Mrs Brown (1997) - full transcript

Queen Victoria is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Brown, who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but that relationship creates scandalous situation and is likely to lead to monarchy crisis.

God save the Queen!

"I have sent for
a Mr John Brown from Balmoral.

"Her Majesty has mentioned him
on one or two occasions...

"as being a most devoted outdoor
servant to Prince Albert...

"during his last days there.

"The depths of the Queen's sorrow
remain impenetrable.

"She has now restricted herself
to a regime...

"of such
ferocious introspection...

"that we are all
at our wits' end.

"The household continues
at her instruction...

"to observe the rituals
now so familiar to her.

"in a vain attempt
to render vivid...

"that which
can never be revived.

"Family and staff expend
all their efforts...

"in endeavouring to draw her out of
this state of unfettered morbidity,

"but to no avail.

"We must hope, therefore,
that this Mr Brown...

"would appeal to the Queen's...

though deeply held view...

"that all Highlanders
are good for the health.

Sorry, ma'am.

"He is arriving with
the Queen's pony this afternoon,

"by which time it is hoped Her Majesty
will be in a fit state...

"to consider riding out.

"As to that decision,
along with all others,

"we remain, as ever,

"prisoners of the Queen's grief.

Ever your devoted husband,


Your Royal Highness.

- Boy, I hear.
- Yes.

- Excellent. Excellent.
- Albert Victor.

"Eddie" for short.

- What do you think?
- A fine choice, sir.


How many?

The royal family and senior members
of the household, ma'am.

- Just those?
- Yes, ma'am.

We're expecting Brown
this afternoon, ma'am.


That's a very pretty shawl
you're wearing, Alex.
The colour suits you well.

But you're not eating enough.

One must not let vanity
overrule one's appetite.

Yes, ma'am.

We were due at a quarter
past 1:00. You're late.

Her Majesty's routine at Osborne House
is not as you will remember it.

The household remains
in full mourning,

and no one is permitted to raise their
voice under any circumstance whatsoever.

The Queen breakfasts at 9:30,
lunches at 2:00,

takes tea at 5:30
and dinner at 8:45.

No one's allowed to leave the building
while the Queen is at home.

On rare occasions when she's out,
you may ask permission to leave,

but only
with my consent.

You're to be ready to walk the pony
at any time after 10:00.

You'll clean the Queen's
outdoor things...

and do any odd jobs
as and when she requires.

How will I know?

I'm sorry?

- How will I know
what the Queen requires?
- You'll be sent a message.

- And who will bring it to me?
- Her Highness's equerry.

I'll need a man
who knows where I am.

- Oh, I don't think it'd be
difficult to find you.
- That's not good enough.

- Then we'll have to see
what can be arranged.
- Aye. Do.

As I'm sure you'll remember
from Balmoral,

you do not speak
while in Her Majesty's presence,

unless Her Majesty
addresses you directly.

Mr Brown, ma'am.

Mr Brown is here, ma'am.

- Mr Brown.
- Ma'am.

- You're here safely?
- Aye, ma'am.

- You are well?
- I am.

- And the pony?
- She's well too.

Your family sent cards.

It was much appreciated.

I'm glad of it.

My husband was always very complimentary
in speaking of you.

He would have approved, I'm sure,
of my calling on you in this way.

I trust it does not
inconvenience you too much.

I have no family, ma'am.
Only my brothers and sisters.


You have a brother
in service here, do you not?

- I forget his name.
- Archie.


That will be company
for you.


Honest to God, I never thought
to see you in such a state.

You must miss him

You do not--


Get him out!
Get him out of here!

Get him out!
Get him out!

So, the day they arrived,

she greets the sultan and
his family with barely a word
and retires to her chamber.

Now, the sultan, he's not used to
state occasions without a head of state,

and he's standing in the lobby waiting
for someone to tell him what to do.

But the court
is under strict instructions
not to talk in the corridor,

so nobody speaks to him, not
a living soul, for the whole afternoon.

So now it's dinner,
and everyone's standing around
the table, still not a word,

waiting for Her Majesty
to arrive.

One hour goes by, two.
The sultan is getting a wee
bit peckish, to say the least.

Finally, his wee laddie
breaks for the cold meats
and stuffs a slice in his mouth.

Oh, the uproar
when she heard.

- You'd have thought somebody
had stolen the crown jewels.
- So?

So there are rules.
Things you do and don't do.

All I did was tell the woman
how I feel, for God's sake.

- You don't tell Her Majesty
how you feel.
- I speak as I find, Archie.

Not down south you don't.

- So, what did Ponsonby do
when she started shouting?

I thought he nearly ruptured his truss.

Prince Leopold? Now isn't he the one
who sits around bleedin' all day?

So what does his valet do?
Bring out his bandages for him?

It's better than
shovelling horseshit.

Now, if it's promotion
you're after,

you should've picked
one of the healthier ones.

She's hardly
a full hamper herself.

It's only grief that's
made her that way.

Three years, John? Is that not
a bit long to be grieving?

- She loved him.
- Come on, man.

- There's love. Then there's--
- What?

- You know what I mean.

I don't think I do, Archie.

There's love, and there's
behaving like you do...

because there's nobody
to tell you not to.

So, which one of us
was she flirtin' with?

The good-looking one.

Obviously doesn't have
enough to do.

You work the system right,
you could ask her yourself.

Just be thankful you're not working
for the household.

The Queen never lets them
out of her sight.

But wee spats like us can slip
through the net easy.

I'm no wee spat, Archie.

Don't just stare at him.

Who is that?

- It's Mr Brown, ma'am.
- What is he doing there?

He appears to be standing
by his horse, ma'am.

I made no request
to go out riding today.

How long
has he been there?

I don't know, ma'am.
He was observed earlier, I believe.

Sir Henry, Mr Brown is standing
in the courtyard.

- I've no wish to go riding.
- I'm very sorry, ma'am.
I can't imagine--

He was certainly given
no instructions.

Please make sure
it does not happen again.

Of course. At once.

- What on Earth did you think
you were doing?
- Awaiting my orders.

You do not report for duty
unless the Queen requests of it.
You know that very well.

I didn't come all this way
to sit on my arse.

You'll await your orders
like everyone else...

unless you prefer a repeat
of yesterday's little excitement.


I beg your pardon?

I thought I made myself
perfectly clear.

You do not leave your room
until Her Majesty requests it.

You tell Her Majesty
from me...

if her husband was here today,
he'd have her outta the house...

and gettin'
some air into her.

What the hell's the point
of me bein' here otherwise?

Go inside at once.

Is that the Queen's request?

Yes. It most certainly is.

- Mr Brown?

Yes, ma'am?

You have been told repeatedly
not to stand in the courtyard...

unless requested to do so.

Yes, ma'am.

Then why do you persist
in doing it?

Because I believe
Her Majesty's wrong.

If ever a poor soul
needed some fresh air, it's her.

The Queen will ride out
if and when she chooses.

And I intend to be there
when she's ready.

Prince Albert was going
to build a bench here.

He thought it one
of the best views in Osborne.

Aye, it's a fine spot, ma'am.

He thought so, yes.

In everything I do
and everything I say,

I try to think
as much as possible...

what he would do or say
if he were here now.

My private secretary wishes me
to return to public duties.

If Prince Albert was here,
he'd tell him a thing or two.

Sir Henry's not alone.
They all wish it.

The same people who refused to grant
my husband the title of "King"...

because he was deemed
of insufficient rank.

I have some letters in my saddlebag.
I'd like to read them.

I cannot read them
like that.

You will hand them to me
as I require.

Mr Carter, the head butler,
sits there.

Not any more he doesn't.
This is my place.

- By whose authority?
- My own.

The order of seating
at the upper servants' table...

is arranged personally
by the Queen herself.

Now that's a tautology, lad.

If you say the Queen
has arranged something,

there's no need to say
she's done it personally.

It's understood.

- Thank you.

And you're the Queen's dresser,
I believe.

Assistant, sir. Yes.

- What's your name?
- Mary Taylor, sir.

Have I seen you
up at Balmoral, Mary?

I hope to go up next year.

Tell me, Mary. What is the Queen
reading for recreation these days?

Lord Tennyson, sir.


Am I the only one eating?

Lord Clarendon arrives
by invitation at 11:00,

followed at 12:00 by a picnic
on the grounds to celebrate
Princess Alice's birthday.

The chancellor writes to say
that by happy coincidence,

he will be in Cowes
this weekend,

and he asks if Your Majesty
might grant him an audience.


He thought, perhaps, Your Majesty
might wish to be informed...

of the latest developments
in government.

No, I shall be out walking.

Then, perhaps, Your Majesty
might consider it opportune...

if the Prince of Wales
were to meet him on your behalf.

On no account.

Mama, I really do think it's time
we made ourselves a little more...


I think
we must accept...

that our position in the country
is not entirely unrelated...

to the continued absence
of the monarchy from public life.

I thought, perhaps, we might consider
a small gesture of some kind.

- Gesture?
- I thought a dinner
for our ambassadors, perhaps.

No dinners, Bertie.
Why are you dressed for outdoors?

- It's so infernally cold in here.
- Cold is good.

Is that not so,
Dr Jenner?

Uh, I'm sorry, ma'am.

- Cold is good!
- Oh, excellent, ma'am. Excellent.

But perhaps if Her Majesty...

were to consider accompanying
her newfound physical vigour...

with the benefits
of mental activity.

Why am I being lectured
in this way?

- Oh, forgive me, Your Majesty.
- I will not tolerate
anybody lecturing me...

- about the responsibility of monarchy.
- Mother.

Least of all my son!

It was his irresponsibility
that drove my husband to his grave!

If it is inconvenient
to Her Majesty,

then perhaps she might consider
allowing the Prince of Wales--

Would you believe they sent me
so many boxes to taunt me?

Dr Jenner writes that my nerves are
in an extremely fragile state,

and yet they continue to
hound me with box after box...

after box after box
after box.

I wish to take the princesses
for a swim.

The turns I have been taking
in the grounds have proved
most beneficial to me,

and Brown thinks saltwater
will do me good.

Don't putter, children. Swim!

You could buy that lot
for garden ornaments...

and still get change
from ten guineas.

Lift your foot, woman!

Walk on.

This nation is fortunate...

insomuch as it is not governed
by force...

but by a chain of traditions...

that have been cherished
from generation to generation.

Because in them--
in our traditions--

are embodied all the laws that have
enabled us to create...

the greatest empire
of modern time!

And even though
we have amassed great capital,

and even though
we have established an industry...

with no parallel
in the world.

Yet all these
mighty creations...

are as nothing...

compared to
the invisible customs...

which shape our lives.

To those honourable gentlemen of
the opposition that seek to destroy...

the essential elements
of this country...

I say,
let them remember...

England cannot begin again!

Have you seen this?

Should we
take it seriously?

- The cartoon,
or Her Majesty's absenteeism?
- Well, both.

The question is:
Do we need her?

- Congratulations.
- Too kind. Thank you so much.
Thank you.

Surely you're not suggesting
we dispense with the Constitution?

My dear Stanley, a prime minister
with only a handful of friends...

must respect
public opinion.

- Congratulations, Prime Minister.
- Thank you.

Gossip counts.
Lord Aberdeen was right.

This country is not governed
by wisdom but by talk.

Oh, granted,
it wouldn't take too much...

to winkle the old girl
out of mourning,

but if public opinion
is against her,

it doesn't do
to appear too close.

- So?
- We'll see which way the wind blows.

My heart's
in the Highlands!

My heart is not here!

My heart's in the Highlands,
chasing the deer!

One box of biscuits, one box
of drop tablets. one box of pralines,

16 chocolate sponges.

It's the same order every week. Does one
of them even bother to check it?

The woman's goin'
to Balmoral tomorrow...

without the one wee luxury
she actually enjoys.

Look, someone'll
send it on ahead.

Oh, aye,
but will they?

It's not your problem,
what she eats, John.

The woman's surrounded
by fools.

She's supposed to be packed,
dressed and ready...

tomorrow mornin',
half past 7:00.

If it's up to any of them, she'll
still be gettin' dressed at 8:00.

She's got an army of people
to get her up and out.

But I'm the only one
she trusts.

She'll blow hot and cold on you,
John. She always does.

- You ought to be careful.
- I get 90 pounds a year.

Plus another 70 for a pile
of old tartan I'd be wearin' anyway.

That's as much as a page
of the back stair gets,

and that's a job for toffs.

I'm Her Majesty's
Highland servant!

Indoors and out.

There's no stoppin' me now.

Oh, God, the pipes.

- What are those?
- What?

- Those over there. There.
- Ah--

How can I
possibly say that with a straight face?

I'm thinking of publishing
my Highland journals.

- Are they worth readin'?
- I'm told so.

- By whom?
- Sir Henry Ponsonby tells me
they're charming.

What does he know
about the Highlands?

He has been attending
at Balmoral for many years.

Well, that hardly makes him
an expert.

His remarks were directed at the quality
of writing, not at subject.

I don't groom a horse
to have it admired by others.

I groom it
because it needs grooming.

I do not do it for others,
but Ponsonby thinks they are good.

Just say what you have to say, woman!
What other people think
shouldn't matter to you.

Of course I shall say
what I have to say. I always do.

Well, if it's a good opinion
you're lookin' for,

he's the very man
to oblige you.

What Mr Ponsonby was appreciating
was their literary merit,

a skill not intimately associated
with a knowledge of grooming.

Literary appreciation does not begin
and end with Tennyson.

I mention you in them.

In particular, the occasion
when Albert was alive.

The royal carriage overturned
during a storm,

and you demonstrated
such loyal service...

in returning the Queen
and princesses safely to Balmoral.

For friendship.

She'll be gone between 8:00
and 6:00 on Friday...

visiting the Grant family
at Glasalt.

In order to make the journey
there and back in one day,

she must have no distractions
the night before.

She'll take a light supper
in her private drawing room
and retire early.

She'll need to sign dispatches
before she retires.

That can wait
until the weekend.

- They're important papers!
- It can wait! Anything else?

Are you sure Her Majesty
is up to such a long journey?

She's only just recovered
from a severe head cold.

If I didn't think she was up to it,
I wouldn't let her go, would I?

Surely it is for the gentleman
to decide when to stop.

It is a disgusting habit.
It should be discouraged.

- Yes, but isn't midnight
a little excessive?
- It's quite late enough.

But, Mama, the room was built
expressly for that purpose.

It has been a smoking room by tradition
ever since Father built it.

Brown's responsibilities
are onerous enough already.

He has far too much to do during the day
without having to stay up all night...

waiting for you
to go to bed.

The smoking room will be closed
and the lights put out at 12:00.

- Mama.
- And that is my last word
on the matter.

Well, I'm sorry, but I really
do think it's intolerable...

the gentleman of the house
should be dictated to by a servant.

It's the Queen's decision.

I beg your pardon?

I think you should go now.
You've tired your mother enough.

There's really no
need for this, you know.

- I'll not have her
seein' it like it is.
- It's the last thing she expects.

That's as may be, John, but I just
wish she'd warned us she was comin'.

Had she warned ya,

you'd be throwin' water on the fire
and hiding knitting under cushions.

- You can't stop a wife
from bein' house-proud.

- All right, show her in.
- Fine.

They're ready
for you now, ma'am.

- I hope they didn't go
to any trouble, John.
- Ah, well.


Mr Grant, how good it is
to see you.

- Your Majesty.
- Mrs Grant.

- How's your knee?
Has the pain eased a little?
- Not so bad, ma'am.


Oh, and here are
Douglas and John.

Haven't you grown?

Growing all the time, ma'am.

- Would you care to sit, ma'am?
- Thank you.

I know that.

That's Cairn Lochan.

- We picnicked there once,
John, did we not?
- Aye, we did, indeed, ma'am.

Thank you so much.

Ah, the greasy pole.

Don't be facetious, dear.
Remember your position.

It's my position
I'm thinking of.

I see the Prince of Wales
is here.

I hope he's got
his mama's permission.

- Oh, Salisbury.
- Madam.

Why is the Queen
penny-wise and pound foolish?

Because she looks
after the Browns....

and lets the sovereigns
take care of themselves.

And in your opinion,
is she foolish?

- Well-- What I mean to say--
It's hardly right, is it?
- What?

Well, the Queen
and Mr Brown.

La superstition met le monde
entier en flammes.

I beg your pardon?

Has anyone seen
this, uh, Mr Brown?

He is her personal servant,
I believe.

He follows her
wherever she goes.

He would hardly make a very good
personal servant if he did not.

Excuse me.

It's not my best china.

I mean, it is my best china now, but
the family set got stolen last summer.

- I'm sorry.
- Of course, it was no one on the estate.

More like one of the lads
out from Braemar.

Or further even.

I'll fetch the salt.

Mr Disraeli.

- Ma'am.
- Your Royal Highness,
what a pleasure to see you here.

Have you met Mr Lyle?
He's in sugar.

I don't think I've had
that pleasure.

Mr Lyle,
the fascinating thing--

No doubt you've heard
the rumours.

I take no account
of gossip, Your Highness.

My concern is the reputation
of the monarchy.

Of course.

I fear the influence
he has on her.

The man's word
is not to be credited.

He is an arriviste
of the very lowest water.

You know, she's having
a bust cast of him...

in Nero Marquino marble.

I'd talk to her myself,
but she won't listen to me.

She must be persuaded by someone
she respects to abandon this...

ridiculous favouritism...


a situation develops.

A situation?

Look, I don't imagine you
frequent the republican clubs,

but the fact that
neither you nor I are members...

should not blind us
to the significance of their existence.

The Tory party
has always been our party.

I'm flattered you think so.

I tell you, if we don't
stick together on this,

you could very well find yourself
first president's opposition.

Yes. Quite.

I really don't think we can overstate
the seriousness of this.

What did he want?

To know
when he'll be King.

So Grant and myself
are riding over Lochnagar...

on the worst
imaginable night.

The rain is coming down in sheets,
and all we can think about...

is gettin' home
for a wee drink.

Suddenly, through the gloom,
Grant sees a couple of poachers,

gives me the shout, and we were off,
gallopin' down the hill after them.

We chased them right down
to the loch side.

He got there first, leaps off
his horse like a man possessed,

grabs the two unfortunate men
by the throat against the stack.

He was shoutin'. He was swearin'
at the top of his voice.

He looks into the eyes
of the smallest one, and he says,

"Why are you poachin'
on royal land?"

And the poor wee man
looks up at him,

completely terrified
and says,

"Because we've come up
in the world."


Your Majesty,
thank goodness you're safe.

I'll have a bath prepared
immediately. I recommend
MacDonald's African embrocation.

Ah, pipe down, man.
The woman's fine.

We stayed a little longer
than expected with Mr and Mrs Grant.

- It was most agreeable.
- We were expecting you
to return by 6:00.

- Now I'm back.
- And we had a wee nip of whisky.

- To keep out the cold.
- Aye.

Thank you, John.

She's drunk.

Distinct flushing
around the cheeks.

She was drunk,
I tell you.

No, she wasn't.

- Surely not.
- Don't even think it.

Pandora's Box.

Thank you.

- Which one is he?
- The tall one.

- Got him?
- Aye.

- I think it's over here.

What is it, John?

I won't be long.

Where'd he go?
I've lost him.

Don't know if there's much worth
writing about. Hard to tell.

Is this close enough
for you, boys?

Go on! Get out!

Go on! On your way!

- Back where you belong!
- Come on!

You filthy scavengers!

Leave her alone!
You hear?

If I catch
the miserable by-blow...

who told those people
the Queen's whereabouts,

I'll cut his balls off and hang them
out to dry on Jock Wemyss, so I will.

What happens to John Brown
is his business,

but the Queen's security
will never be compromised!

- What action--
- You'll talk when I'm finished.

That kind of disloyalty will not be
tolerated in this house. Is that clear?

- Is that clear?
- Yes, Mr Brown.

"Court circular: Balmoral.

"On Tuesday,
Mr John Brown attended...

"a display of sheep dipping
by local farmers.

"On Wednesday,
he attended a seance,

"where he was pleased to listen
to a recital of 'Auld Lang Syne'...

"by Mr Robert Burns himself.

"On Thursday, Mr John Brown
walked on the slopes,

"accompanied by family
and friend.

"At tea,
he partook of haggis,

"and in the evening,
he attended a recital...

"of bagpipe music
through the ages.

After a light supper,
Mr John Brown retired early."

If I find you had anything to do
with this, I'll have you sacked.

I believe that decision
rests with Her Majesty.

Don't think
I can't persuade her.

I don't doubt the Queen
was highly amused.

She's always had
a very healthy sense of humour.

This is a slur
on her good name.

Inasmuch as the article
is about yourself,

I think you must now accept
that the public has a right
to its interest in you.

Nobody has rights
over me.

We are, all of us,
subject to forces...

beyond our control,
Mr Brown.

Even you.

You'll regret saying that.


Order! Order!

The results of the vote to the motion
to disestablish the Irish Church.


Ayes to the right: 313.

Nos to the left: 265.

Mr Speaker!

I table a motion
in furtherance of the bill...

to disestablish the monarchy!

We're going to lose.

Gladstone's got his party facing the
same way for the first time in years.

We need help.

Where is the old girl?

- Who?
- Mrs Brown.

It's questionable whether there's any
advantage to be had from that direction.

- She's never been less popular.
- Aye, in the press, perhaps,

but she's sold more copies of her
Highland journal in three months...

than Punch will ever sell
in a year.

- It's time to wheel her out.
- She's refusing to leave Balmoral.

Oh, what's the excuse
this time?

Princess Louise
is too ill to move.

Frankly, the Queen is rather upset
about the recent spate of bad publicity.

- You're smiling.
- Oh, um, trying to imagine
"rather upset."

Forgive me, gentlemen.
I'm late.

Not at all, Dean. It's very good
of you to spare the time.

- I came as quickly as I could.
- You've seen the latest cartoon
in Punch, I take it.

I beg your pardon? Oh.

One of our madder brethren
in the House was calling for...

the disestablishment
of the monarchy.

- Good Lord!
- Oh, I'm sure it won't come to that.

It is now a matter
for each man's conscience.

I was just telling Lord Stanley
how vital it is...

that the nation should feel the visible
influence of the sovereign...

as a reminder that Parliament--
well, indeed, my own ministry--

depends on the will
of the Queen.

I couldn't agree with you more,
but I am only Dean of Windsor.

- I don't understand what--
- We hear from Balmoral...

that Mr Brown has been
interesting Her Majesty...

in some of the forms of worship
associated with...

low-church Presbyterian.

What can we do?

Oh, several things.

- Read it.
- Again?

Read it!

"The Times wishes to join the rest
of Her Majesty's loyal subjects...

"in expressing its deep joy
at the news...

that the Queen is soon
to come out of mourning."

- Who told them that?
- I have no idea.

- Why not?
- I-- Forgive me, ma'am,
I am no wiser than yourself.

No one should think themselves
wiser than me!

It is not for any
of the Queen's subjects...

to presume to tell Her Majesty
when and where she should
come out of mourning.

It is the Queen's sorrow
that keeps her secluded.

It is her overwhelming amount
of work and responsibility--

work that she feels will soon
wear her out entirely.

- Your Majesty--
- Is it not enough that she is
uncheered and unguided...

that she should also have to
suffer these malicious rumours?

I am not a fool.

I know there are those in the
establishment too afraid to attack me,

so they attack
my dearest friends.


I feel Brown is all I have left
of Albert.

And now they attack Brown too.

I will not give him up
to them!

- I wish to see my mother.
- She's busy.

- Then convey her a message.
- She's away to Windsor tomorrow.
Talk to her there.

Tell her the Prince of Wales
wishes to speak with her urgently...

about matters
concerning the press.

Are you deaf
as well as stupid?

What did you say?

I said, "Are you deaf
as well as stupid?"

Do you know
who you address, sir?

Whom you address.

- Get out of my way!
- Why don't you just leave us alone?

Where do you want this one, sir?

- You, boy! What's your business here?
- Under-porter, sir.

Well, don't stand
where you shouldn't.

Hey, Barney.

- Mr Brown, sir.
- It's a cold one out there
tonight, Barney.


Have you looked at this hoof?
She was limpin'. I think
there might be a stone in it.

- Ye-Yeah, I-I d-did.
- Good, man.

- Then she's all right?
- Yeah.

Good. She's a good girl.

Aren't ya?
Yeah, she's a lovely girl.

- And you know the Queen's
riding her tomorrow?
- Yeah.

You all right, Barney?

Oh, aye.

Come on.
Come on, you.

Come on. Okay. There.


Mr Brown is unable
to attend today.


- I believe he is unwell, ma'am.
- Unwell?

I understand
he was in a fight.

- Has he been hurt?
- I believe not, ma'am.

I understand...

he'd had rather too much
to drink.

You may go.

And she sent no word down?

They said you were drunk.

Why don't you tell her
the truth?

She'll think it's her fault
for keepin' me.

- What the hell are you doing?
- I'm getting dressed.

- You've got three broken ribs.
- I've got my duties to attend to.

Don't be an idiot. You're in
no fit state to go anywhere.

- She'll be worried about me.
- She'll get over it.

I can't let her down now, Archie.

And when was the last time she put
herself out for you?

Look, John, whatever
she says to you now,

in the end,
you're a servant.

I am much more than that.

She may say that to you, but the woman
can say what she wants, can't she?

- Just watch your tongue!
- Come on, man.

I'm tellin' you
what you already know.

- You know nothing about her.
- When are you gonna see it, John?

She doesn't give
a damn about you!

From the Queen.

"My lips me give a message better
of Christmas love...

"than e'en this letter.

To my best friend, J.B.
From his best friend, V.R."

Best friend!

- Aye.
- She means it!

She'll drop you.

When she's done with you,
she'll drop you.

- Get out.

Get out.

Get out.
Get out!

Out! be followed
by a visit from Lady Bridport.

She is keen to secure a place
for her niece as maid of honour.

- I'm tired.
- Um, there is one other matter.

- What is it?
- I have a letter, ma'am.

From whom?

From Princess Helena and other members
of the royal family.

My family is quite capable of
communicating with the Queen in person.

What do they want?

They are demanding the dismissal
of Mr Brown on grounds of drunkenness.

You wish
to see me, ma'am?

My husband tried always
to make me think more subtly.

Of course,
he taught me so much,

and I can never repay
my debt to him...

or the love I feel
even now.

But in truth,

I think I am someone...

who can only feel things...

when they are alive to me.

And for that reason,
I know I do not have a subtle mind.

I know that.

But I work hard,
and I...

try to do my duty.


I have noticed of late...

my feelings of grief...

are not so strong,

and I find myself leaning...


on the comfort
of living friends.

Friends close to me now.

Your Majesty,

a settled resignation...

is more lasting proof
of affection...

than active grief.

If the Good Lord sees fit
to bring one into contact...

with... congenial
fellow beings,

one need not analyze
one's reaction too deeply.

To allow oneself
to be comforted...

by someone else...

need not imply disloyalty
to the memory of the loved one.

Sir Henry?

Please tell the princess
and other signatories to this letter...

that the Queen will not
be dictated to...

or made to alter
in any way...

what she has found
to answer for her comfort.

- Do I make myself clear?
- Ma'am.

You may go.

I would like to get down.

I was told
you were in a fight.

Yes, ma'am.

Has someone seen
to those bruises?

Yes, ma'am.


Having considered
my position here in court,

I have come to the conclusion
that in Your Majesty's
best interests I should resign.

I do not accept.

I had foreseen
that you would not.

But Your Majesty
should understand...

that I will not
be changed in this.

- I leave for Deeside--
- The Queen forbids it.

I cannot allow it...

because I cannot live
without you.

Without you, I cannot
find the strength...

to be who I must be.


Promise me you won't
let them send me back.

I promise.

Gladstone talked for three hours...

on the Irish Church bill.

I am as guilty as the rest
of underestimating his reforming zeal.

Tory days may be numbered,
but I fancy there yet remains...

one last hope
of deliverance.

Wheresoever the blame lies,
we must now close ranks...

and defend
Mrs Brown's England.

As for my interminable journey...

to the land of Calvin,
oatcakes and sulphur,

no prime minister
made greater sacrifice...

than attempting
to run the country...

six hundred miles
north of civilization.

♪ Embracing-- ♪♪
How dare the Irish
break with the Anglicans!

If Albert were alive today,
he would never allow the crown
to give up church patronage.


The Irish must be told very firmly
to stay exactly where they are.

It's the thin end
of the wedge, Mr Disraeli.

Next you will be telling me that
the crown no longer governs this nation.

Your Majesty remains
at the very epicentre of governance.

As for your people,
look no further than the sales...

of your
Highland journals...

to see in what affection
the nation holds their Queen.

Why, you sell even more copies
than Mr Dickens.

But I lack your prose,
Mr Disraeli.


Of course,
I understand your concern.

You miss your people,
and they miss you.

- Then they may read about me.
- Indeed.

And for that, they are
eternally grateful.

- Is that not enough?
- In so many ways.

And yet, it is...

your presence they crave.

A figurehead.

I never thought to be bullied
by you, Mr Disraeli.

You, I thought,
understood a widow's grief.

Forgive me, ma'am.

I cannot speak for the nation,
only for myself.

As prime minister,
I confess I miss your presence.

But that is an expression
of my own selfish desires,

and I should not
burden you with it.

I stay here
because I am happy.

Is that
such a terrible crime?

No, ma'am.

Time for your walk.

- This is my good John Brown.
- Yes.

I've asked him to show you
a little of Highland life...

while you're with us
at Balmoral.

What brings you here?

A man can refuse only
so many invitations from his Queen.

It was remiss of me
not to come earlier.

And what do you know
of the Highlands?

I am a blank sheet.

- Do you hunt?
- Mmm, occasionally.

Daresay we could
have you taught.

To shoot, perhaps,
but not to kill.

If you hunt,
you hunt to kill.

Well, then,
I'll do my best.

Always remember, keep it
very tight to your shoulder,

absorb the kick
with your body,

aim for the head-- bang!

Imagine it's Gladstone.

Yes, quite.

Thank you.

- Back door, west wing?
- Checked and locked, sir.

- Side door, west wing?
- Checked and locked, sir.

- Front door, west wing?
- Checked and locked, sir.

- Side door, east wing?
- Checked and locked--

- Louder, girl!
- Checked and locked, sir.

- Kitchen, lower house?
- Checked and locked. Sir.

- Back and upper corridors?
- Checked and locked, sir.

Front door.
Checked and locked.

Did you see any
Irish assassins today, Mr Brown?

We heard the ponies
were Fenian sympathizers.

Or was it the stag?

There's not a soul in here...

who cares about that
wee woman's safety except me!

She would be dead
in a ditch...

if I wasn't here
to look out for her!

- You hear that?

What's this?

It's a diary.

- Be careful who sees it.
- What do you take me for?

- You should have someone look at ya.
- I'm all right.

Just need to rest up
a wee while.


You don't need to stay.

The place is a mess.

Can't move to tidy.

- That's what the maids are for.
- I don't need some prattler
goin' through my things.

Why don't ya give yourself
a rest, John?

She's other people
to look out for her.

She needs me, Archie.

Can't do without me.
Told me to my face.

How can I stop now?

- You sent for me?
- I've been called back to London.

My last day.

I thought I might take
a walk up Lochnagar.

"Princes and lords
are but the breath of kings.

A honest man's
the noblest work of God."

You must miss
such magnificent views.

I don't think about it.

Oh. Forgive me.

I've called you out, and you
should have been resting.

- I'm fine.
- But you are injured.

- It's nothin'.
- Still, someone must attend to it.

- Your wife should not have let you out.
- I'm not married.


- This is the top.

I confess I sometimes feel
as if I'm not married myself.

I see my wife so little.

But I'm forgetting
the rewards.

The look on their faces
when one walks into a room...

still gives one
a ridiculous thrill.

- Well, I wouldn't know.
- Oh, surely.

What I do,
I do for my Queen.

Was there never ambition?

Maybe, once.

Oh. I envy you.

- Why?
- Oh, to have achieved one's ambition...

or to have reconciled oneself
to its limits...

is a lifetime's work.

- I do what I do.
- For Her Majesty.

- Aye.
- But yourself? What about John Brown?

I told ya.
I serve my Queen.

And no other aspiration?

To see her safe.

You will not be unaware...

of the threat now posed
by the republicanism?

Why do you think
I've kept her here?

Ah, but therein lies
the paradox.

It is her very isolation
that encourages the malcontents.

The longer she is away,
the stronger they become,

and who, honestly, can provide
security against that?

However many doors
you lock,

someone will always get in.

Even here.


The truth is, the Queen
would be safer...

doing her duty and returning
south to her public.

John Bull loves her,
and John Bull is her best defence.

Her mind is set.
You'll never change it now.

She trusts you, John.

They don't see it.

See what?

The danger. I keep tellin' them,
but they don't see it.

- They're not as watchful as you.
- They're too busy
thinking about themselves.

A greasy pole.

- No loyalty.
- No, um,


I promised to protect her...
from people like you.

For once in my life, I'm not the issue.

- She'll never understand it.
- Oh, in time she will.

She'll think
I've betrayed her.

But others will know that you
acted for the greater good.

I received a letter today
from Mr Disraeli.

Parliament are calling
for my return to public duties.

He insists the country
expects me to preside...

over the opening
of the new session.

I refuse to offer sustenance
to enable his weakening grip.

Besides, you know how much
I would hate it.

It frightens me.


We can't always have
what we wish.

You talk about "duty"?

When duty and safety are served
by the same ends, then, aye, I do!

I cannot believe you're saying this.
You who I've relied on all this time?

- Have I ever lied before?
- You stand there and tell me
it is my duty!

- After all you promised me?
- I've broken no promise!

You're forcing me to do
the very thing you know I'd fear most.

For God's sake, woman,
I'm tryin' to see you safe!

I will not hear any more
about my safety!

You made me a promise,
and now you've broken it!

When I took you out riding,
come rain or shine,

because I knew
it was right for you,

when I got the bairns off your back
just to give you a bit o' peace,

when I saw you safe
from home to home when
you didn't even know if I was there,

all I ever thought about
was you!

- Then why send me back to them?
- Because I have to!

Will you not listen to me,

Do not presume to talk
to your Queen in that manner.

Dr Jenner,
I feel unwell.

I shall retire
to my chamber.

- Please attend me presently.
- Ma'am.


May I say how glad I am to see
Your Majesty so much recovered.

Where is my son?

Prince Albert
is at Windsor, ma'am.

Why is he not here?

- He is sick, ma'am.
- Then why are you not with him?

You ordered all members of the royal
family to attend you at Balmoral.

What's the matter with him?

He has typhoid fever, ma'am.

No. You are mistaken.

Prince Albert, my husband,
had typhoid fever.

I asked what was wrong
with my son.

The same, Your Majesty.

Why was I not informed?

I did not consider it wise
in the circumstances...

to tax your nerves.

How ill is he?


He is not well, ma'am.

I must go to him.
We must leave at once.


If the Good Lord should see fit
to spare my son,

I will order a Mass
to be celebrated at St. George's.

The people must share
with their Queen...

her prayers and hopes
for their future King.

The Queen will be riding
to St. George's on the 5th.

I recommend Her Majesty use a covered
carriage and a full horse guard.

In the event of any disturbance,
I will insure--

I will ride to St. George's
in an open carriage.

It is time the Queen
was seen by her public.


And so there he is, Arthur O'Conner,

all seven stone of the man,
paddling madly towards us
through a sea of horse guards,

waving something that
looks vaguely like a pen!

- I thought he must be one of
Mother's ardent readership...

in search of
the royal indenture.

I believe I saw him first,
and then I alerted Brown.

I'm not convinced that he wasn't
taking a snooze on top of the steps.

- So we had our man pinned down,

and I must say that Brown
acquitted himself admirably.

Of course, the gun
turned out to be a fake,

but, uh, well, you know,
nonetheless it was, um--

- Yes, um, well done.

I intend Brown to be rewarded
with a special medal cast in gold.

It will be called
the "Devoted Service Medal."

- Mm.

A toast.

Victoria Regina!

Victoria Regina!

I saw your face there
as well, Sir Henry.

I think that you were sneaking
a bit behind the carriage.

The people of England have expressed,

in a manner which
cannot be mistaken,

that they will uphold
the ancient monarchy of England.

Go to your homes.
Teach them these truths.

A land of liberty,
of prosperity...

of power...

and of glory!

We should not live
in expectation of contentment.

Fifteen years of vigilance
will not guarantee peace of mind.

Yesterday, intruders were again
reported in the south wing.

I believe my prompt arrival
may have averted any crisis,

but it was
a timely reminder.

It is a great comfort to me
that my efforts...

in securing the Queen's safety
over the years have not been in vain.

Certainly Her Majesty sends me no word
that she is dissatisfied,

and I feel sure that
if she were unhappy,

she would have found the occasion
to speak to me in person,

- as she has so often done in the past.

- What is it?

North woods, sir!

God save the Queen!

How long has he been
this sick?

A few days, ma'am.

Why was I not told earlier?

You should never have gone out
in such foul weather.

Someone has to look after ya.

It could have been someone.

It was before.

Yes. Yes, it was.

My ministers are
as impertinent as ever.

Dispatches so numerous
they come in a trunk.

Sometimes, I do believe,
they will never stop.

Endless letters.

I know I've not always been...

the loyal friend
that you deserve, John.

And here, even now, I'm...

feeling desperate
with the thought of losing you.

Don't be silly, woman.

Not too near.

Cause of death was pneumonia.

Not too protracted, I hope.

A few days.

When he heard,
the Prince of Wales...

threw the bust over the wall
of the north tower.

Took four hours
to gather the fragments.

Queen wishes to publish
an account of him.

Dear, oh, dear.

- We think she can be dissuaded.
- Hmm.

Have you had a glance
at the diary?

- Yes.
- Quite.

I think I best
take it back.

Oh, of course.

Where did you find it,
by the way?

Oh, some young page was boasting
about having seen it.

- Lucky.

Well, no rest
for the wicked, Henry.

No. Indeed.