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Don’t worry, guys. You can all anxiously stop checking your phones and refreshing the BBC News homepage. The heir to the British throne has finally been born, after about two years of anticipation/mild enthusiasm/complete and utter disinterest. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that this news will undoubtedly heal wounds between nations and give people all around the world a reason to celebrate. And all those poor women in England, who just had babies but didn’t name them so they could avoid the royal name, can finally stop referring to their children as It.

Anyway, I thought it would be fitting to go through the top ten best movies ever made about the British monarchy. Say what you will about them royals, they’ve certainly provided some entertaining material over the past half a dozen centuries. So without further ado, The Royal List.

 

10. A Man For All Seasons

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As tough as it is to be king (heavy is the head that wears the crown and all that), it’s got to be even harder to be the guy who has the unpleasant task of telling the king no. A Man for All Seasons is about Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England and friend to Henry VIII. Now, I don’t need to tell you that Henry VIII wasn’t the easiest person in the world to deal with. He had something of a temper.

So when Henry comes to More asking for his support in getting a divorce from Catherine of Aragon, this caused An Issue. Because of More’s Catholic faith, he was in the unfortunate position of having to refuse a direct request from the king. There’s some messy political business, where More has to take an oath of allegiance to the King as head of the Church. Which is awkward, because any Catholic will tell you that the Pope is the head of the Church. Moral quandaries abound, and More ends up like many of Henry VIII’s other contemporaries — with his head on a stick.

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This article was first posted on July 22, 2013