The Swan (1956) - full transcript

Princess Beatrice's days of enjoying the regal life are numbered unless her only daughter, Princess Alexandra, makes a good impression on a distant cousin when he pays a surprise visit to their palace. Prince Albert has searched all over Europe for a bride and he's bored by the whole courtship routine. He is more interested in the estate's dairy than Alexandra's rose garden. And then he starts playing football with the tutor and Alexandra's brothers. Invite the tutor to the ball that night and watch how gracefully Alexandra dances with him.

[Bell jingles]


Open the door, please.


Breakfast, your highness,
and a telegram.


[Clears throat]

Are you quite sure
the doctor said
that gargle

should be swallowed afterwards?

That's what
you said,
your highness.

Did I? Sometimes
I think that doctor's
a little too progressive.

I can't believe it.

Elsa, my smelling salts.

No, no.
Dress me at once.

No, no,
never mind.
Send for Caesar.

I must speak to him immediately.

In here, your high--

yes, yes!

Have their highnesses

Oh, well,
it doesn't matter.
It makes no difference.

Oh, very well,
then, downstairs,
but hurry, hurry.


Your highness, good morning.

I want to see
everyone. We haven't
a moment too many.


Yes. The Butler,
the housekeeper,

the head gardener,
the head groom, the chef--
particularly the chef--

oh, and the huntsman
and the head gamekeeper,

but I won't wait
while you hunt for those.

Get on with your work.

Yes, Mr. Caesar.



Aunt Symphorosa.

Aunt Symphorosa.

Oh! Beatrix.
I was bicycling.

It's happened,
just when I'd
given up all hope.

What is it, dear?
Someone died?

It's a telegram.

"His royal highness
will honor you

"with a 4-day visit
beginning 23rd.

"No other guests.

"Train arrives 2:30 A.M.
no reception.

Will meet family next day."

He's coming to see Alexandra.

Not Albert.


It took him 2 years
to answer the invitation.

He must have looked
at every girl in Europe,
but he's coming.

I knew he was in Lisbon,
but I wasn't worried
about the infanta.

She's 6 foot 2.

And with the crown,
another 7 1/2 inches.

But I thought
he was going to Dresden.

He must have seen
a photograph
of Maria Teresa,

and that finished her.

[Bird chirping]

Coming. I always
said dear Alexandra

would have
her opportunity
in the end.

Have it and take it.

Alexandra a queen.

Oh, if only
her father could
have lived for this.

It's so awkward
without a man
in the house.

A man can help in so many ways.

So many ways.

I shall wire Karl.

Have you
a pen somewhere
or a pencil?

It must go at once.

It will be nice
to see dear Karl,

but didn't it say no guests?

Karl? He's your nephew
and my brother.

How can he be a guest?

Oh! I'm inside out.

Oh! Must you still write
with a feather?

This is the 20th century.

I don't like the 20th century.

Man: For the purpose
of the experiment,

the wall isn't there.

Now, if I take this one
and flip it--

good morning.

Boy: Good morning, mother.

Your highness.

Mother, aren't you
going to dress today?

I'm looking for a pencil,

and what exactly
did I find going on here?

Oh, I was just
teaching their highnesses

some elementary statics
and dynamics.

Those are statics and dynamics?

No, your highness.

a game the peasant
children play,
I believe.

Oh, the professor's
an absolute fizzer at it.
Show mother, professor.

Beatrix: George.
Professor Agi,
I must ask you again

to confine yourself
to the normal kinds
of education,

and I want the boys
particularly well up
in their studies.

We're to be honored
within the next day or two

by a visit
from his royal highness
crown prince Albert.

Prince Albert!



I know.
He wants to look
at Alexandra.


Prince Albert is your cousin,

and he hasn't seen us
for many years.

He's coming here
purely and simply
to visit the family.

Now, get on with
your lessons so you
won't disgrace us,

and put on your coats.

The pencil, your highness.

Thank you.

Professor Agi,
did you write
that name up there?

Yes, your highness.

I don't want
that man's name
mentioned in my house.

Arsene: Why not, mother?

Napoleon was a genius.
He beat almost

He won the battles of
Marengo and Austerlitz
and Borodino.

But not the battle of Waterloo.

He was an upstart.
Please remember
what I tell you.

You're here
to give the boys
an education,

not to fill
their heads with a lot
of historical gossip.

[Door closes]

Your highnesses
had better pick up
the statics and dynamics.

Do you know why
mother hates Napoleon?

It was through him that
we lost our throne and had
to come and live here.

George: We won't
much longer, I'll bet.
Will we, professor?

We're going to practice
some vulgar fractions.
Get out your exercise books.

Couldn't we do it with marbles?

I'm afraid not.

Arsene: Mother probably
wouldn't approve of
vulgar fractions either.

George: Not with
a queen in the family.

We haven't got one yet.

Well, cousin Albert's
a crown prince,
isn't he?

So Alexandra will be
a crown Princess.

So one day she'll be a queen.

As for the menu,

I want details
submitted for all meals
by tomorrow morning.

They must not only
taste delicious,

they have to match the services.

The gardens--I notice
the roses are already
beginning to bloom.

They're just
at their best,
your highness.

I don't want them at their best

till the day
after tomorrow.
Hold them back.

Caesar will let you
know the exact time.
Next, the carriages. I--


You sent for me, mother?

Yes, dear, I sent for you.

there's very little time.

Please get everything started.

Yes, your highness.

Alexandra, wonderful news--

Albert is coming
day after tomorrow.

A wire this morning.

There will hardly
be time to see
to everything.


Yes, mother.

Oh, I hope
so much that
you'll like him.

I'm sure I will.

I haven't seen him
since he was 10,
of course,

but they say
he's charming,
quite charming.

Doesn't take after
his mother at all.

And he's been all over Europe,

looked at every Princess

and turned down
every one of them,

and now he's coming here to you.

I expect he can't bear
the site of another
Princess by now.

Alexandra, this is
the most important moment
you'll ever have to face.

My dear, you're not
going to be nervous?

No, mother.
I hope not.

Hoping's not enough.
You must tell yourself
not to be.

Oh, my dear child.
This is the one thing,

the one opportunity
that all your life
I've been praying for--

for you to become a queen.

Yes, mother.
I know that.

You must prove to Albert
in these 4 days

that you have
all the qualities he's
looking for in a wife,

a wife who'll share
his throne one day.

You must be gracious
and dignified,

warm and charming and amusing.

Oh, I know he's seen
a great deal more
of life than you,

but you can make that
an advantage, too.

Let him see how sweet
and unspoiled you are,

and, darling, you must
try your hardest
not to be shy.

Men don't like it,
especially a man
like Albert.

After all, that's one
of the first duties
of a queen.

She always
puts other people
at their ease.

You remember
my telling you that?

Yes, mother, I remember it.

Albert's the law
unto himself, they say,

but don't let that frighten you.

Look on it as a challenge,

and never forget
that first impressions
are everything.

Of course, you must be
natural, too. That's more
important than anything,

but above all, don't be nervous.

No. I--I... No.
I know, mother.

You do?
You sure you do,
all these things?

Yes, of course I do,
but if you keep
telling me,

it's just going
to make me more...

It's time for
my fencing lesson now.

May I go?

Don't worry, mother.

[Door opens]

Your highness.

You're late this morning.

Forgive me, your highness.

To speak the truth,

I supposed
your highness would be
too busy this morning.


With the visit
of his royal highness.

I thought
there would be no more
fencing lessons...

For the next few days,
at all events.

What--what I meant,
your highness--

should the lessons
be discontinued
at any time,

you will be notified.

Yes, your highness.

En garde.

En quarte.

Allongez Le bras.

Coup droit.

Battement droit.

Marchez, marchez.

Rompez, rompez, defendez-vous.

It's too low.
It should be here.

Point. Left foot flat.

Regardez ainsi.

In retreat.
Parry prime,

seconde, tierce, quarte, quinte,

sixte, septime, octave.

Good. En garde en sixte.

Un, deux, trois.





Much too low.
Once more.

Fine. En quarte.

En marchant.
Battement dans
la ligne opposee.

Coup droit, parry, riposte. Up.

George: Alexandra!


Have you heard it?

have you heard
the news?

Yes, I heard it.

Your highnesses
will sit down, please.

I shall take you
in a few minutes.

Your highness,
this morning we're
going to practice

the art of making a feint--

the sham attack
followed by a genuine one
in another quarter.

The offenser is always in danger

of revealing
his intentions
to his adversary,

and that he must never do.

His opponent must never know

from one moment
to the next
what he is thinking.

Like everything else,
it's a question
of practice.

No one ever
knows what Alexandra
is thinking anyway.

That can never
be said of you,

are you going to fence
with cousin Albert?

Of course she isn't.
She might cut
his head off.

I don't know what
mother would say
to that.

There goes our crown.

[Boys laughing]

Be quiet, both of you,
or else I shall cut
your heads off.


Prince George,
prince Arsene,
sit down.


Well, thank you,
brother Sebastian.

All right. I can manage.

I'll wire father guardian
when I need to be rescued.

God bless you, father.

You, too, and you,
Beulah, girl. Caesar.

Your highness.
What a pleasant surprise.

Well, how's the rheumatism, eh?

Did the lemon juice work?

Oh, it didn't do any harm,

but, then, I don't
believe in miracles,
your highness.

Caesar, after all this time,

do I have to
remind you that I'm not
"your highness" anymore?

No, your father--
Uh, father.



All right.

Get on with your work.


Beatrix: Karl.

Oh, Beatrix, dear.

Your manners are a disgrace.

Karl, dear,
I thought
I heard you.

Aunt Symphorosa.
You're looking well,
both of you.

We're a little exhausted.

What do you suppose?
I couldn't tell you
in the wire.

Such wonderful news.

I know all about it.

You do?

The whole countryside knows.

And what are they saying?

Not out here.

Excuse me, father.

Thank you, my son.

That's not all your luggage.

When you renounce
the world, Beatrix,

I'm happy to say
you renounce luggage
along with it.

Later. Later. Do you mind?

Karl: Quite enough people.

Karl, I--Karl, if all goes well,

my life's ambition
will be realized.

You don't know
what such a moment
means to a mother.

[Choked up]
If I could be sure

Alexandra would sit on a throne,

I'd willingly die this minute.

I very much doubt
if heaven wants you
on those terms.

And where do I come into it?

Oh, you'll be
such a help, Karl.
I know you will.

You must go through
the wine cellars
with the Butler.

Yes. He stays
down there

and it isn't good for him.

And I want you
to talk to the chef.

He's so accustomed
to planning just for us.

Look at these menus--
or have you forgotten
what real food is?

No. I partially tamed
my spirit some years ago,

but my stomach
is still holding out.

And Alexandra--how is she
in the midst of all this?

Oh, Karl,
one can't help
but be proud of her.


Remember how
her poor father used
to call her his swan?


"My proud, white swan,"
he used to say,
and that's how she is,

so dignified,
so silent, so regal.

And the boys?

Same as ever--savages.

Except for Arcturus,

they're the 2 most
brilliant stars
in the northern sky.

Now, we should
be able to see them
more clearly tonight

than any other time of the year.

Let me see.

First we're going
to look at Vega.

Karl: What are you reading?


On an evening like this?

Mother wants me
to know all about
Albert's relations.

All about all of them?

There's some she's crossed out.

I'm not surprised.

Come outside
and get a little air.

Can you see it?

It's the one with
the bluish light.

It doesn't look very big.

That's only because
of the distance.

A great many
of those stars that
you see up there

are larger
and more brilliant
than our own sun,

but they're so far
away, it's almost
impossible to re--

to realize it.

Would your highness care to see?

Scoot, your highness.

That's Vega, star of
the first magnitude

of the constellation Lyra.

Can you see it, your highness?

I can see several.

Allow me.

There. That's better.

It's the brightest,
in the very center.

Alexandra: It's moved
right across.

How fast it's going.

It's we who are going so fast.

Oh, it's gone.

You see, the earth,
your highness,

we are going through
space at over
68 miles an hour.


Forgive me.

Karl, I wondered
what had become
of you.

Oh, what a day.
I'm utterly exhausted.

what became of your
dear little photograph,

the one in
the sailor blouse?
There's only the frame.

I don't know, mother.
It was awful anyway.

No, it wasn't.
I want to put it
in Albert's bedroom.

George: To make him seasick?

George, Arsene, up to bed now.

Oh, no, mother--

And you, too, Alexandra.

Don't forget, you have
to look your very best
in the morning.

We all do.

Good night, boys.

Boys: Good night, uncle Karl.

[Whistle blowing]

[Horse neighs]

[Cows mooing]

Attention! Eyes right!

I thought
there was to be
no reception.

They wouldn't count
a guard of honor, sir.

[Cows mooing]

[Clears throat]

Yes, captain?

Does your royal highness
wish to decorate
the engine driver?

[Cow moos]

Mounted inspection.

[Horses snorting and whinnying]

[Train whistle blows]



This way, your royal highness.

Let's hope there's
a bed at the top,

however, after 2 nights
on that train,

I'm prepared to sleep
even on pink marble.

[Birds chirping]

I'm hungry.

It isn't good for anyone

to sleep as long as this,

but, of course,
he was traveling
all yesterday.

[Knock on door]


Not yet.
Bring them after dinner.


Just time for a nap,
and we'll have to start
putting on our tiaras.

Shall we go out?


I don't understand it at all.

Perhaps he's ill.

Perhaps he's dead.

in a case like this,
what would you do?



Karl: Oh, thank you, my son.

For what
we are at last
to receive,

the lord make us
truly thankful.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

How can I eat?
I already have

this is quite

Why does he think
he was invited here
in the first place?

Mother, please.
I'm sure there's
some good reason.

If he tries to make any excuses,

I shan't speak
to him. I couldn't.

I've never been
so humiliated
in my life.

[Door opens]

Oh, my dear boy.

You look splendidly well,

and what a change
from the little
Albert I remember.

Captain Wunderlich,
your highness.

His royal highness sends word

he will be down
in a few moments.

Caesar, we shall
start again.
Come to the salon.



Yes, captain?

[Indistinct whispering]


I'm flattered.

May I show you?

George: 11, 12, 13,

14, 15, 16, 17, 18,

19, 20, 21, 22, 23,

24, 25, 26, 27, 28,

29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34.

[Object clatters on floor]

Here, let me try it.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Ha! You didn't even get started.

Whose turn now, professor?


Arsene: Are you
with cousin Albert?

George: When is he
going to wake up?

He has.
My cousin Arsene,
I'm willing to bet.

Yes, cousin Albert.

And my cousin George.

Yes, cousin Albert.

And this is professor Agi,

instructor in languages,

mathematics, history,

geography, geology,

astronomy, fencing,
riding, marbles.

How do you know all that?

That's what aides are for,
young man,

and that's one pleasant thing
about being crown prince--

no more lessons.

The aide learns all the lessons

and passes them on
in small doses as required,

but this he didn't mention.
Now, what particular science--

we were just
passing the time,
your royal highness.

A thing I often
have to do myself. May I?

Certainly, cousin Albert.

This must be a new game.
I've never seen it before.

Hasn't your aide seen it either?


This boy's going
to be something
in the world...

Probably an assassin.

It's an old game, cousin Albert.

It's a game
that children play
in the villages.

The professor made it for us.

He did? Carpentry, too?
Remarkable. How did you
do it?

You need only a penknife, sir,

and a little Patience.

Just the same
as an assassin. Now.

The professor did 86.

Then we must do better.

George: 1, 2, 3...

George and Albert:
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,

11, 12, 13, 14, 15...

Albert, my dear boy.

Uh, Albert?

Cousin Beatrix...

I'm willing to bet.

Albert, my dear,
such a pleasure to see you--

you've no idea--
after so long.

23 years, I believe.

I'm delighted to pay
a return visit.

86? Are you quite sure?

I'm afraid so, sir.

Oh. Remarkable.

It hardly
seems possible, does it?

I beg your pardon?

Oh, where are they?

They went to bed.
I hope you slept well.

I'm afraid I did.

I'm so happy to hear that.

And how good
a country breakfast

When one's in town,
one always forgets.


I had it in my room
a half an hour ago.

I shouldn't
have liked you
to wait dinner.

How thoughtful.

And here is the family

so very eager to see you.

This is--

no, no.
You mustn't tell me.

Well, now, the face
is cousin Karl,
I'm willing to bet,

but the remainder...

I changed
my uniform
15 years ago.

Lucky fellow.
I change mine
every 15 minutes.

How are you?

This is--

and this is aunt Symphorosa,
I'm quite sure.

Albert, dear.

As Beatrix says,
so utterly unlike
your mother.

And this is...

This is our dear Alexandra.

So happy, cousin Albert.

Well, who can
hit the target
every time, eh?

Well, not if the target moves.

Speaking of my mother,
I ought to tell you,
cousin Beatrix,

she'll be here
on Thursday
to pick me up.

The queen here?

Purely informal.
No fuss, please.

Why don't you sit down?

Delightful boys you have.
I found them quite charming.

Too good of you.

I'm afraid
I'm ridiculously proud
of all my children.

I'm sure you are.
And the tutor.

The tutor?


Cousin Albert
that the pupils

are bound to reflect
the qualities of
the tutor.

C'est ca.

And vice-versa.

Auntie, you look tired.


Yes, dear.
You're usually
in bed by this time.

I should be
quite all right when
I've had something--

when you've
had some sleep?
I'm sure you will,

and I'm sure Albert
will forgive you.


But, Beatrix, we haven't--

good night, dear.

Albert, dear,
if I might have your
permission to retire.

Certainly, aunt Symphorosa.

I'm sorry to go rather early,

but I'm so very hungry.

Sleepy is what I meant.

The air here is
extremely conducive
to sleep.

I noticed that myself.

Yes, when one's new to it.

Karl, for instance,
arrived only 2 days ago,

and he's very tired.

Hmm? Oh, uh, Albert,
if you'll allow me.

It's a peculiar thing,

but I feel the need
of a little late

I suppose that's the air, too.

You've been fasting too much.
I accuse you of it.

Guilty. Have I
your permission
to retire?

Certainly, cousin Karl.

Beatrix: Dear Karl.

Those boys,
I'm never quite certain
they've gone to bed

until I make sure.
Will you forgive me, Albert?

By all means, cousin Beatrix.

Here in the country,
I suppose the family
retires early.

Yes, they do.

But when you're
out of the country,

We're seldom out of the country.

You're seldom
out of the country.

Very seldom.

May I offer you some wine?

Thank you.
I don't drink it.

Neither do I...

At least, not
just after breakfast.

The guard of honor
at the station

was provided by
the 45th regiment.

The regiment served
with great distinction
at Solferino.

Did you know that?


The carriage
you drove in has a very
interesting history.

It was used by your
great uncle Frederick
the day he was shot at.

Did you find it comfortable?

Thank you. Yes.

You're occupying
the blue suite,
I believe.

Yes. It is blue.

A few days ago, I was in Lisbon,

a beautiful city.

Over 350,000 inhabitants,

and the river Tagus
runs through
the middle.

Have you ever been there?


No. Of course.
Seldom out
of the country.

I should have remembered.

It's a beautiful evening.

Yes, it is.

Do you suppose
it's chilly outside
on the terrace?

Oh, not more so than here...

At this time of year.

It might even be warmer.

Shall we try?

Full moon...

And a great many stars.

It's hard to believe
that some of them

are even larger than the sun,

that they look like that

only because of the distance.


I was looking at one
through the telescope
the other night.

It was called Vega.

You know their names?

Only a few.

I was never introduced.

[Awkward laughter]

It isn't a great deal
warmer, is it?

Would you prefer to go in again?


This air of yours
is like a sleeping draft.

If I'm not careful,
I shall sleep
the whole 4 days.

What would you like to do?


When in Rome,
I think one should do
as the Romans do, eh?

With your permission,
I shall give myself
permission to retire.

Poor child.
She was very upset
for the moment,

but I told her,
"one skirmish lost?
That's nothing."

She'll win the next.
There. That makes
a 14-hour day

and every minute
of it arranged for.

What time does it start?

10:00, and out of that,

Alexandra will be with him
for 13 hours and 15 minutes.

Judging by
yesterday, you're
a little optimistic.

Don't judge by yesterday.
He's not going to sleep
all day today.

If he wasted all last night,
I didn't.

[Band playing loudly]

They should have played
the national anthem.

Then he would have to get up.

His father once
slept through
a 41-gun salute.

[Band muffled]


Andrew, how could you?

[Knock on door]

Beatrix: Yes?

His royal highness
has rung for a tray.

[Playing softly]

I wonder mother isn't
conducting it herself.

That's enough for music,
your highnesses.
Time for algebra.

If the band doesn't
get him out of bed
to see Alexandra,

mother's going to use a gun.

Cousin Albert's
not afraid of guns.
He's only afraid of Alexandra.

All right.
That's enough.

He's going
to stay in bed
all day every day

till it's time to go home.

Unless she goes up
and pulls him out--

silence, both of you.
You forget your manners,

and you forget that
his royal highness is
not only the crown prince,

he is a guest of this house.
You should have more respect.

And this one--

don't tell me.
Never tell me.

His majesty
king Henry
of transdenubeer.

My dear Henry's grandfather.

No question of it.
King Henry I,
I believe.

And the last.

For the time being.

His son, a very retiring man.

Yes, indeed.
He died when
he was barely 30.


And this, of course.

Of course.
Of course.

What do you
think of it, captain?

An excellent likeness

of his late highness
prince Henry, sir.

I think so, too.

My poor dear Henry.

Your father and he
were closer than brothers.

How many hours
they spent here talking,

and always of their children.

They had only
one ambition--
to be grandfathers.

Yes. Grandfathers
of the same children.

Their dearest wish was
that one day the families
would be united.

And who is this?

King Henry's wife--
Queen Elena.

Yes. What was it
they used to call her?

She's the image
of Alexandra,
eh, isn't she?

They called her what?

I can't quite remember.

Yes, you can,
the iceberg.

[Door opens]

Alexandra, dear.

Good morning, cousin Albert.

Did you tell the boys?

Yes, mother.

They're so anxious
to show off
their fencing.

At 11:15.

I shall be charmed.

It'll take them
a little time
to change.

In the meanwhile,
let's see, now...

The rose garden.

Splendid suggestion.

Alexandra takes
the greatest pride
in her roses.

Your roses?


The rose garden is mine.

You planted it yourself?

Well, not exactly,

but I take care of it.

Remarkable. Don't you
prick your fingers?

Yes, quite often.

You should wear gloves.

I do... But my
fingers get pricked
just the same.

Then you should wear
thicker gloves.

I suppose so.
I shall try that.

That's life, n'est-Ce pas?

One must defend oneself.

How charming of you
to take such an interest,
and how right you are.

Oh, well, one's had
a certain amount
of experience.

Now, I know
you're impatient
to see them.


And they're at
their very best today.
Isn't that fortunate?

Yes, captain?

Well, I'm sure
your royal highness

would be most interested,
too, in the dairy.

I saw it yesterday, sir.

The cows are milked by vacuum.

By vacuum?
Like carpets?

The same principle, sir.

Oh, fantastic.
Where is it?

I must certainly see that.

By vacuum.
Did you have it

installed yourself,
cousin Beatrix?

Yes, I did. If I
may say so, Albert,

the dairy is quite a distance.

In that case,
we ought to go
at once.

Whatever you wish.
We'll go to the dairy.

Please. I wouldn't
think of dragging

The captain
knows the way.
He'll take me.

You've changed
your mind,
your highness.

The program has been changed.

There'll be time
beforehand for my usual
practice, that's all.

Et la!

Touche. Good.

Et la!

Touche. Good.

Et la!

Touche. Very good.

Get it now, George!

All right.
I'm getting you
on this one.

Oh, come on.
Over this way.

Oh, no, you won't.
I'll teach you.

Come on. I've got it.

Certainly you haven't.



Albert and the family
at this end--

oh, that tutor.
He has no control
over the boys whatsoever.

Nor the ball either.

Karl, stop that.

Do you have to behave
like a child?

Now, stop that.
You'll hit something.

[Symphorosa laughing]


Oh, auntie! Really!

Haven't I enough
to contend with?


Albert's last day here,
and where is he?

Out again somewhere
with that captain.

The whole of
the first day in bed.

The next, he wouldn't leave
those wretched cows.

I should think
that machine's
quite worn out,

to say nothing of the cows.

All yesterday duck shooting.

Well, at least he's
a splendid shot.

Splendid. We shall
be eating duck for
the rest of our lives.

Yes, captain?

If I might have
the football,
your highness...

Uh, for his royal highness.

And today he has to play ball.

I just can't understand it.

He came to see Alexandra.
There's no doubt of it,

and now that
he's here, it's as if
she didn't even exist.

There's only
the ball tonight,
and then he'll be gone.

It will be our last chance,
the last chance for
our whole family.

Alexandra won't
be young forever.

I... Oh, I know
I shouldn't
talk this way.

Beatrix, you're
usually so calm
and collected.

In time of peace,
yes, but this is war.

Look at him. He's
even fallen in love
with the tutor.

At least he's
a good judge
of character.

Better than you are, my dear.

That tutor is quite impossible,

and Albert's spent
more time with him than
he has with Alexandra.

Perhaps Alexandra
should spend more time
with the tutor.

Then she'd see something
of Albert.

Aunt Symphorosa,
if you can't even
be sensible...

Perhaps you're not
so stupid as you sound.

Why not, dear?

Of course,
it's a dreadfully
overworked plan of attack,

but there it is.
Beggars can't
be choosers.

Beatrix, when you talk
like that, all I can say
is don't do it.

My mind is made up.


what are you doing?
You're not well?

I'm quite well,
thank you, mother.

Well, then, what are you doing?

It's enough he's spent
half his time in bed.
You don't have to start.

Suppose he were to ask for you?

He won't ask for me.

Darling, I know
so well how you feel,

but don't be discouraged.

Any little hurt
to your pride
will soon heal.

After all, roses are
more beautiful than cows,
whatever he may think.

Oh, mother.

We've had a few little setbacks,

but tonight
we're going to put
everything right.

Mother, what use is it?
What more can I do?

Get out of bed,
for heaven's sake,
to begin with.

Haven't I been
humiliated enough?

Must it be
in front of all
the guests this time?

Alexandra, you have
my blood in your veins,

and you can't have that
for nothing.

Your whole life,
your whole upbringing,

has been devoted to
just one thing--to make
you fit to be a queen.

A queen can't afford to be shy.

She can never be humiliated.

She's above it and beyond it.

Oh, my darling.

I know you'll do
what has to be done

Do what, mother?

My darling, I know it's
a dreadful thing to ask,

so banal,
but believe me, in this
desperate extremity,

your mother knows best,

and you won't hate me
for it, darling.

You must love me
all the more.
Promise me you will.

Yes, mother. All right.
But what is it?

We're going
to invite the tutor
to the ball tonight.

Professor Agi?

Or rather, you're
going to invite him.

I can't invite him.

My dear, I know
he's not one of us,

but god will forgive you,
I'm sure, and god
will forgive me,

and I shall never
forgive the tutor.

But why, mother?
It seems so strange.

It will look
as if suddenly I have
some interest in him.

Is that so terrible,

especially if it
looks the same
to Albert?


My dear child,

how do you suppose
I came to marry
your father?

You don't think a man
just gets an idea
into his head

and asks a woman
to marry him?
Of course not.

All your father
ever cared for
was horses.

He wouldn't even look at me,

so I looked once or twice
at the riding master.

Your father proposed
the very next afternoon
on horseback.

Well, I don't have
to go on, do I?

You do understand, don't you?

Yes, mother, I understand.

I would have
sent to Vienna
for a Duke,

but there wasn't time.
A Duke wouldn't have
been as good anyway.

Alexandra, you're not
going to be upset.

All right, mother.
I shall invite him
to the ball.

But not in that tone of voice.

Of course not.

And you'll allow him
to dance with you?

Well, you'll
be wearing gloves,
darling, long ones.

After all, he's
just as much one of god's
creatures as we are...

Or nearly.


Your highness.

Am I disturbing you?

Certainly not.

I was just making up
the list of acceptances
for tonight.

The ball tonight
is in the nature
of a farewell.

His royal highness
is leaving tomorrow.

I understand
that in the evening,
you seldom go out,

that you study in your room.

When the 2 young princes
have gone to bed, yes,
your highness.

What is it you study?

Among other subjects.
I'm only at the beginning
of most things.

One evening,
then, won't make
so much difference.

Your highness?

You will have
to forego your
studies tonight.

As your highness wishes.


I have expressed
my desire to invite you
to the ball.

I'm so deeply honored.

It will be
a somewhat formal
evening, I'm afraid.

I hope you won't find it stupid.

With your highness present?

You should talk to me
about the stars.

With the greatest of pleasure.

So we shall expect you, then?

Your highness,
I don't need to say
I'd be delighted, but...

What is it?

My clothes--I have
nothing suitable.

Oh, I'm sure Caesar
will attend to it.

At 9:00, then.

You are most kind,
your highness.

No, professor...

No, not at all.

[Band playing]

I'll meet you at the other end.

Ah, the professor.
I'm delighted.

What's he doing here?


Won't you join us, professor?

Oh, professor, please.

[Guests talking indistinctly]

[Guests murmuring]

[Playing a waltz]

Cousin Beatrix,
may I have the privilege?

Thank you, Albert.

You promised
to tell me
about the stars.

You remember?

Yes, your highness.

It's difficult
even to visualize them
at this moment.

You were talking
the other evening
about Vega

and some companion star.

Tell me about the other.

Yes, your highness.

But they are barely companions--

many millions of miles apart.

See, Capella is
in the constellation
Auriga, the charioteer...

A golden-colored star
of the first magnitude.

The constellation
is in the shape...
Of a pentacle.

Beatrix: You seem to
have opened the ball.

Thank you, Albert.

* bum bum bum *

would you mind now if we...

Oh, have we finished?

I'm afraid dancing
is really for
you young ones.

Oh, by all means.

You may ask me to dance.

Thank you so much, Albert.

Where's Alexandra?

dancing with
the professor.

So she is.

Ahh, so she is.

Karl, look at the way
he's holding her.

If he has to go
to the slaughter,

at least let him enjoy it.

Beatrix, have you seen them?

I have, yes.

Aunt Symphorosa is
so proud of Alexandra's dancing.

Dances like a queen.

Will you excuse me, Beatrix?

It's always the same,
your highness.

When his
royal highness
sees one,

he just can't resist it.

When he does want
to hug something,

it has to be the bass viol.

That's the last straw.

And the last hope
of rescue gone
for the professor.

Do you have to
keep harping on him?

I suppose
Alexandra's happiness,
the whole family's,

means nothing to you.

My dear, you've
seen me so long
in this rig out,

you forget the meaning of it.

All that matters
to me is the peace
of a man's soul,

and any woman who
can play so lightly
with that...

Well, my dear sister,

she certainly needs
to have a cast-iron


Your highness.

I'm sorry. I...

I don't care
to dance any longer.

I want
to drive a little.
May I borrow this?

Your highness, it's a pleasure.

I'll drive myself.

There's no need for you to come.

Your highness can't go alone.

Forgive me.

You don't think
they're going to
stay out there.

Go and signal her
and do something.

You put your money
on a horse, Beatrix.

Let it run.


My brothers are always boasting

that you can speak
on any subject
under the sun.

Is that only in school hours?

I'm sorry, your highness.

I think I was afraid to speak,

lest the mirage disappear.

The mirage?

Have you never
seen a mirage,
your highness?

No, I've never seen one.

I was born in the lowlands.

People see them
quite often in that
part of the country.

I saw one myself once.

We were traveling
on the open plain,

and suddenly, there it was:

A whole city
in the sun...

A thousand church spires...

And it was very close...

So close, it seemed, and so real

that you could swear to it.

Another time, it
might be something
beyond imagining,

the shapes and
colors like nothing
in this world,

like something in a dream...

And so beautiful

that no words
can possibly
describe it.

You go towards it eagerly,

and all the time,
you seem to be
getting closer

and closer and closer...

And then it's gone...

And you can never see it again,

just that same vision.


So when you see
a mirage like that,

you're afraid to turn your head

or blink your eye
or even to speak.

Don't say anything more.

I have to get back.

Dear aunt Symphorosa,
always looking
for wallflowers.

The little botanist.

Yes, captain.

Your royal highness
hasn't forgotten...

There was a memorandum
to be sent.

Albert: So there was,
so there was.

Um, Beatrix,
if you'll forgive me
un petit moment...

The palace, a memorandum.


And don't worry about Alexandra.

I'm sure she's still
with the professor.

A memorandum.

There can be
only one destination
for that--the queen--

and only one message--no.

You're jumping to conclusions.

He wouldn't wire her, anyway.

She'll be here in the morning.

Yes, here.

The last few hours,
and Alexandra isn't
even trying any longer.

Where is she?

And where's
that awful young man?

I think I'm going to faint.

Beatrix, I forbid you to.

You have
a ballroom
full of people.

Not the people I want and--

Alexandra's gone
and so is Albert.

If you go, too,
there will really
be talk.

Now, pull yourself together.

All right, Karl.
All right.

Just find me
some smelling salts.

Here's the memorandum, sir.

Albert: I thought
we'd never get to it.

May I?

Thank you.

Oh, um, by the way...

Where did they go?


One has to admire
such courage, sir,

for a lowlander
like the professor
to tackle Mont Blanc.

Permission to retire.

Your royal highness.


If I may ask,
don't go in
for a moment.

There's nothing
that needs to
be said.

But there is something.

There have been times
when a man thought

what he saw was a mirage...

And it was the real thing.

Before tonight,
you've said to me

has been curt
and sharp, official.

Even your politeness
was a formality.

It was only
your indifference
that was genuine.

But now, all of a sudden,

everything has changed.

For the first time,
you look at me as
if I were a man, as--

no, no. Don't say anything more.

No. I must say it.

Every day since I've been here,

you've seen someone
whose face, whose voice,

whose whole manner
has been composed

and official, too,

while in his heart,
there's been
a raging fire.

All this time,
I've kept a discipline
over myself,

but now...

I didn't want it
to be like this.

A thing can't always
be helped, can it?

I'm so ashamed.

Is it so shameful?

If there
is something
you can tell me,

won't you tell it?

I wouldn't have said a word

if I hadn't seen
that something was
troubling you, too.

Never mind what
happens afterwards.

Give me that much happiness.

You don't understand.

How could you?

Professor: But if it's happened,

that's all that matters.

There is something...

But it's not what you think.

I must tell you.

If I don't,
I'll never
respect myself.

You serve our family.

I serve it, too...

And the family--
My mother--

has but one aim in life--

to make me the wife
of the crown prince,

to regain the throne
that was lost.

But so far,
it doesn't seem
as if anything...

As if it will happen.

Oh, can't you see
how difficult
this is for me?

How shameful it is?

The prince paid
no attention to me,

and so my mother thought

that if there
was someone else,
another man,

that it might have some effect.

I never hurt anyone
in my life before,

not knowingly.

You're the first person,

and I wouldn't have
hurt you either.

Why do you think
I was always cold
and curt to you?

Just because I always suspected,

I always felt that
somehow, with me,
you weren't at ease,

but I was weak.

Ever since I was a little girl,

I've never said no to my mother.

It was my mother who
suggested I invite
you this evening.

If I had known what
that would mean...

If I had known
how a man's eyes
can look

when he feels like this

or that anyone
could look at me
as you have...

I don't ask you
to forgive it,

Can't you respect me
a little for having
told you?

Haven't you anything to say?

Oh, won't you please
say something?

You only did what you were told.

I had no right to blame mother.

That was hateful.

I'm guilty, too.

I want to be a queen.

Then I can go.

The decoy must have
done its work by now.

The rest of the evening
is for making the kill.

Don't reproach me.

Why should I?

We all have our place
in the scheme of things.

Have I hurt you so much?

No. It was just
a box on the ear.

I respect you,
and I want you
to forgive me.

Will you?

No, your highness.

Don't go through
like an express train.

We have missed you.


and here's the professor,
of course.

You look much better
for the fresh air.

What's been going on--

some outdoor tuition?

The professor's
been telling me
about the stars--

Vega and Capella.

His talents run
in so many directions,

one's quite overwhelmed.


Are you an expert on roses, too?


Oh, apparently not.

You should get
the Princess to teach you.

Since you live here
and her rose garden
is so available,

you shouldn't miss
the opportunity.

But we're keeping you.
We mustn't do that.

[Door opens]

Albert, I--

well, here we all are.


Some of us have just come
back from a little visit
to the heavens.

Back to earth.

And poor cousin Albert
was resting.

After all, the bass viol
is really quite strenuous.


I hope you didn't have
too much fresh air.

Symphorosa: Beatrix...

Oh, thank heaven.

Albert, we're serving
a little aperitif now
and then supper.

I thought you'd
prefer it privately,
just the family.

The family circle.

Give me circles every time.

Triangles are such a bore, eh?

Shall we go in?

I'm very much honored.

Albert: I always wish
I had an appetite
like the bourbons.

You know, Louis xv once ate
10 cutlets at a sitting.

Or was it Louis X
and 15 cutlets?


I'll have some supper
sent up to your room.

You get up so early,
I expect you're tired.

I'm not tired.

Symphorosa: If you
want to go to bed,

don't be afraid to admit it.

Bed, your highness?

I just woke up,
barely 5 minutes ago.

Those two...

Something's happened.

I knew it!

I don't think Albert likes it.

And you know nothing
at all about music?

Then I must congratulate you
on your courage.

I fail to see
why, your royal

Do you?

I doubt if many
a practiced performer
would try to take part

in a duet, a trio,
and a full orchestra
all at the same time.

Thank you.

Alexandra: I think
cousin Albert feels
quite triumphant, mother.

At last he's found a subject

where he knows more
than the professor.

Karl: And that's not
so easy, after all.

Alexandra, I have
a complaint to make.

You haven't looked
my way the whole

Professor: Perhaps
I have learned one
thing on the subject.

The greatest
musicians aren't
always the ones

who blow their own trumpets.


Alexandra, see that
Albert tries some
of the salmon canapes.

I insist on that.

If you don't
feel well, professor,

I'm sure we can excuse you.

I feel splendid.

To the beautiful
of the house.

Health and happiness.

Quite a healthy gulp, too.


Why, son, this is a heavy wine,

and one shouldn't
take it that way.

It's a wine to be sipped.

I must
confess something
to you, father.

That was the first
glass of wine I ever
had in my life.

It was?

Yes, it was.

But tonight,
can happen.

Beatrix: Alexandra!


Karl: That was a little foolish,

my dear.

I just explained

that one
shouldn't drink
this too quickly.

I think she felt
obliged to keep
the professor company.

Beatrix: It was
quite unnecessary.

You're not accustomed to wine.

No, mother.

So tonight I've had
a new experience, too.

I should like to drink
another toast.

To yourself?

To Napoleon...

Who made kings
and destroyed them.

And who also
made that profound
contribution to thought--

"an army marches
on its stomach."

Oh, how very uncomfortable.

He was a genius,

and he knew that
even the smallest
detail was important.

In astronomy,
I've learned that, too.

One should never despise
even the smallest specks
in the universe,

those little specks in the sky.

Each of them
is an immense world
of its own.

Albert: Each of them?

Each one.

Don't you think some of them
merely imagine it?

I'm sure it's difficult
for the rulers of this earth
to appreciate.

They speak of their
10 million population

or their army of 2 millions.

It never occurs to them
that each single one
of all those millions

is a sovereign world...

A world that is
not to be destroyed.

Karl: I am quite sure, my son,

that none of us
wants to destroy
any of your worlds.

Oh, I'm sure not.

Why don't you have a canape?

There are women who can do it...

With a single smile.

Don't you like
what I say, your highness?

Perhaps I do.

I'm afraid her highness doesn't.

I'm a little unaccustomed

to anything of the kind--

very unaccustomed--
and I do not
care for it.

Albert: I think
he talks delightfully.

They're meaningless
phrases, most of them,
but charming--

every star a sovereign world.

Not every one.



A planet, for
all the importance
of its title,

has no light of its own.

It shines only
with the reflected
glory of the sun,

the imperial sun.

I'm sure you're right,

I hardly know about such things.

No, your royal highness,
you don't know,

and you don't want to know.

This is wonderful...

A man who dares to
tell me there is something
I don't understand.

No, you don't.

Beatrix: Professor!

Albert, I must apologize--

for 20 years,
I've been waiting for
a turn of voice like that.

At last a man who
talks to me as an equal.

I'm enchanted
with the professor.

Whether you're
enchanted or not
doesn't interest me.

And such candor, delightful.

I'm having
an unforgettable evening.

Albert, perhaps
you'd like to go
to bed.

Beatrix: Ohh...

Karl: Beatrix, use
your smelling salts.

No use! Beatrix!

Mother, what is it?

Oh, go away, go away.

What's the matter,
cousin Beatrix?

Tu Te trouves mal?

Ma tete.
Tout d'un coup, ma tete.

Beatrix, dear.
I'll take you
to your room.

No, no.

I want Albert.
His French is better.


I'm here, cousin Beatrix.

Ici est Le prince.

Merci, Albert.

Non, Symphorosa.

Oh, Beatrix.

Beatrix: Ne me laissez pas,

Ne me laissez.

No, my son.

Karl, how can you stand there?
It may be genuine.

My dear aunt Symphorosa,

the genuine trouble
is still in this room.

I saw it coming
at the very start
of the evening.



Well, my boy...

Have you had
enough of madness
for one night?

It's my fault.
I'm to blame for every--

Karl: All right, my dear.
Now, don't get excited.

Let's take this quietly.
That's why I stayed behind.

I couldn't stand
it any longer,

I couldn't.

God knows I meant to keep

a hold on myself,

but I'm a man, and I'm in love.

How could I
stand there and
listen to him?

How could I let him--

are you angry with me, too?

No, father.

Then why do you shout at me?

I cannot only hear what you say.

I understand it.

Can you understand
how anyone could be
such a simpleton,

how anyone could be fool enough

to believe in that invitation,

that a miracle
could still happen?

When I found that it hadn't,

something in me...

I had to do what I did.

I needed it.
I need even more.


Yes! More!

This is our
serious, studious
young professor.

Well, my dear.
How do you
like this?

Oh, uncle Karl.

I like it very much.

this is even worse
than I thought.

If only he'll forgive me.

I'll forgive you for him.

Oh, don't be ashamed, my dear.

These things happen.

We can't help them.

That's not why I'm crying.

Why, then?

I'm so sorry for him.

I had no idea
how much he was hurt,

much more than I thought.

When he looks at me, I...

I feel so...

How do you feel, Alexandra?

Tell me.

I asked him
if I had hurt him
so much,

and he said,
"no. It was just
a box on the ear."

The way he said that,

I suddenly saw him
as a little boy

down on
the plains where
he used to live

in those little
low-roof cottages

with wide acacia trees

and the mother who loved him

and was so proud of him...

Even when she had
to box his ears,

and somehow
I felt the same way
about him, too.

What do you say
to that, uncle Karl?

I ought to box your ears.

Oh, darling.


You see, I understand women.

I don't...

But I don't care.

Poor mother.
I'd better get up to her.

Karl: You'd better do nothing
of the sort.

What your mother did
was very cruel.

Yes, she was cruel,
and I was cruel,

and out of it, I'm so happy.

Oh, uncle Karl.

How is it you
understand so well?

My dear, you don't
think I was born
in these robes.


A fine position
your mother put me in.

When the horses shied,

she jumped clean
out of the carriage.

Now, I suppose, it's up
to me to take the reins.


don't look at me so tragically.

How can I be severe with you?

I look at you--
Both of you--

and how can I say
anything to you
as you stand here?

Two children in such
a desperate predicament,

and yet so happy.

You'll never again
be as happy as you are now.

Perhaps it's started
to go already.

By the time we feel it,
it's gone.

I know because I once
had to face it myself.

And now you're
going to take leave
of each other,

quietly and
sensibly, like 2
intelligent people,

and forgive
each other and
say good night.

God be with you.

What's your first name?


How old are you?


And your village,
what was it called?


at last we're alone
for a few moments,

and you ask me for
facts and figures.

I want to know you.

I want to know
everything about
you all at once.


I don't know where to start.

But this may be
the last time we can
ever see each other.

If you love me...

Tell me.

If it's love...

Then it's
very like once
when I was little

with the emperor.

I had seen so many
pictures of him

in his robes

with a golden crown on his head,

all splendor and magnificence.

And when he came to visit us

in an ordinary suit, I...

I didn't know him.

You're so sweet...

And so beautiful.

Don't come any closer, Nicholas.

I--I've never seen
a man in love,

and he happens
to be in love
with me.

Are you so afraid of me?

Oh, if I am,
then I want always
to be afraid.

I want to be so good to you.

Oh, I want a hundred things.

I want to tell you
everything that's
in my heart,

all my secrets.

I adore Napoleon, too.

Little Princess.

I want to hear you
call me by my name.



I want to be everything to you.

I want to look after you

and spoil you.

Eat something.

I'm not hungry, Alexandra.

I'm thirsty.

You want some wine?

I'm thirsty for your lips,

for your eyes,

for that moment
when we can't
even speak.

You mustn't talk like that or...

Or look at me like that.


I want to. I...

I want to look into your eyes,

deep into your eyes,

and see the lashes close.

Please. You're...

You're frightening me.

I never dared to think
that you could give
your love to me.

Can you blame me now
if I want to take it?

If I want to take you
and carry you off

into the darkness out there?

Close your eyes.

Stop your lips.

Nicholas, Nicholas.

[Door opens]

[Man coughs]

[Man coughs]

[Fingers snapping]

Ahh, Alexandra.

Your poor
dear mother
has gone to bed,

but she's better.

And we had quite a little talk.

Very illuminating.

Well, I shall say good night.

Sleep well.

Oh, the professor.

little discourse
of yours...

Very interesting.

Original, too.

quite new--

astronomical impertinence.


He took a modest drink with us,

and the first thing we knew,

he lifted us soaring
up into the sky,

stayed there himself,
and let me drop back
to earth with a thud.

Albert, you're
not being fair.
He's not like us.

I've noticed that.

He comes
of a freer world
than ours.


He isn't bound
by our conventions.

My dear,
you're altogether
too generous.

Your mother has
told me everything--

how you have been
the innocent target

for these unpleasant attentions.

That isn't the truth.

You don't understand.

It's never easy
to understand
a bad joke.

Man: Your
royal highness,
supper is served.

Albert: Your tolerance
does you credit,

but however
charmingly you defend
his bad manners,

it doesn't alter them.
He remains an insolent

Your highness--

Alexandra: I won't let you
call him that!

I do call him that.

I call him
a great deal more
than that.

He's a snob of the worst kind--

the upside-down variety.

Just an ill-bred astronomer

who hopes to hitch
his peasant cart
to a star

and drag you
down with him
into the mud.

Nicholas, don't answer him!

I forbid you to!


That's another matter.

Quite another matter.

In that case, professor,

I apologize.

Good night.

He called him a peasant

and said he just wanted
to drag me in the mud.

[Alexandra sobbing]

Karl: Shh.


Woman: You haven't touched
your breakfast, your highness.

It doesn't matter.


Yes, your highness.

Do all the indoor staff live in?

Yes, your highness.
In the servants' wing.

Even Caesar?


Or, for instance, the professor?

You go along the main corridor

and through the staff door.

Then turn right,
and the professor's door

is the first on the left.

Thank you. It
was just a matter
of interest.

[Horn honks]

What is that?

[Horn honks]

It's the queen.

Captain: It's her majesty, sir.

It can't be.

It is, sir.

There's no question about it.

At 9:00?

Dear mother.

How she loves to catch
people on the wrong foot.

In this case,
no feet at all,

What will
happen when
she finds out?

Now you know.

Beatrix, you've seen?

I have. 2 hours early.

Typical! But she's
still going to be
too late.

What's all that for?

She's going to the black sea
without any breakfast.

And you're going
downstairs to Dominika.

Beatrix, you can't
escape this now.

Oh, can't I?

As that woman
comes in the front,
I go out the back.

Now, listen, my dear.

You've been sitting
snug in a monastery.
You don't know her!

She's never let
our family forget
that the wittenburgs

gave us a home in exile.

Our poor little home.
Where's my hat?

She'll take it away so fast,

we'll barely have time
to save our belongings. Oh!

Karl, if you don't stop her,

I shall jump straight
out of that window!

She'll walk in
over my dead body.

All right, my dear.

Just keep her long enough.
That's all I ask.

Don't cry, dear.
The good lord
will help us.

He's the only one now who can!

Why, Karl, you aren't
even dressed yet.

Oh, I forgot.
You never are.

Your royal majesty,
you bring honor and
glory to this house.

I also bring some
of my pickled beet root.

It's very good
for Beatrix’s complexion.


You can stop bowing
and go to work.

At the palace,
I stopped half
the bowing

and replaced it
with elbow grease.

Where is Beatrix?

Uh, well, uh--

countess, get me out
of this cocoon.

Caesar, I should like
a cup of good strong bouillon

with some Sherry in it.

If I know my son,
he's still asleep.

Have his royal highness
roused and sent to me.

Isn't she down yet?

Well, uh, no, she isn't.

well, I'll go up.

Oh. Oh, no, please.
Cousin Dominika,
you mustn't do that.

This morning,
I am a cousin.
It's a family affair,

and no ceremony.

Oh, Dominika, please.

Why don't you go in the salon,

wait for your bouillon?

Karl, don't
dictate to me.
I don't like it. But--

and don't keep
I like that even less.

You all have
wonderful news.
I know that.

Beatrix is bursting to see me.

Albert is delighted, I know.

I shall stay for 2 hours,

and then we shall have to go.

She's coming!

Dominika: Alexandra
is a dear child.

I remember her well.

I shall tell Beatrix
to bring her to town
in 6 weeks' time.


Where are you?

Is that you, cousin Dominika?


Yes, very.

Beatrix, you're seedy.

Now stop squirming.
It's quite impossible
to curtsy in bed.

Why didn't you tell me?

Well, it's all
been rather sudden.

Perhaps he thought she'd gone.


She can't be as bad as that.

What is it?

Oh, it's nothing.
Just a little
infectious rash.

Infectious? Hmm.

Let me look at it.

Beatrix: And a chill, Dominika.

I always get the two together.

Well, it runs in the family.

I know exactly
how to deal with it--

hot water bottle for the chill.

Cold compress
for the rash.
Fetch them.

It's nervous
excitement, of course.

Now, don't look
so guilty, Beatrix.

When a dearly
beloved daughter takes
such a step as this,

you're entitled
to a chill and a rash.

You know all about it?

Of course I know, ohh...

And I'm delighted!

You are?

Karl: Why don't you
run away and get
some breakfast?

Well, we can all have some now

now that dear
cousin Dominika
is such a brick

about what happened.

What happened?

What happened?

Beatrix, you're
hiding something
from me.

What is it?



May I come in?


Good morning, mother.

Cousin Beatrix, better, I hope.

Albert, something
has transpired here.



What, indeed?



Well, mother...

What exactly do you know?

I know just one thing--

that I'm to be
told everything
in the next 30 seconds.

[Beatrix moans loudly]

I think it will be
easier in there.

Up to last night,

cousin Alexandra and I,
we hadn't met.

Cousin Alexandra was, uh...

Well, um... She was
something of an icicle,

and I was, um...
What was I?

A fish. Hmm?


Yes, I suppose I was.

Mind you, one that
we're all devoted to.

An icicle and a fish.

Not much chance of warmth there.

Of course, it was
very painful to me,

and it was painful, too,
I suppose, to Alexandra

and cousin Beatrix.

I should think so.
Much more painful.

So there we all were, suffering.

I suffered.

Alexandra and
cousin Beatrix suffered.

So did cousin Karl
and aunt Symphorosa.

So did the boys

and, uh...
The professor.

What professor?

Now, that's just the point.

There's a professor
with the boys.

[Beatrix moans loudly]

Oh, stop groaning!

This professor,
he's young, he's charming,

and he suffered
more than anybody.

I don't see why.

Oh, you will.

4 days went by,
and the icicle
didn't melt,

and the fish was still...

Cousin Beatrix was
quite in despair,

and you know
what desperation
leads to.

In this case, it led
to the professor.

How did you know that?

Captain Wunderlich is
a very experienced aide.

Well, what about this professor?

Cousin Beatrix had the notion

of injecting
a little competition
into the affair,

but, unhappily,
there was one thing
she overlooked.

You see, the professor,

this studious, young man--

ha ha! It sounds absurd, I know,

but he was
secretly in love
with Alexandra.

[Beatrix moans]

And Alexandra with him?

Mother, you're interrupting.

So there he was,
this poor fellow,

just a means to an end,

a worm to catch a fish,

and so humble through it all,

so silent in all his suffering.


And then I insulted him.

Insulted him?
You had no right
to do that.

What a woman.

Not only all brain.
All heart, too.

Why did you insult
that poor boy?

Ah, why?


Because you were...

Of course.

Of course.

Dominika: Ohh...

Oh, that motorcar.

Shall I?

Yes, yes.

Dominika: So then what happened?

So there he was,
this poor fellow,

his romantic dream in ruins,

a martyr, and all
for the sake of the family.

I appeal to you, mother.

Don't you think such
a young man worthy
of high praise?

The highest possible.

Do you think such
a young man deserves
to be punished?

Certainly not.

Does he deserve
to be disgraced, despised,

discharged, perhaps?

Heaven forbid.

Does he even deserve
to be reprimanded?

No, of course he doesn't.

Why, on the contrary.

I think he deserves--

I don't know, but I think
he deserves to be...

He deserves to be kissed.

Well, that's exactly
what happened to him.


What do you mean,
that's what
happened to him?

What you said.
Alexandra kissed him.


Just exactly as you said.

I said?

I said...

Oh, yes.
Yes, yes.

Wasn't it awful?

She couldn't
bear to watch him
suffer any longer.

A sweet, warm-hearted girl
like her.

So she kissed him.

What could be
more natural? Nothing.

I suppose not.

And there were you,
cousin Beatrix,

worrying yourself into bed
about something

which mother found
perfectly natural.

Didn't you?

Well, yes.


That is the most

I've ever seen.

Well, I--

well, one can't
always believe
one's eyes.

Or even one's ears sometimes.

I want to see Alexandra.

I'll get her for you.

I'll fetch her.

Together: Mother!

Arsene: Mother,
professor Agi's leaving!

George: Why is he going,

He's leaving this morning.


Boys, behave yourselves.

This is not a Republic.

Now, come and greet me.

Dominika: I am your sovereign
and also your aunt once removed.

You should respect them both.

Now, what was all
the shouting about?

Why is this professor leaving?

Has he been discharged?

George: It's because
of Napoleon!

I bet it is!


Arsene: Mother
and he don't agree
on the subject.

Beatrix, you don't
approve of that man!


My dear, I have a book.
I shall send it to you.

It's most comforting.

It proves conclusively
that Napoleon never existed.

Albert, you're
not just a prince.

You're a gentleman.

I'm a liar, too.

I may also be an idiot.

Where is she?

[Karl knocks on door]



[Knock on door]

I'm almost ready.


I'm going with you.

Your highness has no need
to carry things that far.

What do you mean?

With all respect,
your highness shouldn't
have come here.

Nicholas, what is it?
What's happened?


Nothing has happened at all.

Well, then why
are you like this?

What makes you talk like that?

The respect of a tutor...

For a Princess.

Oh, Nicholas.
Didn't you

I've made up my mind.

I've been thinking
the whole night,

and no one's going to stop us--

the family, no one!

I belong to you.
Oh, my darling.

Did last night mean so little,

or have you forgotten it?

Nicholas, I know
why you're behaving
like this.

The way I behave
and my departure
this morning...

Well, they are simply
my answer to the kiss
your highness gave me,

that kiss which had
all your pity in it
and all your contempt.


It meant that
I wasn't even a man.

I was just
a pet dog that
somebody kicked,

so you consoled
him with a pat
on the head.

Oh, is that how you took it?

If I could
have taken it
any other way...


Then I would have returned it.

I am sure
your highness
understands that.

Yes, I understand.

I'm glad you're so clear
in your head about it.

It's easy to
be clearheaded
in the morning

when the sun is shining.

And not the stars?

Not the stars.

I'm glad. It's--
it's better like this.

Yes, much better.

The boys will miss you.

They'll soon forget me.

[Knock on door]


I said you should
make your farewells
last night.

We did.

I was just foolish enough
not to realize it.

The chapter
is closed,
eh, my boy?

Yes, father.
Completely closed.

I wasn't mistaken in you.

Well, I shan't say good-bye.

You'll be hearing from me.

[Alexandra sniffling]

He said it was contempt--

contempt and pity.

How could he say that?

It wasn't.

It wasn't.
I know my own

Do you?

My dear, you forget...

All your life has
been spent learning
to suppress them.

When they suddenly
come to the surface
for a moment,

it's very easy
to make a mistake.

I kissed him out of pity.

Is that what
you really think,
uncle Karl?

I think that one day,
you'll decide for yourself

that it must have been that.

Now, dry your eyes
and come along.

Perhaps we can find
your answer in here.

Don't be alarmed.

It's not a duel to the death,

and it's not the guillotine.

What is it, then?

Your future...

And my part in it.

I haven't any future.

And even if I had,

I wouldn't want to
share it with anyone
who behaves as you do.

You've insulted me
and my whole family,

even before you came--

sending my mother
a telegram with
2 days' notice,

arrive here
in the middle
of the night

and don't come down
till the middle
of the next.

True. I can't
dispute any of that.

And when you did,
you might just as well
have stayed upstairs.

You behaved like a...

Like a fish.

You treated me as if
I was some sort of...
Not even that.

As if I were invisible.

Perhaps you were, to begin with.

And now, when your mother's here

and you can't help
yourself any longer,

you want to put
everything right.

Perhaps I can.

Mother's already survived
part of the earthquake.

The rest will
merely bring down
a few more pillars.

I don't know what you mean.

I mean, take
your professor,

Marry him,

for better or worse.

It can't be worse
than the alternative.

As a husband,
I should be neither
ornamental nor clever.

And my jokes
aren't even amusing.

He has a few faults,
too, but, uh...

If you love him--
and I think you do--

you won't notice them.

I'm sure if his hand
touches yours,

you won't jump 10 feet.

So, uh...

Go with him...

And with my blessing,
if no one else's.

Uh, when I'm the monarch,

I'll, uh, see you're both
allowed to come back from, um...

Wherever you go.

And if there's
a law against that,

I'll get
parliament to pass
a new one, eh?

Thank you, Albert, but...

There's nothing
parliament can do.

[Door opens]

I beg your highness' pardon.

Don't go, professor...

At least
not without what
you came for.

Alexandra: Yes.
Come and get your books.

I must say,
I admire you
for being so calm

and so self-controlled.

I just wonder
why you couldn't
have been like that

last night, that's all...

Why you had to play
on my feelings and
my inexperience,

carry me along through it all

till I was ready to do anything,

go with you anywhere,

never mind
if the whole world

And all you wanted
was a little excitement
for one night.

You're right.
He is an upstart
and selfish.

You don't care
one thing about me

or what happens to me!

Don't answer her, Nicholas.
I forbid you to.

My dear fellow,
I'm still somewhat
in the dark,

but all the same,

been an education
to know you.

George: Professor!

Arsene: Professor,
wait a minute!

[Boys shouting]

Your father used to
call you his swan.

At least I'm told.

I think
that's a good thing
to remember.

Think what it means
to be a swan...

To glide like a dream

on the smooth
surface of the lake

and never go on the shore.

On dry land,
where ordinary
people walk,

the swan is awkward...

Even ridiculous.

When she waddles up the bank,

she painfully resembles

a different kind of bird,

n'est-Ce pas?

A goose.

I'm afraid so.

So there she must stay...

Out on the lake...

Silent, white...


Be a bird but never fly...

Know one song but never sing it...

Until the moment of her death.

And so it must be
for you, Alexandra--

head high...

Cool indifference
to the staring crowds
along the bank.

And the song...


Take me in, Albert.