Well-written dramas about the royal family are like buses; for years, you don’t get any – and then, all of a sudden, a squillion of the come along at once.
Hot on the heels of Netflix’s The Crown and ITV’s Victoria (not to mention 2015’s fluffy rom-com film A Royal Night Out), it has been confirmed that Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan are set to work on another film about the UK’s blue bloods.
This time, however, they’re scrolling even further up the royal family tree – all the way back to feuding cousins Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots.
Read more: Princess Diana’s life in pictures
The film – aptly titled Mary Queen of Scots – will see scheming Mary (Ronan) seek refuge with her cousin Elizabeth (Robbie) after marrying her late husband’s supposed murderer.
However, as is so often the case with the royal family, things quickly get out of hand. Cue Mary desperately trying to steal Elizabeth’s throne out from under her – and, of course, that bloody execution.
The film – if greenlit – will be directed by British director Josie Rourke, according to Variety, and the script is being penned by House of Cards creator, Beau Willimon.
If you prefer your royal family dramas to be focused on all members modern (not to mention served up in bite-sized episodes for television), then don’t despair: FX’s upcoming season of Feud is set to deliver the goods in 2018.
The series – written by American Horror Story’s Ryan Murphy – will be training the lens firmly on the fallout of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage.
The couple, as fans of the royals will remember, tied the knot in 1981 – when Diana was just 20. Thousands tuned in to watch the fairy-tale wedding, and they went on to welcome two children, William and Harry.
However their story, of course, ended in tragedy. At some point in the early Eighties, Charles reconnected with his old flame, Camilla, and he and Diana separated after she learnt about his affair. She later spoke to BBC’s Panorama about her estranged husband’s indiscretions, and uttered the infamous words: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Diana and Charles, at the behest of Queen Elizabeth II, filed for divorce, and their marriage ended on 28 August 1996. As part of the divorce settlement Diana was stripped of her royal title – Her Royal Highness – and instead became known as Diana, Princess of Wales.
It is understood she was awarded a £17 million lump sum and £350,000 a year to run her private office. Diana and Charles agreed to share custody of their sons – but, just one year later, on 31 August 1997, Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris.
“I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts, in people's hearts, but I don't see myself being Queen of this country,” she said, speaking two years before her untimely death. “I don't think many people will want me to be Queen.”
Images: Rex Features