The Lost Prince

The Lost Prince

Infobox Television Film
bgcolour = turquoise
name = The Lost Prince

image_sized =
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caption = The Lost Prince DVD Cover
format =
runtime =
creator = Stephen Poliakoff
director =
producer =
writer = Stephen Poliakoff
starring = Miranda Richardson
Michael Gambon
Tom Hollander
editing =
music =
budget =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
network = BBC One
released = 2003
first_aired =
last_aired =
num_episodes =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
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tv_com_id =
amg_id =

"The Lost Prince" is an acclaimed British television drama, produced by Talkback Thames for the BBC and originally broadcast in two episodes on BBC One in January 2003. It won an Emmy Award in September 2005.

Written and directed by the dramatist Stephen Poliakoff, the production tells the true story of Prince John, the youngest child of Britain's King George V and Queen Mary, who died of epilepsy at the age of 13 in 1919.


John suffered from epileptic seizures and an autism-like developmental disorder, and the Royal Family tried to shelter him from public view as much as possible; the script shied away from presenting the Royal Family as unsympathetic to the Prince, and instead showed how much this cost them emotionally (particularly John's mother, Queen Mary). Poliakoff explores the story of John, his relationship with his family, John's brother Prince George, the political events going on at the time (like the fall of the House of Romanov in 1917) and the love and devotion shown to him by his nanny, Lalla, played by Gina McKee.

The drama also includes a portrayal of Tsar Nicholas II's execution in 1918, when the Russian Emperor and his family were murdered. However, some historians criticised the production's depiction of Nicholas and his wife Alexandra as stereotyped.

Reception & awards

It won a high viewing figure and much praise, was released on VHS and DVD and was repeated on BBC One in January 2004, almost exactly one year after its original showing. A further repeat showing followed on BBC Two in January 2006. It is now occasionally shown in two parts on the BBC cable channel UK History. Both Miranda Richardson and Gina McKee received Best Actress nominations at the British Academy Television Awards in April 2004. The miniseries was also nominated for BAFTA TV awards for editing (Clare Douglas), music (Adrian Johnston), and photography (Barry Ackroyd).

When the production was transmitted in the United States in October 2004, it won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries in 2005. Miranda Richardson was nominated for a Golden Globe.


*Daniel Williams - Prince John (younger)
*Matthew Thomas - Prince John (older)
*Brock Everitt-Elwick - Prince George (younger)
*Rollo Weeks - Prince George (older)
*Gina McKee - Lalla
*Tom Hollander - King George V
*Miranda Richardson - Queen Mary
*Bill Nighy - Baron Stamfordham
*Bibi Andersson - Queen Alexandra
*Ron Cook - David Lloyd George
*Frank Finlay - H. H. Asquith
*John Sessions - Henry Hansell
*Michael Gambon - King Edward VII
*David Barrass - Kaiser Wilhelm II

Further reading

*cite journal |first= Sarah|last= Cardwell|year= 2006|title= Patterns, Layers and Values: Poliakoff's The Lost Prince|journal= Journal of British Cinema and Television|publisher= Edinburgh University Press|url= |volume= 3|issue= 1|pages= 134–141|doi= 10.3366/JBCTV.2006.3.1.134

External links

* [ Official BBC site]
* [ Interview with the writer/director, Stephen Poliakoff]
*imdb title|id=0349747|title=The Lost Prince
* [ PBS site for "The Lost Prince"]
* [ PBS music notes for "The Lost Prince"]

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