A Royal Night Out

COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 37min

STARRING: Sarah Gadon, Emily Watson, Jack Reynor, Rupert Everett, Bel Powley

Victory dance: Gadon (left) and Powley

May 8, 1945, is VE Day and as the sun sets Londoners are partying like it’s the end of the war-torn world. Meanwhile, tucked safely inside Buckingham Palace, 19-year-old Princess Elizabeth (Gadon, prettily regal) and 14-year-old Princess Margaret, aka P2 (Powley, killing it), are champing at their silver bits. Princesses like to party, too, and after wangling permission from their hesitant folks (Watson and Everett, Terribly Propah as Queen Elizabeth and King George), the girls are off to the Ritz — with a military escort they rapidly ditch.


From a kernel of truth, director Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane) has whipped up a fluffy slice of moonshine pie that sends Lilibet and P2 on a haywire Roman Holiday. Good-timer Margaret slots right in with the hoi polloi; for her sister, the landing is less textbook, although she does bond, in fits and starts, with disillusioned airman Jack (Reynor). History is tactfully silent on what really went down that night but these Royal girls cling decorously to their dignity. There’s a rosy English aura to the seamiest affairs: even chatting with a carload of prostitutes or passed out in a wheelbarrow, Margaret’s pampered innocence is a puncture-proof shield.