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Europe, at the close of the 18th century.
The nobility rules by oppression, supported by strong religious forces.
But the winds of change are blowing...
Across the continent intellectuals and freethinkers demand reforms and freedom for the people.
It is the age of the Enlightenment.
"I'm trying to remember him.
I have to tell you about him.
Why we did the things we did."
A ROYAL AFFAIR
"My beloved children, you do not know me. But I am your mother.
Perhaps you have never forgiven me.
Perhaps you hate me.
I hope not.
I now know that I will never see you again, so I am writing to tell you the truth, before it is too late."
Nine years earlier
"I was officially wed to your father, King Christian VII, before even meeting him.
Though I had never traveled beyond England's borders, I was now the Queen of Denmark.
A new life. A new language."
"Shall we go for a stroll in the park?"
"I had prepared and longed for this day ever since I was a little girl."
"To be Queen of an exotic country and honor and love my husband unconditionally.
Christian was said to be charming, interested in art and literature and even fond of acting.
I could not imagine a more perfect husband."
I am Louise von Plessen, your new lady-in-waiting.
And this is Reventlow, His Majesty's private tutor.
Welcome, Your Majesty.
Would you like to meet the King?
Gourmand! There you are, old boy!
There you are! Did you miss Daddy?
Did you miss Daddy?
Your Royal Highness, please concentrate.
Why? I will never have any use for it.
When will I see Christian again?
His Majesty will attend tonight's banquet.
Do you know where my books are?
The court is reviewing them at the moment.
Some of them will likely be shipped back to England.
As I understand it, a great deal of your books are under Danish censorship.
I didn't know. That's quite all right.
We will find something else for you to read.
Minister Bernstorff. He has absolute power in the castle.
Stay far away from him, if you can.
He has a very distinct odor.
That must be the King's stepmother.
Queen Dowager Juliane Marie.
And the Majesty's half-brother, the heir presumptive.
Neither she nor her son are popular with the people.
His Majesty doesn't regard them as part of the family.
The Danish people have always had a sixth sense about these things.
You were so far away.
You have a flair for drama, my dear Queen.
Will you come to my chambers after tonight's program?
"Come, let's away to prison.
We two alone will sing like birds in a cage."
And so talented.
Yes. Thank you.
The nobility is captivated by her.
They seem to think she's sorely needed.
Many of them are saying she is just what Denmark needs.
A true artistic soul on the throne.
Thank you, that is quite enough!
That insufferable noise is giving me a headache!
I can't stand listening to it! Clang, clang, clang!
Move your fat little thighs and have a seat.
The King is here to visit the Queen as per agreement.
It'll be fine.
Don't steal my light.
What do you mean?
Take off your clothes and lie down.
"Oh, how I have sweated and slaved and yet nothing accomplished."
"I wish I'd had the strength to forgive Christian's behavior."
"Someone to..." "Someone to spare Man the fear of God."
"But I was far too young to understand how sick and tormented he was.
All I could think about was that I had to spend the rest of my life with him.
I began hating him for it."
"In the eyes of the Court, I was soon blessed.
You were on your way, Frederik."
His Majesty wishes to visit the Queen's chambers.
I'm sorry, we've just begun another game of chess.
This happens several times a week now. What is she thinking?
"Having fulfilled my main obligation as queen, I saw no reason to maintain the facade.
I would pay dearly for that."
I never want to see your ugly face again!
You're fired, cow!
There there. Relax.
A true queen delivers in silence and with dignity.
He has stomach pains.
I'm planning a tour of Europe.
I'll be gone for at least a year, perhaps two.
Do you think it matters to me whether you're here or not?
"This was my life.
I had resigned myself to it.
Or rather... it could have been my life."
ALTONA, A DANISH COLONY IN GERMANY 1768 Pardon me, do you know where I can find the hospital?
Thanks a lot.
Excuse me, is Dr. Struensee here?
Who's asking? I come from the estate of Count Rantzau with a message from the Count who requests that you attend to him immediately.
Are you sure you have the right Struensee?
He said that I am not to return without you.
A count is calling. Better get going.
What do you think?
Should I abandon my bleeding patient for some count?
Man: Maybe he will pay you.
That's more than you can say about anyone here.
So what the hell is wrong with it?
If you could hold it for a second?
You're a bit of a mystery, Struensee.
Your father is one of Germany's most conservative priests and yet you insist on publishing provocative praises to the revolutionary French freethinkers.
If you hadn't written them anonymously, you'd be in prison.
Well written. Quite Voltaire-inspired.
Don't worry. We won't harm you.
You suffer from ordinary wear and tear.
But I'm sure the young ladies of your circle are quite content.
Christ. I like him.
Am I done here?
Struensee, how would you like a new position?
What position is that?
The King's personal physician.
Believe it or not, Brandt and I were at the very top of the Danish Court.
High enough to be permitted to sniff the chaste minister wives between the legs.
When King Frederik died, Bernstorff removed the ones he didn't like.
So here we are in the world's asshole.
Sorry about that.
We miss life at Court.
The King is in Hamburg right now on his grand tour of Europe.
But they're stuck.
He's too ill to continue.
What's wrong with him? Psst!
The Court has had the brilliant idea of hiring a personal physician to take care of the King on the rest of his journey.
So we want to try to get your name onto the list of candidates summoned for an interview.
You'd definitely need a new suit.
They would never let me near the King.
Because I'm an ordinary small-town doctor.
And you apparently didn't have much trouble uncovering that I'm a man of the Enlightenment. So are we, damn it!
I am. Rantzau just thinks he is.
You don't run around Court blabbering about it.
Just keep mentioning your father the priest.
The Court loves that crap.
And if I actually got the position, which is highly unlikely, but just for the sake of argument, let's say I got it, what then?
Then you use your position to get Brandt and me back into the inner circle.
And what does a personal physician do?
Blow the King's nose or...?
Who cares? Lick his feet, wipe his ass.
We're talking about the King.
I don't want to!
You may have heard that the King has certain... moods.
Only rumors. Do you have a theory?
He's been difficult since childhood.
But I think most of his problems stem from excessive masturbation.
You may enter.
Your Majesty, my name is-- I don't need a doctor.
The Court thinks you need a doctor.
Do you have any idea why?
I like to drink.
I like hookers with big breasts and I like fighting.
What's wrong with that?
I am King!
What if you weren't King? What would make you happy?
"To sleep, perchance to dream."
"Often expectation fails and most often there, where most it promises."
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."
"They have their exits and their entrances and one man in his time plays many parts."
"What a piece of work is a man."
"There's something rotten in the..."
No! I don't like that one. I don't like it.
Pick another. Come!
"My kingdom for a horse."
"The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together."
Your turn! Yes.
Your Majesty, there seems to be a slight confusion about when and where the French tenor will sing.
In the dining hall, following dessert.
But wait until the tables are cleared. Very well.
Is everyone ready by the main stairs?
Everyone will be ready shortly, Your Majesty.
Then we'll call upon you and the senior ministers.
Fine. That was all, Your Majesty.
Did you remember Gourmand? The dog.
Of course, Your Majesty.
And thank you.
Where are the people?
Is there no one to cheer the return of the King?
We thought Your Majesty would be tired from the long journey.
I want to be greeted by my people. Get them.
Get the people here now! Otherwise I'll jump in the canal.
Do you hear me? I'll jump in the canal!
A splendid idea, Your Majesty.
A nice swim in the canal would do you good.
You really think so?
Absolutely. Shall we?
A little later, perhaps. Come.
Can you believe that His Majesty has terminated Reventlow?
His old tutor who's been watching over him since he was a child.
I think the new physician is a bad influence.
He is said to be an amoral libertine, who drags His Majesty to whore...
Are you not spending the evening with the King?
He is giving Dr. Struensee a tour of the castle.
Struensee! You follow politics, right?
It happens. You must join me in the council today, or I shall be terribly bored.
To me it seems like a rather harmless satire, Mr. Guldberg.
To call satire that mocks the nobility "harmless" is unfortunate.
What is next? The Court?
The King? The Church?
I am not inclined to put anyone in prison for a poem about the size of a nobleman's derrière.
A fine and a year's ban on publishing will suffice.
He has spent his appanage for the entire year in only four months.
He will not leave us alone until we respond.
As the letter shows, she was quite pleased and asked us to give the Russian delegate a token of our appreciation.
...extensive acreage which is a forest area...
If we don't, the people may...
...cannot allow primitive pirates to humiliate our fleet.
...15 per tonnage. What is it?
That would require a lengthy explanation, Your Majesty.
Just sign it. ...agricultural reform is...
...strikers to be thrown in...
...and our naval officers.
We have reached a decision.
They all think I'm crazy.
What the hell is going on?
Why haven't we heard from you?
It's good to see you too, Rantzau. Brandt.
Oh? So, now we use first names? What the hell are we doing here?
Aren't we good enough for Court? Come on in.
I have an acquaintance you should meet. Come on.
Your Majesty. I missed you. Welcome home.
Why does Copenhagen always reek of shit?
Shit shit shit. I have the smell of shit in my nose, shit on my shoes.
I am the King of Shitty Town.
Your Majesty, come have a drink with us.
Do you find it appropriate to get drunk at whorehouses and act up every night?
For everyone to see.
Your Majesty, I'm sure the people don't...
I'm not interested in your opinion, Dr. Struensee.
I apologize, Mother.
Why did I have to end up with that boring cow?
The world is full of princesses, and I get one who's always grumpy.
When she's not playing Queen, she's in her room sleeping.
Have you considered that she might be ill?
She must be ill. No one can be that boring.
Yes! You must attend to her, Struensee.
I don't think the Queen likes me.
But I'm sure one of your Court doctors...
The Court doctors? No no no no.
It has to be you. Make her fun.
I want a fun queen.
I'll send her to your chambers.
I cannot find anything wrong, Your Majesty.
I could have told you that.
It is your spirits that are the problem.
Pardon? Your mood.
You're in a bad mood. Do you get enough fresh air?
And what about hobbies?
I hear you're an accomplished pianist.
You heard wrong.
Are we done? I will recommend to the Court that we move to the summer residence.
With your approval, of course.
"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in shackles."
Would you mind if I borrowed this?
The loser gets thrown in the water!
King Christian VII, ladies and gentlemen.
I hear there's a smallpox epidemic coming in Copenhagen.
What do you say, Struensee? Yes, I heard about it.
Let's hope it's a small one.
Have you set out to charm all of our nobility, Struensee?
Perhaps we should acquire more?
You have an interesting book collection.
One day you have to tell me how you managed to smuggle it into the castle.
Do you ride, Your Majesty?
Not if I can help it.
It feels so... clumsy.
That is because you use side-saddle.
As your new physician, I'd rather not be responsible for you falling ill, Your Highness.
It reminds me of England.
Locke and Voltaire are excellent, but some of the Enlightenment's ideas are a bit extreme, don't you think?
Rousseau's notion of abandoning civilization and living in trees.
He knows it's not actually possible.
I think he has a point in stating that the way in which we have structured society makes it difficult for people to live their lives.
How so? Religion. Marriage.
Anything that takes away our personal freedom.
Don't have children, Struensee.
I hadn't planned to.
So what do you want?
I want to travel the world, Your Majesty, and see places you only read about.
That sounds like a good life.
What is that? A wooden horse.
Don't be afraid.
Is he dead? Yes.
He was punished by his master.
Why was this done to him?
I suppose he stole something, was in the wrong place. I don't know.
But someone thought he should be tortured to death for it.
There's nothing we can do.
Half the Court owns estates in this area.
These peasants probably belong to someone we know.
Brandt, do you know where Struensee is?
Yes, he returned to Copenhagen.
Something about a smallpox epidemic.
I don't know what to do.
COPENHAGEN, 1769 We don't have room for any more in there.
How many dead? Almost 20 today.
Who's he? I've seen him before.
He's a servant at the castle, Doctor.
You're out of your mind, Struensee.
It's one thing to perform your dubious experiments on the people, but now you want to risk the Crown Prince's life?
On the contrary. I am trying to safeguard his life.
What is he even doing out there?
His Majesty's personal physician has no business roaming city hospitals.
More than 700 people have died in the last few months, most of them children.
And today the epidemic crossed the canals and reached Christiansborg.
Have you previously tested this inoculation?
Yes. On myself as well.
What is the survival rate?
Well, there's always some risk...
"Some risk"! But if it goes well, and I'm confident that it will, he will be immune.
The Crown Prince is the heir to the Danish throne!
He's protected by God!
A smallpox epidemic is not picky, Mr. Guldberg.
It kills both kings and queens. As you very well know.
Mother, can we please leave?
Now we wait.
Dear Struensee, come sit with us.
The inoculation was a success.
Thank you, dear God.
God has nothing to do with this.
How many lives could your method save?
Most of them, if it's done right.
Then what are we waiting for?
Are you mocking me? No. On the contrary.
But I'm not the one to ask.
And then we have Her Highness' proposal that the Court administers an extensive smallpox inoculation at the city's hospitals.
We looked into it, but the expense...
Thank you, that's fine. We have enough expenses as it is.
Inform Her Majesty that her proposal will be considered at a later date.
What's this? Your Majesty?
THE FREE PEOPLE
THE RATIONALIST'S LIGHT
Rantzau. Your Majesty.
Allow me to introduce Madame Sophie Livernet.
Your Majesty, it's an honor to meet you.
The light of my life.
Have you noticed that he swears half as much when he's with her?
She's only after his money, you know.
Her family just lost their entire fortune.
As long as he's happy.
Yes, men have an odd ability to ignore reason when it comes to beautiful young women.
"Le Morte d'Arthur." Have you read it?
Thomas Malory. I've heard of it.
King Arthur's knight, Sir Lancelot, has an affair with Queen Guinevere.
The king finds out, orders them both killed, and the kingdom falls apart.
You're a fool.
I like you a lot.
I don't want to mourn by your severed head.
Your Majesty. No. Don't get up.
I managed to slip away from the ministers' wives.
Years of practice.
Do you think we'll ever be free?
The people, I mean.
Will your treasured Enlightenment free us from stupidity and fear of divine punishment?
I think so. Yes.
Frederik's generation will be the standard bearer for a new dawn.
So we should lie on our deathbeds and rejoice as the new dawn passes us by?
All your fantastic ideas will remain on paper.
At Court I have the authority of a mere maid.
And my husband?
He does have the authority.
I don't think you realize how much influence you have on Christian.
He trusts you unconditionally.
What will you dress up as for the ball?
I'm going as a French court jester.
I shall talk like this.
Like a Frenchman. All night.
Do you remember telling me that everyone at Court thinks you're crazy?
I don't think you are.
I think some people are so sealed inside their fate that they hide deep within their mind.
I think you could be an amazing king, Christian.
I think you could make a real difference, if you dared use your power in the Council.
I don't know about all that stuff. I can't.
I'm sure you can.
By doing what you love the most.
Just like in the theater.
With lines that have already been written.
If it were up to you, what would you change?
Honored members of the Council.
No longer shall refined noble noses be tainted with the city's stench.
No longer shall the people suffocate in the reek of their own waste.
Your Majesty. I... King Christian VII, hereby declare war on shit.
From tonight I want to triple the number of waste collectors on the streets.
Where do you imagine the money should come from?
I knew you would ask me that.
The money will be acquired by making a minor cut in pensions for those who still have income from their estates and therefore do not need a pension.
Fine, Your Majesty. More waste collectors.
And...! And Gourmand will be appointed honorary member of the Council.
You recognized me.
I would recognize you blindfolded.
But your costume is not very imaginative.
No, I'm afraid I am not very good at masquerades.
For me this is the one night when everyone can be themselves.
But you never remove your mask.
Will you do me the honor?
Was that it?
Am I really such a dull dance partner?
I'm sure there are many waiting to take my place.
Where have you been?
I had an idea. What?
How about empty carriages driving around the city picking up people who are too drunk to find their way home?
Yes. Why not?
Will you read to us tonight, Mother?
No, I think I'll turn in early.
"I am not asking you to understand or forgive my actions, but for the first time in my life I was happy."
"Must the poor unwanted children be thrown in the gutter or killed?
No, I say. There should be a..."
"We thought we could have it all.
We were naive."
"A home where mothers can..."
Nice and easy. Don't repeat it. Yes.
And I just had another idea.
I propose a law to the effect...
"For a while it felt like we could do something.
Bring about change.
Our little group of freethinkers grew.
And so did our ideas."
It's still the same... But, Bernstorff, Bernstorff, I think we should pass the law about... Shh shh shh. No...
We talked about it.
"But ultimately the Council was too strong.
And the harder it became, the more times he was rejected, the more despondent Christian became."
I propose mandatory smallpox inoculations for the people.
We've spoken about this. There is no money.
All our ideas are rejected before Christian even opens his mouth.
What if you had a seat in the Council?
Christian is all alone.
He needs someone to defend him.
I would certainly be elected. Unanimously.
It would give us a chance against the wigs.
It's not as easy as proposing waste collectors and street lights.
Bernstorff is getting old.
The ministers aren't as loyal to him as they used to be.
What are you doing, Dr. Struensee?
I'm not doing anything.
The King keeps proposing ideas for the Council.
Smallpox inoculation, a home for unwanted children.
Practically rewarding women for lechery.
I'm worried about the nature of his proposals-- their origin.
Inoculation was the Queen's idea.
She desperately wants to be seen as the people's rescuing angel.
I think it's the German.
I have heard disturbing rumors about Struensee from Altona, but I have no proof.
But your influence stretches all the way to the colonies.
Permit me to be very direct, Queen Dowager.
I know of your ambitions for your son.
To have Christian suddenly acting like a true king is not in your best interest.
No matter who has his ear.
They will never agree to it!
I keep telling you, they will not agree to it.
Perhaps they will.
But the Council... we're talking about 100-year-old laws.
And 100-year-old men. Let me get this straight, do you want to be in there alone, or do you want someone there with you?
I want you there, I can't do it alone.
But I don't have anything to...
But it doesn't make any sense.
An ordinary doctor on the Council?
He is not an ordinary doctor, I'm afraid.
We found anonymous writings in Altona that we know were written by Struensee.
What writings would that be?
Thoughts on the rights of peasants.
A proposal to cut peasants' mandatory work hours in half.
A proposal to revoke proprietors' rights to corporally punish their peasants.
A fundamental questioning of the idea of ownership of peasants, including serfdom...
I'm not done!
Outlawing torture in interrogation of prisoners and criminals.
Limitation of Church influence on public matters.
Speculations about the stultifying nature of religion.
It's more than 100 pages long.
The King is letting himself be directed by a man of the Enlightenment.
Denmark is one of the last outposts in a depraved Europe.
If we persist in letting foreigners like Struensee enter our country with their heathen ideas...
May I remind you that there are several foreigners present here?
Bernstorff, there is not one individual in the room who does not admire you and your work.
You cannot let a dangerous man like Struensee stay at Court.
It would be unforgiveable.
Do you have any exciting proposals for us today, Your Majesty?
I have come to the conclusion... that the time has come for new blood on the honorable Council.
New ideas for new times, if you will.
I assume you have already found the perfect candidate in Dr. Struensee?
You can sit down, Your Majesty.
It is out of the question.
My Lord, if I may?
You have no right to speak in the Council.
Why is that? Why is it so dangerous to let a citizen speak about ordinary people's...
We are familiar with your harmful ideas.
Sit down, Your Majesty.
I call a referendum on removing Dr. Struensee from Court and expelling him from Denmark.
No no no...
Let him go.
Let him go immediately, or I will have your heads!
Your Majesty. I am king!
Bernstorff... you are relieved of your duties.
And I declare...
I declare the entire Council dissolved!
On my order government of all of the country's affairs is taken over by a cabinet consisting of me and Johann Friedrich Struensee.
I did it. I did it! Yes.
Did you see me, Struensee? Yes, I did.
Do you realize what just happened?
How much good we can do now?
I can feel it.
DISSOLUTION OF THE STATE COUNCIL
"It was an indescribable feeling.
All of our thoughts and ideas could now become reality.
DECREE: GENERAL INOCULATION We sat up nights.
ABOLITION OF CORPORAL PUNISHMENT OF PRISONERS ACCESS TO UNIVERSITY... In the following months FOR ALL CITIZENS hundreds of laws were passed.
GENERAL LICENSE TO PUBLISH Everything was possible.
HOME FOR ORPHANED CHILDREN ESTABLISHED IN COPENHAGEN Denmark had suddenly become a pioneering country admired across Europe.
ABOLITION OF CENSORSHIP The Enlightenment had finally arrived."
Rantzau, it's been a long time.
It's one hell of an office you've acquired.
It's not my office. This is the Cabinet.
How are you?
Thank you for asking. Terrible, actually.
I spend all my time trying to navigate all your new laws.
You have ideas at the same rate that the rest of us change clothes.
People are getting confused.
The nobility is confused.
Come on, Struensee, you're nothing but a town doctor.
You never owned anything in your life.
Not even a title.
And now you think you can run a country.
Well, it's a good thing I have my noble friend to advise me.
You have titles enough for the both of us.
To Christian King of Denmark What is it?
A letter for Christian from Voltaire.
Voltaire himself. Yes.
It's hard to believe.
He must have heard of all the things we've done.
What's wrong? I'm pregnant.
You do realize what this means?
Everyone knows that I haven't been with Christian.
And that will not happen.
I have to.
Do you want our child to end up in the gutter?
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
"An ascending sun that you, the light of the North, in your infinite wisdom have followed.
The light of the North?
Struensee, I fear I have history on my side.
Christian, you haven't visited the Queen's chambers in over a year.
The people think you're neglecting your marital obligations.
No, she doesn't want to.
On the contrary.
She told me she wants it to happen.
Yes, well, I can't get an erection with her.
Just think of it as more acting.
I have decided to resume my visits to the Queen's chamber starting tonight.
Don't come any closer. I reek of him.
We have to see each other as little as possible from now on.
For the sake of the child.
"The spirit I have seen may be the Devil.
The Devil has the power to assume a pleasing shape.
Perhaps out of my weakness and my melancholia, as he is very potent with such spirits, abuses me to damn me."
Move away, Brandt.
You're breathing down my neck.
"I'll have grounds more relative than this.
The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King."
Christian, I don't think we can continue to be intimate.
It's not healthy. Oh, right.
The baby. Of course.
Perhaps you should sleep in your own chambers.
No. No no no no no no.
I like sleeping with you two.
Can you hear my voice?
Can you hear your father speaking?
Can you hear your father?
And what have we here?
A review of Court expenses.
The country's economy is bad. We have to make cuts.
Yes. Yes yes.
No... Just sign it.
I have an idea.
How about a new day of celebration where all young Court ladies walk around naked?
This isn't a game, Christian. It could be fun!
If they strutted around naked...
Shut up, damn it!
You can't yell at me.
You can't yell at me.
Don't ever do that. I'm sorry.
You can't yell at me. I'm the King.
Christian, look at this.
This decree ensures that you don't have to sign every little document.
It's sufficient that I do it.
You don't need me to sign the laws anymore?
Yes, but you hate paperwork. You could be outside having fun.
But I have fun with you.
It's just a formality.
We could spend our time together on better things.
I hereby appoint you King... of Prussia.
I had a visit from the bailiff the other day.
Apparently I am deeply in debt.
Take care of it, will you?
I can't just erase your debt.
Of course you can.
You just sign a piece of paper.
And let my friends spend the state's money on bad gambling?
How do I explain that to the people?
To hell with the people.
Are you even listening?
Sophie is leaving me.
I can see it in her eyes.
She no longer smiles at me.
I could lend you the money.
How much to keep them at bay?
Who the hell do you think you are?
You cannot call Her Majesty very sociable these days.
She mainly keeps to herself.
Pardon me, but when was she ever sociable?
May I walk with you?
I'm not staying at the summer residence much longer.
Back to your duties? Yes.
How are you?
It's kicking all the time.
He wants to come out and see his beautiful mother.
You mean "she."
You do realize that lying to me would be an act of treason.
If that sort of lechery takes place, and you know about it, it's a mortal sin to conceal it.
You'll end up in purgatory.
We swear. We don't know anything.
And not a word to anyone!
I know what I saw.
I saw something.
Why did construction come to a halt?
We have no money until taxes are collected.
The roofs are rotting. All the changes cost money.
We can't afford it.
We'll have to look at the nobility's appanage.
Are you serious? Yes.
The Court has been throwing titles at them for years, they don't lift a finger.
They just drain the state funds. All the Court will go against you.
Even your supporters. How much would that give us?
Not enough. Guldberg is already whispering in the ear of anyone who'll listen to him.
How about the military? We haven't been to war in 50 years.
The military? Are you sure?
Her Majesty has delivered a daughter.
She is receiving shortly.
I need peace and quiet.
Yes, we will go celebrate.
Everyone is invited to my chambers.
Will you attend to me?
I love you.
I love you.
We are a family now.
She's so tiny.
We should tell His Majesty at once.
We won't go to the King. Not directly.
Do you propose we ignore it?
No, I'm just saying we don't involve Christian.
Recent events cast serious doubts on his judgment.
The people are no longer well served by him.
Your Royal Highness, you are talking about a coup.
There would be chaos.
On the contrary.
There would finally be order.
A new cabinet in the King's place consisting of honorable men.
The people would slaughter us.
Not if we have the next royal heir presiding.
How will you achieve this without the King hanging us all?
Let's just say that Struensee himself has given us a very efficient weapon.
Struensee, it's me, Brandt!
I'm alone. Open!
Christian's guards have returned from the city.
He's gone berserk.
Hurry! He's destroying everything.
The King of Prussia.
Was it always her you wanted?
Is it true?
Is the child yours?
I swear it's not true.
It's not true, Christian.
Why would someone write it then?
Leave me alone, you fruit.
This is what he read.
They've been distributed throughout the city.
WHILE THE KING SLEEPS The Vile German on Nocturnal Visit to the Queen's Chambers
They will take her from us.
A rare guest down here.
But it's never too late for absolution.
Not even for sins such as yours.
Consider yourself relieved of your Court duties.
Your belongings are being packed.
You can't. I am appointed by...
I can do exactly as I wish.
You are destroying my country, Struensee... blessed by a king we both know to be disturbed.
Who is most disturbed? The King... or someone who believes Earth was created in six days?
Leave, or I'll have you removed.
I don't like that people in the city spread lies.
You should stay inside the castle.
Stay in the castle? No! It's so boring.
I know, and that's why I've arranged a surprise for you.
Christian, meet Moranti.
Oh my, he's funny-looking!
He escaped from a Dutch slave trader and apparently found his way to our kitchen.
We thought he would make a good page.
Yes, I'll play with him, but I can't take care of him. No, of course not.
Brandt will be with you at all times.
I hate Brandt.
I want you.
I'll join you later.
Why not give Moranti a tour of the castle?
Shall We Let Our Kingdom Be Overthrown?
An Unholy Alliance. Our King Is in Danger!
They say you are poisoning Christian to make him insane.
That you will kill your own son, making Louise the sole heiress.
The rest is about the evil foreigner, who's destroying the country with new laws.
There's no way around it.
We have to reinstate censorship.
It's spreading! Johann, we have to...
Do it! Do it! Reinstate censorship.
Caroline, you haven't slept in days.
They hate us.
What's that? It's laudanum.
It will calm you down.
That's enough. That's enough.
What is my personal physician doing in your chambers?
We were just entertaining ourselves with a little game of chess. Chess?
Would that be a new sort of chess, seeing as you're naked?
Why are you not with Louise? His Majesty insisted.
He wanted to be alone with the child.
Get away from her.
I didn't do anything. Mother...
I am not your mother!
You can never be alone with her again, is that clear?
You are sick.
Would you like to know who the little bastard's real father is?
Your Majesty... The real father...
is the King of Prussia! Your Majesty...
The King of Prussia screwed my mother!
Your Majesty... And this little fairy sucks his cock.
I'm not... Fairy.
Stop calling me a fairy... Fairy, fairy, fairy fairy!
Let go! My finger! Stop! Stop it!
What the hell are you thinking?
You lied to me. Do you want to be alone?
What? Do you want to be all alone again?
That's damn well what will happen, if you continue acting like that!
Like a crazy person!
you were right.
I have been lying to you. It was never my intention.
I don't want to hear about it.
I don't want to hear about it.
Everything has to be like before.
Yes. We have to be like before.
Do you hear me?
Just like before.
If you ask me, they've already killed the King.
When was he last seen? He isn't dead.
They've locked him in a dungeon.
You were right.
They're like a pack of helpless dogs.
It will happen at the Court ball.
In two days?
We can't. Christian would never...
It's too late for doubts.
Put your faith in God.
JANUARY 16, 1772
What is going on with you?
Why haven't you put on your gown?
I'm not in the mood for a ball.
But we have to attend.
You could leave the country.
Find a position in Germany, France or perhaps England.
You know I can't do that. Why not?
I could come visit you.
We could be free. We could be together.
And leave the country to the priests?
I don't care much for Denmark these days.
You're not yourself right now, Caroline.
Can't we talk about this later?
I think I'll sleep alone tonight.
Will you at least put on a gown?
Your Royal Highness sent for me?
Did you know that Struensee is making additional cuts in the military budget?
I hear rumors. The Norwegian sailors are in uproar because their wages are delayed.
They aren't mere rumors.
I was just informed that next in line is the King's Life Guard.
Unless we act. Now.
You've seen with your own eyes what is happening at Court.
And what is happening to our country.
Tonight it is time to decide whether you will be a bystander or among those who take action.
Rantzau, get up.
I see the bailiff has been here.
I would get back my French estate?
And a seat on the Council? Yes, and the misunderstanding with your debt will be rectified. You will get all your money back.
And the plan is to deport him and nothing more?
What the hell is that?
It's the sound of a country being reborn.
We want to see the King!
We want to see the King!
Death to the German!
Death to the German!
Death to the German!
Death to the German!
We want to see the King! We want to see the King!
Death to the German! Death to the German!
I can't do it. It'll be fine.
I can't. I can't.
Don't be afraid. I can't.
They just want to see you. I can't do it.
I can't. They will kill me.
They will kill me. No, they won't.
Yes! They will kill me. They will kill me!
They will kill me! No one is going to kill you.
Come on. No!
You are the King now.
You deal with it.
Stand down! Stand down! Stand down!
They'll go home soon.
When they start feeling cold.
Do you remember...
our first night together?
It feels like we've been unhappy ever since.
I have been happy.
Come to me tonight?
May I have the last dance of the evening?
Yes, of course.
No! Stay away! What is going on?
Calm down, Your Majesty.
We have come to save your life.
Are they inside the castle? Any minute now.
The only way to stop it is to give them the German.
I can't do that.
I can't! I can't. Your Majesty...
I can't. Your Majesty...
I have to tell you something that's been troubling me for some time.
Struensee, Brandt and the Queen are plotting to kill you.
I overheard them talking.
I overheard them plan it.
I'm Struensee's friend and confidante.
I have no reason to lie.
So that's why Brandt bit my finger.
It's an order for their arrest.
Your Majesty... listen.
Listen to them out there.
The people demand that Your Majesty act.
Sign it before it's too late. Come.
Yes, you can, Your Majesty.
Sign it. Come.
Sign it before it's too late. I can't!
I can't! I can't! Sign it! Sign it!
Johann Friedrich Struensee, you are under arrest for conspiracy against His Majesty the King and the Danish people.
Let's see what the King has to say.
His Majesty signed the arrest order.
Open in the name of the King!
Where is Christian?
I command that you step aside.
I want to see Christian! Caroline, it's over.
I hope it's worth it to you.
They'll kill Johann.
No one's getting killed. He'll be banished to Altona.
You naive idiot.
Are you here to gloat?
Frederik stays here.
What? Take Louise, you're still nursing.
But the Crown Prince remains with his father.
He stays with me.
Don't touch him.
Wait... Aren't you listening?
Let him go!
Please, don't do this.
Frederik, don't be afraid.
Mommy will be back soon.
Mommy will be back soon.
We're here for your confession.
I have nothing to confess.
You seduced the Queen and conspired against the Court, plotting to kill the King and lead Denmark astray.
I have nothing to confess.
I know you outlawed torture, but we have a new cabinet now.
Your Majesty sent for me.
Johann has confessed to the affair.
They tortured him for days until he finally gave in.
I advise you to confess too.
This is a plea for Christian to pardon Johann and Brandt.
Deliver it to him in person.
Dr. Struensee, my name is Münter.
I know your father well.
What do you want, priest?
The King has informed the cabinet that he wishes to pardon you and Brandt on the day of execution.
It seems you're saved.
But the Cabinet wants something in return.
A written statement saying you were mistaken in all your deeds.
And that you sincerely ask for God's forgiveness.
A statement you dictate to me and which the Cabinet will later publish.
I've thought a lot about God these past few days.
That doesn't surprise me, son.
Are you sure the execution isn't today?
Yes, I'm absolutely sure.
It's been noisy outside all morning.
Where are they all headed?
I haven't heard anything, Your Majesty.
I can't wait to see Struensee's face when I pardon him.
Do you think he's mad at me?
No. Why would he be?
Who came up with the idea of the King pardoning people at the last minute?
It'd be a lot less harrowing if he got it over with sooner.
It is tradition.
People must be present to applaud their merciful king.
Where's... the King?
I am one of you.
I am one of you!
I am one of you!
I am one of you!
You swore nothing would happen to him, that he would only be banished.
It must have been a slip of the tongue.
And my seat in the Council? Was that a slip of the tongue too?
That's enough, Rantzau. You've been amply rewarded.
Your Majesty, we're in safe hands with the young Crown Prince.
Go play with your negro.
I love you.
I love you so much.
We'll see each other again soon.
"Part of me was happy that it was Germany I was deported to.
Not far from where Johann was raised and did his work.
And in my new house in Celle I was met by an old friend.
I have lived here for five years now and in spite of all my pleading, the Court keeps a close eye on me and refuses to let me leave Celle.
I write to you now, as I've become very ill.
I will not survive this illness, but at least I have now told you what really happened."
Bring it to them when they're old enough to understand.
I will keep it safe.
"As I am sure you have already seen with your own eyes, Denmark has regressed to the Middle Ages since Johann died.
While the rest of Europe blossoms, your country has become a dark place controlled by faith and suspicion.
My dear children, if I could only see you now.
Who have you become?
Frederik, did you inherit Christian's temper?
Louise, do you have Johann's eyes?"
Your Royal Highnesses, I am so glad you came.
"My beloved children, you do not know me, but I am your mother.
I do not know what you think of me.
Perhaps you hate me..."
You are Denmark's best hope for a brighter future.
I know you will make me proud.
I love you so very much."
"Your mother, Caroline Mathilde."
With his father's help Frederik staged a coup d'état and seized power at the age of 16.
Guldberg, Juliane Marie and their Cabinet were banished from Court.
In the course of Frederik's 55-year-long reign almost all of Struensee's laws were reinstated.
Frederik went even further than Johann when he abolished serfdom and liberated the peasants.