Winner of the Best Actor and Best Screenplay awards at the Berlin Film Festival, and written and directed by Nikolaj Arcel (co-writer of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) A ROYAL AFFAIR is an epic tale of a passionate and forbidden romance that changed an entire nation.
Denmark, 1766, and Caroline Mathilde is married to the mad and politically ineffectual King Christian VII. Ignored by the wild King who chooses to live scandalously, Caroline grows accustomed to a quiet existence in oppressed Copenhagen. When the King returns from a tour of Europe accompanied by Struensee, his new personal physician, Queen Caroline finds an unexpected ally within the kingdom. The attraction between the two is initially one of shared ideals and philosophy, but it soon turns into a passionate and clandestine affair.
Committed to the ideals of the Enlightenment that are banned in Denmark, Struensee convinces the King to assert his previously untapped power to remove the conservative political council and implement drastic changes to Danish society. As the Court plot their return to power and the downfall of the Queen and Struensee, the consequences of their affair are made clear and the entire nation will be changed forever.
Count Johann Friedrich Struensee (born 5 August 1737) was a German doctor. At the age of fifteen he entered the University of Halle and graduated as a Doctor in Medicine on 12 December 1757. The university exposed him to Age of Enlightenment ideals, and social and political critique and reform. He supported these new ideas, becoming a proponent of atheism, the writings of French materialists.
From June–July 1767 King Christian VII spent the summer in Schleswig-Holstein where Struensee somewhat restored the king's health and gained his affection. He accompanied the king for the rest of his European tour and was named the king's personal physician in January 1769 upon their return to Copenhagen.
Caroline Matilda of Great Britain was born on 11 July 1751 and was a member of the British Royal Family. At the age of fifteen, Caroline Mathilde, as she was known in Denmark, left her family behind in Britain to travel to Denmark and marry Christian VII of Denmark. The wedding took place on 8 November 1766 at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.
Caroline Matilde was described as vivid and charming. However, her natural and unaffected personality was not popular at the strict Danish court. Caroline Matilda was unhappy in her marriage, neglected and spurned by the king. When her first lady-in-waiting was exiled from court in 1768, she lost her closest confidante, leaving her even more isolated.
Christian VII became king on 14 January 1766 on the death of his father, just weeks before his 17th birthday. All earlier accounts agree that he had a winning personality and considerable talent, but he was poorly educated and suffered from severe emotional problems, possibly schizophrenia.
After his marriage on 8 November 1766 to Princess Caroline Matilda he abandoned himself to the worst excesses and publicly declared that he could not love his wife. He ultimately sank into a mental stupor with paranoia and hallucinogenic symptoms and became submissive to his personal physician, Johan Struensee.