A Royal Night Out

December 11, 2015 - In 1945, Britain's Princess Elizabeth and her younger sister, Margaret, left Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Allied victory in Europe with the people gathered outside. News reports say they were part of a larger group, and the future queen was unrecognized as the group meandered through the heart of London. This PG-13 film explores how their night might have gone if they had been able to slip away from the group and go out on their own.

Margaret (Bel Powley) is the instigator. She pesters Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) to ask their parents (Rupert Everett and Emily Watson) for permission to go out. The queen mum wants none of it, but King George (Bertie) gives the final OK – with strict conditions including a curfew and two military officers as escorts. The first and only stop was supposed to be the Ritz, but the young princesses quickly ditch their distracted escorts. Minutes later, Margaret's on one bus, Elizabeth's on another, and the buses are heading in opposite directions.

The rest of the movie mostly involves Elizabeth trying to find her spirited but naive sister. She gets help from a disillusioned airman named Jack (Jack Reynor), who thinks he's just helping out a helpless young woman named Lizzie.

Overall review: *** Nothing too serious here. It's just an entertaining romp through WWII-era London. The cast is fine. Bel Powley, in particular, infuses Margaret with energy and humor. And, the message is that, no matter who we are or what our station in life is, we're more alike than different. Give it a go if you have 90-minutes to spare.