

But I wish we could still see each other.

I was stupid. I was offered an easy way
out of my problems and I took it.

I didn't think about the consequences.

I don't know what to think any more.
I've been in over my head all along.

The only thing I was ever sure of was you.

You were England to me, Miranda.

Come in.

You wanted to see me, Your Majesty?

Yes, Gordon, I'd like something.

Anything, Your Majesty.


Just an explanation.

I'll see what I can find out,
Your Majesty.

Perhaps you can 'find out' why
the note is written in your handwriting.

I... don't know anything...

about... anything.

Don't worry. It'll all come back to you.

- Hi.
- Good day, Your Majesty.

- Your Majesty.
- Got a second?

Of course. It's been
a rather disturbing day.

Yes, it has, but that's not
why I wanted to see you.

I was thinking of something
you said to me once.

Most things go in one ear, out the other...
no offence... but this stuck with me.

You said you were nervous when you
first decided on me or something like that.

- Did I say that, Your Majesty?
- Yes, you did.

- The word 'decide' got me thinking.
- Did it, Your Majesty?

Yes, it did. Now, I'm the king, right?

- Oh, yes, indeed.
- And as my assistant private secretary...

you are sworn to give me whatever
information I might need, aren't you?

Yes, Your Majesty.

All right then, Phipps.

Fess up.

- You wanted to see me, Your Majesty?
- Yes, Ced. Come on in.

Have a seat.

I've been talking to Dunc about
something he said a while back.

It came out there was another guy in line
for the throne besides me. Is that true?

I'm afraid it is, Your Majesty.

Was his claim as strong as mine?

Almost, yes.

His great grandfather had an unfortunate
evening with a parlour maid.

- So he was English?
- Yes.

Then why wasn't he chosen over me?

He begged to be let off.

He insisted that he was undeserving
of such an exalted position.

In other words...

you just couldn't face it.

Yes, Your Majesty, I couldn't.

I didn't feel worthy and
I have no children to continue the line.

So I swore Phipps to silence and decided
to stay on as your private secretary.

Why? So you'd pick up
a few pointers, just in case?

I was determined to help you
do the job so well...

that 'just in case' would never arise.

It's easier to whisper advice from cover
than risk its merit at the point of attack.

I am sorry, Your Majesty, both for
my deception and my cowardice.

I probably oughta be pissed...

but I had nothin' else goin'
and I didn't get shot.

Plus you are a relative.

Thank you, Your Majesty,
for your tolerance.

Call the Prime Minister.
I wanna address Parliament.



My Lords, members of
the House of Commons...

His Majesty, Ralph I,
by the grace of God...

King of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland...

Head of the Commonwealth,
Defender of the Faith.

Please be seated.

My Lords and members
of the House of Commons.

It's unusual for a king
to address Parliament...

but I have some things to say
and I wanna say them first-hand.

As you all know, I have made
some terrible mistakes lately...

which have shamed England and cost
its workers some badly needed jobs.

I have no excuse for my actions.

I know I can't undo what's been done.

I can only try to make up for it
in some way.

With that in mind, I placed a call last
night to King Mulambon of Zambezi.

I am happy to be able to announce...

that Zambezi will begin production of
Africa's first car by the end of the year...

and, in a deal worked out
with Prime Minister Hale...

all of the engines will be built
right here in England.

This means opening three manufacturing
and assembly plants in the Northeast.

In addition, Zambezi wants to buy £200
million worth of English heavy equipment...

to help in the mining of
their vast national resources.


As happy as I am about all this, it doesn't
make up for my shortcomings as a king.

I have done my best to learn
the ways of royalty...

to try to be the kind of king
you could be proud of.

But I'm afraid my best
will never be good enough.

Too often, my personal instincts
conflict with my royal obligations.

For that reason,
I have decided to give up my throne.

But before I go, there are
some things I wanna set straight.

Since I became king, one member of
this house has worked to discredit me...

hoping that his family
would return to the throne.

The so-called scandalous photographs
you've heard about...

were taken and given
to the King of Finland...

by a man working for Lord Percival Graves.

This is an outrage!

A vile piece of slander! I demand
to know the source of these accusations!

We have the confession of a royal page,
Gordon Halliwell, who worked with you.

I know no such man!

And several cheques made out to
the photographer, signed by Lord Graves...

- ...whose fingerprints were on the photos.
- So? I saw them at the ball.

Scotland Yard found the negatives
in his house this morning.

By what right can you order my arrest?

By the Treason Act of 1702...

forbidding interference with the proper
succession of a monarch, enacted by...

Charlie, Charlie, James again...
William III.


That's right. String 'im up. Wanker!

I didn't bring this out to defend myself,
but I embarrassed England unintentionally.

Graves did it deliberately.

This is kinda where my notes run out.
I guess I'll have to wing it from here.

I just wanna say that when I first came
here, I hardly knew where England was.

But over the last few months,
something has changed.

I'll always consider myself an American...

but I've come to feel like
I'm English, too.

I now realise how important a king
can be to his people if he's the right man.

I also know that I'm too set in my ways
to ever be that man.

As an Englishman, I want all of us
to have the kind of king we deserve.

For that reason, tomorrow I'm turning over
the throne to Cedric Charles Willingham...

who, you'll be glad to know,
is also a Wyndham...

and a better, more qualified man
than any nation could hope for.

And so to him I pledge my allegiance.

Long live Cedric I, by the grace of God...

King of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland...

Head of the Commonwealth,
Defender of the Faith.

God save the king.

God save the king!

Well, I can't help it!
I'm gonna miss the geezer, all right?

And one last thing.
There's been some discussion...

and the Chancellor of the Exchequer
has suggested...

a healthy annual income and a house
in the country befitting your status.

I don't know, Ced. I should
stay out of the royalty business.

You wouldn't have any
official obligations...

and I'm having this house equipped
with its own recording studio.

Maybe I should give this
a little more thought.

I think so.

After me, you're still
the only Wyndham left...

and there's still the matter
of your investiture.

Well, I guess that about does it.
I know you'll do a hell of a job.

You got the breeding, the know-how,
you've practically been king already.

You'll probably have to work
on your dancing, though.

And feel free to change the decor.

Just a dab here and there.

Anyway, I wanna thank you
for everything you did for me.

I couldn't have made it without you.

And you too, Dunc, and Tommie.

It's I who should be thanking you.

You showed me how to be a king.

Me? I was a lousy king.

On the contrary.

You are a good and decent man...

and you've acted honourably.

I shall try to follow your example.

Thank you, Ced.

Hey, don't forget the crown. Practise
wearing it to get used to the weight.

So long, Tommie.

Good luck, Your Majesty.

So long, Dunc.

Goodbye, Your Majesty.

So long, Your Majesty.

Excuse me.

What do you say we start over again?

Sir Ralph Jones.

I proclaim you
Ralph Hampton Gainsworth Jones...

Third Duke of Warren.