Beau Brummell (1954) Script

[orchestral music]

[music continues]

[music continues]

[bugle call]

Uh, the gentlemen have been assaulting those lemons for the past hour, will it be over soon?

The exercise will be completed shortly, Your Royal Highness.

I'm absolutely famished.

I've had nothing all day except for partridge and some miserable scones.

[bugle call]

[horse galloping]

[bugle call]

[male #1] General salute.

Draw swords!

[marching band music]

With my humble duty, sir, the parade is present and ready for Your Royal Highness' inspection.

[marching band music]

Who is this gentleman?

[male #1] Captain George Brummell, sir.

Oh, yes. Splendid go with the saber, Captain.

I can't say I approve of your form, uh, really awkward.

Can't be helped, sir. The epaulets rather get in the way.

You don't approve of them?

Oh, they're much too broad, sir.

Narrower epaulets would be more convenient.

Better style too, sir.

[Prince] Have you any other criticism to level with the uniform?

It's a bit ornate for my taste, sir.

Ornate? Fussy, sir.

Simplicity should be the keynote of a soldier.

Don't you think so, sir?

Are you aware who designed the uniform for this regiment?

Yes, sir. Who?

You, sir.

You're impertinent, sir! Get off parade!


I want a word with you.

Come in here.

Are you out of your mind, Beau? He asked my opinion.

You're under arrest and confined to your quarters until His Royal Highness gets around to you.

It may take some time the way our fat friend moves.

His Royal Highness' size is a very touchy subject, Beau.

We're required to wear ridiculously large epaulets just because they have a slimming effect on him.

It'd be much more reasonable and healthier if he would remove a bit of the blubber.

The Prince of Wales doesn't have to be reasonable.

Precisely what's wrong with the system.

A brilliant criticism, Midger. I didn't criticize anything, Beau.

I'm satisfied with things the way they are.

Yes, and one day you'll be a full Colonel.

Is that all you want out of life?

Well, what else is there for men like us?

Everything, Midger. All heaven and earth.

A perfect grape, a perfect chair. Dizzy success and dizzy failure.

And the zest of not knowing what's going to happen next.

And when it's all over, looking back on a perfectly smashing achievement.

Or a perfectly smashing smash up.

I'd rather have a colonel's pension.

Well, my wife would anyway. Then leave her, Midger.

Desert her and her three children.

Abscond with the family bank account.

Mortimer? sir?

The boots are a bit cloudy.

Buff them with champagne before I go out tonight.

I'm going to pop into town for a bit.

There's a lady I know has a remarkable talent for reducing the size of a man's troubles.

Don't glower at me like that. No one will miss me.

They'll be at the regimental dinner.

I was ordered to keep an eye on you and I intend to do it.

They're saying out at the back, sir that you pulled His Royal Highness' nose.

On the contrary, he pulled mine.

Oh, hope it won't mean a court-martial, sir.

Oh, I hope not too. After all such as it is, it's home.

Thank you, sir.

Well, since we're dining in, let's settle the menu.

Uh, two dozen oysters, pint of champagne, the '87.

Royal turtle soup. No, on second thoughts, nothing royal.

Onion soup and very dry sherry.

[orchestral music]

[music continues]


Lord Edwin is a very charming man.

Quite the most charming.

Will you marry him? I expect so.

I don't know really.

I only know that the thought of not marrying Edwin has never really entered my head.

Don't let it, my dear.

Marriage is the only future for a woman.

As a woman with no future, I can speak with some authority.

[music continues]

[all cheering]

Oh, pray be seated.

Your Royal Highness has a marked musical talent.

Well, I put a little spirit into it, didn't I?

Mmm, Edwin. Captain Brummell is here, sir.

Oh, is he?

Mrs. Fitzherbert has got a very kind heart.

She suggested that justice would be done if I were to give Captain Brummell a spanking and send him up to bed without supper.

Fetch him in. We'll see the fellow crawl.

I have the impression, Prinny, that he's not the sort that crawls readily.

He's proud and stiff as sealing wax.

In that case, we shall apply some heat to the sealing wax and watch it melt.

Do you know I can do that without the cracker?

Have you seen this?

Your hands are very strong. Yes, they always have been.

At the age of seven I got my brother, Freddie, by the hair, Duke of York, you know and it took four footmen to force me to let go.

Four of them.

With Your Royal Highness' permission, Captain Brummell.

Oh, yes. Oh, my dear, may I present Captain Brummell?

Mrs. Fitzherbert. Humble servant, Madam.

And Lady Patricia Belham.

The Captain and I have already met informally.

I appreciate your gift.

I shall keep them as a souvenir of my visit.

I only wish they could have been ropes of pearls, Lady Patricia.

I'm beginning to understand why the army is irresistible, Captain.

Then, perhaps you'll allow me. May I?

You shouldn't wear earrings.

Never embellish what is already perfect.

Upon my honor!

Captain Brummell, you've taken a liberty with His Royal Highness' guest.

Edwin, I consider the Captain paid me a very pretty compliment.

Well, if it was a compliment, it was a reckless one.

Perhaps recklessness is not undesirable in a soldier, sir.

They tell me that you're quite a good soldier, Captain Brummell.

They tell me moreover that you don't take kindly to discipline, that you're a gambler, and that you drink too much.

What is too much for one might not be considered too much for another, sir.

[Prince] Don't interrupt me.

All in all, you're a bit of a non-conformist.

Tell me, Captain, what do you hope to gain by knocking society about?

In my idea, sir, society is very imperfect.

There's a great deal I'd like to change.

[Prince] Revolutionary.

Ah, it's the age of revolution, sir.

In America, in France. It's in the air.

You're about to get a breath of that air, Captain Brummell.

I believe the regiment is moving out for duty on the continent.

Yes, sir, tonight. The fall in is at midnight, sir.

Oh, in that case, we won't detain you, Captain.

You've been very gracious, sir.

Oh, one moment, Captain.

I'm disposed to overlook the presumption this afternoon.

And I'm sure that now that you've thought it over you've changed your opinion of my uniform.

I haven't, sir.

But since Your Royal Highness has indicated a desire to forget the matter I shall be glad to do the same.

You'll forget it?

Dear me, sirrah, you're an impudent pup!

I suggest an instant apology, Captain.

An apology is offered to one you have affronted.

Seems to me that I have been affronted.

However, I do not wish to make a point of it.

Have I Your Royal Highness' permission to withdraw?

I have some packing to do before fall in.

You can ignore the fall in, Captain.

Am I to understand, sir, that I am not to serve abroad?

You're not to serve anywhere, sir!

I won't have you in my regiment!

Get out!

I have the honor to wish Your Royal Highness goodnight.

Mrs. Fitzherbert, I am the humble servant of your grace and charm.

Lady Patricia, I'm deeply grateful for your understanding and forbearance.

And to you, sir, my respects.

You could still go with them if you wished.

All you have to do is apologize.

Well, you're very kind, but it's not that simple.

I'm very curious.

What makes a man deliberately throw away a promising career?

I assure you that the size of a button or the length of an epaulet doesn't mean that much to me.

My self-respect does, however.

Couldn't you bend just a little?

Write the prince a nice note and say you were wrong?

I'm sure he'd restore your commission.

I never acquired a taste for boot licking.

But he's the Prince of Wales. And I'm a nobody.

That isn't what I was going to say.

No, of course not, you're far too well-bred, but you thought it and you're quite right.

My grandfather was a valet.

My father was secretary to a nobleman.

I'm an obscure army captain. Captain nobody.

When you're a nobody you have to be very careful of your dignity, others aren't. You wouldn't understand this because your dignity has always been taken for granted.

You have money, title, position and these are very dignified things.

Even when they are inherited.

You're bitter because you feel inferior.

But does it really make you less inferior to be rude?

I expect it does. A bit.

I'm sorry, I thought perhaps I could help.

Goodnight, Captain. Just a moment.

I'm curious too.

Did that make you feel any less inferior?

You've no idea what it made me feel.

It won't be permanent, Captain.

Hey, you'd better trot. Roll call will be in a minute.

It wasn't my intention to answer it, sir.

If you will request that I be included in your discharge, sir?

I'm touched, Mortimer. Very touched.

But it won't do.

I've no money, no position, no prospects.

Prospects, sir?

Do you remember what my prospects were, sir?

Five years ago when I started butlering for you?

You were a miserable barge rat, weren't you?

[indistinct] if I wasn't, sir.

A blinking, stinking lump of cannon fodder that couldn't even string two words together correct-like.

You made me what I am, sir. A gentleman's gentleman.

Without you I'll, I'll be a fallen star.

Very poetic.

Well, take just one thing, sir.

The ladies.

Before it was strictly a question of pot luck for me.

And now I'm quite sought after. In me own sphere that is, sir.

Well, you wouldn't ask me to turn me back on all that would you, sir?

No, I couldn't do that, could I?

Thank you, sir.

Tea at the usual hour in the morning, sir?

Under the circumstances, a bit later, Mortimer.

Very good, sir.

[male #2 in distance] Forward march.

[hooves clattering]

I feel more than a professional obligation, George.

Your father, bless his soul, was one of the closest friends.

A pity you squandered the little inheritance he left you.

Something will have to be done.

Two possibilities occurred to me.

One, marry into a financially desirable marriage.

Mm-hmm. What's the other one?

Work. I spoke to a Mr. Cleagle at my bank.

It's very decent of you, sir, but I don't propose to grub away the rest of my life in a bank counting other people's money.

There is a saying to the effect that beggars can't be choosers.

Take a good look at this beggar, Mr. Thurlow.

Thanks to my father's sacrifices I have an excellent education.

[Thurlow] Which equipped you to do nothing.

I have a good mind, good taste, good health.

I do not pretend to have a perfect character but there are many in high places with much fewer claims to perfection.

You unfortunately are not in a high place.

I do not propose to allow an accident of birth to keep me out of one.

I do not propose to accept obscurity.

I don't know what you propose, George, but it may be some time before the world recognizes your superiority.

There are other worlds, Mr. Thurlow.

The Colonies, France, America. Worlds of opportunity.

Where a man can go as far as his abilities will take him and no questions asked about his father.

I promise you it will be a good investment.

I'll pay you back tenfold.

Pay me back? For what?

The passage money. Surely you will lend it to me.

Surely, I won't.

You're a rash adventurer, George.

I've given you good advice.

If you won't take it, there's no more I can do.

Good day.

What're we going to do, sir?

Well, let's get out under the open sky.

It's easier to see things in proportion.

What're your views on a wealthy wife, Mortimer?

Favorable, sir. Not very exciting.

But comfortable, sir.

[male #3] In the present crisis no one can shirk the clear call of duty.

For a number of years, I have represented the people of this borough in parliament.


Sir Ralph Sidley, sir. A great politician.

His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales has done me the honor of personally demanding a further sacrifice of me.

I am honored to know that my views coincide with those of so illustrious a gentleman.

The first gentleman of Europe. Question.


Your words leave me in some doubt.

You represent the people of this borough or the Prince of Wales?

I see no distinction, sir. The prince is a great liberal.

He's certainly liberal with himself.

He lives extremely well. [laughter]

And he must, sir. He is the symbol of this nation.

Is the prince's racing stable part of that symbol?

Apparently, you're not a sporty gentleman, sir.

Do you disapprove of horses, sir?

No, I just disapprove of them losing so frequently.


He also spends more than 5,000 pounds a year on uniforms although he's not a very active soldier.

[laughter] What I really object to is the way the prince fits his high office.

He makes no effort to lead and every day our prestige gets lower and lower.

[crowd clamoring]

Frenchmen insult us, our colonies desert us, and our future king does nothing.

[crowd cheering and applauding]

The candidate seems to be retiring.

Let us hope he continues to do so when the votes are counted.


[male #4] Excuse me, sir.

I wonder if I might have a few of your observations for the London Chronicle.

Certainly. My name is George Bryan Brummell.

And it is my opinion that if the prince is the first gentleman of Europe, then Europe had better mind its manners.

If you'd care to reiterate it, sir there is to be a meeting tomorrow night in Green Grocer's Hall.

Excuse me, sir, but I think you have an appointment tomorrow night.

Then cancel it, Mortimer. We must not neglect our civic duties.

[crowd clamoring]

What kind of example has our prince offered?

A foolish, arbitrary, extravagant, outlandish one.

Aye, them's true words. Praise on you, mister.

Our prince is said to have the most beautifully powdered hair in Europe and all society copies him slavishly.


Even the army is required to powder, 250,000 soldiers each using one pound of flour a week for powder will use 6,000 tons of flour in a year.

Enough to make three million loaves of bread.

Enough to keep 50,000 families in food for a year.

[crowd clamoring]

No, no, Mr. Pitt. Upon my honor, you demand too much.

I will not go to Germany.

I will not embrace this tuppenny princess nor will I ever consent to be mated like a prized bull.

I'm sorry Your Royal Highness regards the matter with such vileness.

Oh, how would you wish me to regard it, Mr. Pitt?

As a matter pertaining to the royal succession.

As a solemn duty which Your Royal Highness cannot ignore.

Mr. Pitt, Dr. Warren, these leeches are going to it like cannibals, it's sheer agony. You sure it will help?

It will certainly reduce the capillary tension, sir, and increase the circulation. And that will reduce the fat.

Oh, the tortures I endure just so that my coat will fit.

Get the little beasts off me.

Going to Germany could be a pleasant experience, Your Royal Highness.

I understand Princess Caroline is attractive.

Edwin, you're my political advisor. Confine yourself to that.

I am, of course, aware of the unfortunate circumstances which have formed your attitude, sir.

Oh, there's no need for obscurity, Mr. Pitt.

You're referring to Mrs. Fitzherbert, are you not?

Your friendship has become notorious. It be should be terminated.

Mr. Pitt, you are Prime Minister.

You're not custodian of my morals or of my affections.

I am presenting the opinions of your royal father, sir.

Oh, really? I'm not aware that His Majesty's mind was capable of forming an opinion, although I can't be sure.

Your Royal Highness should prepare for what impends.

By giving up the one I love?

By making a proper marriage and furnishing an heir.

It would do a great deal to answer criticism.

Listen to this, sir.

"If the Prince of Wales is the first gentleman of Europe then Europe had better mind its manners."

That's Captain Brummell, sir. I threw him out of my regiment and now he goes about slandering me at street corners.

Have you summoned him, Edwin?

[Edwin] Mr. Brummell will be here directly, sir.

Mm, he's a bunder, sir and an upstart, but I'll deal with him.

Upon my honor, I will.

Brummell is only a symptom, sir.

There is widespread disapproval of the way Your Royal Highness lives.

That's why parliament refuses to increase your income.

If you were willing to arrange a marriage it would help us rally Europe against Napoleon.

Then, sir, I could get any sum you require.

Is there no end to sacrifices my country demands of me?

I'm absolutely cornered like a fox.

I'll never hunt again. Upon my honor, I won't.

Sir, with Your Royal Highness' permission, Mr. Brummell is here.

Is he indeed? Send him in by all means.

Mr. Brummell.

Your Royal Highness.

Mr. Pitt, this is Captain Brummell.

Uh, Mr. Brummell now, sir.

I understand, Mr. Brummell, you've abandoned the military in favor of politics.

Yes, that's what we're about to discuss if you gentlemen will excuse us.

As are your orders.

Well, Mr. Brummell, so you've joined the pack of dogs that yap at my heels, have you?

I trust you find yourself in congenial company.

Your Royal Highness' interest leads me to think that I stand out from the pack.

No, I find one hound very much like another.

You believe that by abusing me you might force me to restore your commission?

That remote possibility never occurred to me, sir.

Oh, well, has it occurred to you that I might have you arrested for sedition and thrown into the tower?

Great many people might not think that telling the truth constitutes sedition.


Damn it, sir, I am tempted to employ a more direct approach.

Thrash you here and now.

I, I'm sure Your Royal Highness would not get a great deal of satisfaction in striking a man who is prevented by etiquette from striking back.

It's a devilish pity that you don't show as much consideration when my back is turned.

As an Englishman, I would hesitate to raise my hand against my prince.

But also as an Englishman, I have the right of free speech.

Dear me, if I don't envy you, Mr. Brummell.

You can do, say what you like.

I have to do exactly as I'm told.

You are the Prince of Wales, sir.

The future sovereign.

You should tell others what to do.

You've given no evidence of recognizing my authority.

I cannot follow a leadership I do not respect, sir.

Leadership? But I'm a prisoner, a captive.

I can't even love the woman I want.

On Friday I have to go to Germany to declare my undying devotion for a bloat of a woman I've never even met.

Yes, that should make you very happy, Mr. Brummell.

Your Royal Highness is mistaken if you think that your unhappiness would make me happy.

Actually, I sympathize, sir.

If you go to Germany, you'll miss the Newmarket races on Saturday, and I believe Your Royal Highness has horse a running.

Mr. Brummell, a prince is not supposed to have any pleasure.

You'll also miss your birthday ball. That's a shame.

You'll disappoint an enchanting lady.

Damn it, sir, are you trying to torment me?


If I can arouse the man in you, sir perhaps I can also arouse the prince to the man across the Channel.

Bonaparte? Yes.

If he had lived by your doctrine, he would still be an obscure leftenant of artillery.

Upon my honor, you're right. Damn if you're not.

Mr. Brummell, we must talk further.

Come with me.

A-a-h. Cold as an Eskimo's bottom.

Cold as a penguin's tail feathers.

Cold as, uh--

If you make any reference to Lady Clair, you're a cad, sir.

[chuckles] You're a mind reader, Mr. Brummell.

And a bit of a puzzle into the bargain.

You go about abusing me, tearing me to bits and yet today you've been most understanding.

Your position is a very difficult one, sir.

Yes. Do you know, Mr. Brummell that my own father hates me.

When I was a boy, every hour of the day was mapped out for me.

Tutors like drill sergeants.

Bishops lecturing me on morals and duties three times a day.

My allowance, half a crown, a month.

When I came of age, I moved out.

And from that day the king has hated me.

He hates the idea that one day I shall be king.

That day may not be so very far off, Mr. Brummell.

There is a persistent rumor that my father is out of his mind.

All the more reason to refuse to be ordered about, sir.

No way, Mr. Brummell, Parliament controls the purse strings.

Mr. Pitt controls Parliament. It is intolerable, sir.

Very degrading, sir.

I can't appeal to His Majesty.

No one's allowed to see him, not even me.

They're trying to keep his condition a secret.

Demand to see him.

Devilish little good that will do.

It would be most natural, sir.

A dutiful son's desire to see his father.

I'm sure people would sympathize.

I think Mr. Pitt might prefer to loosen the purse strings rather than have such a demand made public.

Mr. Brummell, you fascinate me.

When are you going to Germany, sir?

Well, you know, Mr. Brummell, I don't think it's going to be convenient for me to go to Germany.

No, no, I have a horse running at Newmarket on Saturday.



Give him the whip, Sam.

What a perfectly magnificent go, lead all the way.

He had to after the way Mr. Brummell spoke to him.

Oh, what a deucedly fine day it is, George. You brought me luck.

And I have won 400 pounds on your horse, sir.

He's a financial wizard.

You know, he even found a way for Pitt to increase my income.

Mr. Pitt must be quite impressed.

You must be careful, Mr. Brummell.

Why, I think we ought to go over to see Sam Chifney.

Thank you very much, congratulate him on his ride.

Care to stroll over to the rubbing house, my dear?

I wouldn't dream of inhibiting the gentlemen's conversation.

I'll sit here and sun myself.

Oh, Rafael, an orange for madam. Yes, sir.

A very fine race, Your Highness. Oh, thank you very much.

[indistinct chatter]

Well, that was a smashing win, was it not?

Escape had the wings of one of your poems.

But paid much better I fear. [laughs]

Oh, George, George, Mr. Brummell, this is Lord Byron.

Brummell, that name is familiar.

Oh, yes, he's been attacking me shamefully in the newspapers.

It's a very bad habit that he has now got out of.

Just as I've got out of powdering my hair.

Powdering is one of society's more ridiculous affectations.

His Royal Highness expressed himself most aptly on that subject only the other day. How was it you put it, sir?

I did? I don't recollect.

I think, sir, it was your opinion that a gentleman's only affectations should be a complete lack of affectation.

Did I say--oh, yes. Excellent, sir.

Congratulations on the victory, Your Royal Highness.

This is a memorable occasion.

Yes, I wouldn't have missed it for the world, Mr. Pitt.

Splendid run, sir.

Mr. Brummell. Very exciting day.

I'm glad the prince could afford to be here.

It's a bad time of year for Germany?

I'd be rather cautious about advising a prince.

Can be very damaging.

Very good of you to warn me, sir.

I hear that the next race would be a very close thing.

It was nice seeing you.

Delighted to see you again, Lady Patricia.

Good afternoon, Mr. Brummell.

I'm also delighted to see that you're not wearing earrings anymore.

The wind gives your ears all the color they need.

It's amazing how quickly one can change color.

Apparently you thought better of apologizing to the prince.

Ah, no apology was involved on either side.

But I'd like the opportunity of apologizing to you for our last meeting.

May I call on you one day?

That won't be necessary.

Ah, charmed, Lady Patricia. George, come on.

We'll be with you in a moment. Yes, darling.


Beautiful. Like a piece of sculpture, sir.

If you'll excuse me, sir, Mr. Silva's here with another harp.

He wants to talk-- Not at the moment, Mortimer.

Well, what do you think of it? It's exactly like your sketch, sir.

Exactly. Mr. Silva wants his money, sir.

I tried to brush him, sir, but he wouldn't brush.

I detect a slight imperfection in the right shoulder.

I don't see anything, sir.

A slight bump in the seam, Father.

Oh, we'll correct that in a jiffy.

Now, you take two jiffies.

Haste is the enemy of perfection.

Looks like a Chinese opium den.

Have you ever been in a Chinese opium den, Mr. Silva?

Come to think of it, I haven't. Well, perhaps, you should patronize one.

It might lend wings to your rather mundane taste.

Mr. Silva, I distinctly asked for a Baldore harp.

[strums harp] Listen to it.

Do you think His Royal Highness can play on that?

His Royal Highness?

I expected to bring the prince back here tonight after his birthday ball but it's quite impossible now, quite.

But I can change the harp within the hour, Mr. Brummell.

You already had considerably more than an hour to find the right instrument.

I promise you, I'll get it for you.

Step lively now! Didn't you hear what Mr. Brummell said?

That has to be got out of here. Oh, Mr. Silva.

Mortimer tells me that you wanted to talk to me.

Oh, it wasn't important. It can wait.

It's just the matter of the account, Mr. Brummell.

Oh, send it in, Mr. Silva. Send it in and I'll pay it at the end of the year when I settle all my accounts.

Very good, sir. Very good.

It's rather a nice tone.

End of the year, sir?

That's going to be a reckonin', isn't it?


We all of us have to face the great reckoning sometime, Mortimer.

The secret of life is to postpone it as long as possible.

[orchestral music]

Mr. George Bryan Brummell.

Upon my honor.

Your Royal Highness. Good evening, George.

Good evening, Madam. I'm delighted to see you here.

My Lords.

Mr. Pitt. Mr. Brummell.

Lady Patricia, you continue to ornament your sex.

With Your Royal Highness' permission, I will withhold my congratulations on your birthday since I feel that the congratulations should go to the nation.

To you, sir, I offer this miniscule token of my respect and affection.

Oh, that's good of you, George. It's very, very good of you.

Oh, it's beautiful.

[chiming "Jolly Good Fellow"]

I've been called great many things in my life, George.

But never a jolly good fellow.

You're a jolly good fellow too, damn me if you're not.

The mixture is my own, sir. Oh.

It's excellent!

It's a devilish fine idea of yours, George.

Those pantaloons, it's just the thing for these drafty rooms.

My tailor will be delighted that you approve, sir.

He had certain misgivings.

Chimney pipe trousers he called them.


Now, let's all have an absolutely splendid time.

It's my birthday, you know.

Care to dance, Maria, my love? I'd adore it, Prinny darling.

You will forgive us, Mr. Pitt.

I confess to a degree of surprise that Mr. Pitt is in attendance.

I fully expected him to be ill.

He's not ready to risk a breach with me.

He chose the lesser of two evils.

He said good evening to me.

Soon, it will be good evening, Your Royal Highness.

Until then I'll tolerate no disrespect towards you.

You cannot command people's thoughts, my dear.

With Your Lordship's permission will you honor me, Lady Patricia?

I'm afraid I can't, Mr. Brummell.

Oh, I'll defer to Mr. Brummell this time.

I'm sure he dances much better than I.

I don't know, but I dance much better than most people.

Milord, Byron. Good evening, Mr. Brummell.

Mr. Brummell is an extraordinary man.

I'm sure Mr. Brummell shares that opinion.

Obviously you don't.

I never form an opinion without all the evidence before me.

History will attend to that.

The bold currents that produce a Beau Brummell are flowing through the vitals of this country.

A whole new era is dawning.

An era of power looms and iron works.

A smoke-stained, industrious, robust era.

An era of chimney pipe trousers.

I'm delighted to see that you're wearing earrings tonight, Lady Patricia.

Oh, really?

At Newmarket, you were equally pleased that I wasn't wearing them.

Well, that just proved that you valued my opinion.

But tonight you knew that you'd see me so you wore earrings to indicate an indifference to me.

I suspect indifference is the thing you tolerate the least, Mr. Brummell.

You're quite right.

You could only be sure of those who either love or hate you.

Are there those that hate you?

Oh, yes. Mr. Pitt for one.

He seemed most gracious. He's an experienced hunter.

He'll put a net over me without disturbing the rest of the game.

I imagine it will take a fairly large net.

Of course, he'll have Lord Mercer to help him.

Why do you think Edwin is against you?

Many reasons, both... personal and political.


Yes, I've no doubt he's aware of the situation between you and me.

He's only aware that you kissed me once.

Apparently, you and Edwin have no secrets.

Not very romantic.

On the contrary.

Have tea with me tomorrow.


I'm engaged tomorrow with Edwin.

Bring him too.

I've no doubt he'll be interested in what I have to say to you.

I doubt that, Mr. Brummell.

I also think you've already said enough.

[trumpet blowing]

George, they're bringing my cake in. May I forget my diet tonight?

If you promise to remember tomorrow.


[marching band music]

Happy birthday, Prinny.

Your candles are bright, sir. They're lighting up all Europe.

I'm most grateful.

If Your Royal Highness will make a wish, we'll all blow out the candles. By all means.

I've made my wish, George.

One, two, three.


The address is 17 Chesterfield Street.

[slow music]

Lovely evening.

Loveliest evening of my life.

Maria was happy tonight. She was very happy.

You know, George I think Maria loves me.

No, don't get up.

No, that seat becomes you. Not really, sir.

My ancestors weren't as enterprising as yours.

Well, before I met you, I wasn't really enterprising either.

But you reminded me that I was a man so I became a prince.

Now, that I've begun to respect myself, there's some hope that others will do likewise.

I'm very grateful.

Do you really like me?

Very much, sir.

You may have your commission back, George.

You can go back to your regiment as a major, if you wish.

That's very good of you, sir, but I've decided that I was not cut out for military career.

I'm glad. Do you know why?

'Cause if you went back to the army it would mean that you'd have to leave me.

You're the only real friend I've ever had.

My motives could be selfish, sir.

I have a lot to gain from your friendship.

Hope you do gain a great deal.

I'll see to it that you do.

Well, George all my life I've been surrounded by selfish people.

You've proved your honesty.

As you had everything to lose by doing so.

You're my friend.

I hope I shall always be worthy of that friendship, sir.

I wish I could be assured of eternity.

Well, it's late.

We might both be better for some sleep, sir.

Your advice is invariably sound.

Very well, run along.

Goodnight, sir. Oh, goodnight, George.


We'll go a long way together, George.

[chiming "Jolly Good Fellow"]

[humming "Jolly Good Fellow"]

Which dressing gown, sir?

What color seats do we have tonight?

Forest green, sir. Well, then the russet robe.

Mr. Tupp was here tonight, sir, directly after Mr. Silva.

He wanted me to call those to your attention again, sir.

Bills for furniture, silver, everything.

Oh, the total's a crusher.

I mentioned that you've been occupied for the last few days with His Royal Highness, but it didn't impress him anymore.

He turned quite angry, sir.

Perhaps we should quit while we're to the good, sir.

Are we to the good?

Well, you've been lucky at the club and the races, sir.

There are a few things we might sell.

You've always wanted to go abroad, sir.

If we don't, we might wake up one day in a debtors' prison.

Ah, that's a risk we shall have to take.

I made rather a good thing of being the prince's friend.

I never realized until tonight he was my friend.

And that's a responsibility.

He needs me even more than I need him.

[bell ringing]

Odd time for anyone to come calling, sir.

Is Mr. Brummell in? He is, milady.

[door closes]

[slow music]

I was reconciled of spending the evening with only a vision of loveliness.

You're an angel of mercy, Lady Patricia.

I'm not an angel, Mr. Brummell.

I'm afraid I'm a rather brash and curious woman.

And a very frank one.

I considered making all sorts of excuses for coming here tonight but they all seemed silly and obvious.

Well, let's say that you came here to see my new house.

That would be true if I'd known it was so beautiful.

Let me show you.

Drawing room.

It's very stylish, but rather unpatriotic.

Well, if we had more French drawing rooms there might be fewer French wars.

You seldom quarrel with those you admire.

Seems to have worked that way in your war with the prince.

I detect a note of disapproval.

Yes. Why?

When you attacked the prince, you were reckless and imprudent.

But you were right.

Now, you've changed your principles as easily as you change your waistcoat.

I admire your dexterity but I don't approve of your morality.

My principles are the same.

It's the prince that's changed.

Give him a chance and he'll make a most enlightened and liberal king.

The music room.

I hope the prince won't disappoint you, Mr. Brummell.

He's as capricious as the weather vane.

Strong wind will keep him steady.


Strong wind usually ends in a storm, in disaster.

Have you ever been to sea in a hurricane?

It's magnificent.

The heavens open up.

The waves are like running cliffs.

Thousand maniacs are screaming.

You have every chance of drowning.

But if you ride it through, you're the lord of the world.

You'll never find that mousing around in a quiet bay.

You are a gambler, Mr. Brummell.

It's not a very substantial career.

No, but it passes for one if you don't have any money or position.

I should have known better than try to influence you.

I tried once before. I'm deeply complimented.

Most women don't try to change a man until after they're married.

Let me show you the rest of the home.

The bedroom is there. Would you care to see it?

I'm not a gambler. [laughs]

Every breath you take is a gamble.

The truly deluded are those who think there is security anywhere.

This is my contemplation room.

In here I mull things over.

Ideas, thoughts, dreams.

I contemplate life, human frailties... and my own shortcomings.

You admit them?

But only in here.

You'll notice that the room is like me incomplete.

I use that to stir the embers of memory.

It hurt you terribly to lose your commission, didn't it?

I admit to a certain twinge but only in this room.

I like this room the best.

It's complete with you in it.

Stay in it, please.

I must go. Please stay.

We suit each other.

And we want each other.

Think of the story you could tell our grandchildren.

How you came to my house one night and never left.

I believe you mean what you say.

I would never abuse this room with an untruth.

Nor will I.

I can't deny the feeling that drew me here this evening.

It was not just curiosity.

And I'm not sorry that I came.

It's given me the strength to put you out of my thoughts and I will.

I don't want to live in a hurricane I want a secure, quiet bay.

I could never be happy knowing you're heading for disaster.

I'm making no plans for disaster.

No gambler ever does.

[music swells]

[closes closes]

Mortimer. sir?

When the lady arrived, did you take careful note of her eyes?

One could not avoid it, sir.

Quite. What color would you say they were?

Violet, sir. Indubitably violet.

At night, yes, but in the day time a deep blue.

I must have the contemplation room done over in that exact shade.

I expect she'll be in it a great deal.

Will she, sir?


I'm gonna marry her, you know.

It's a sparkling day. It's absolutely beautiful.

Crocuses are out in cue, sir.

[giggling] You don't say so.

♪ Sweet lass of Richmond Hill ♪ So many beautiful women about and life's too short to get around to them all.

Don't you find that sad, Edwin?

I find it very difficult to be sad about anything, sir.

My bachelor days are numbered. Oh, to be married?

I am, sir. Lady Patricia Belham.

[Prince] Oh! Lucky dog Edwin.

Congratulations, all that kind of things.

Splendid, isn't it, uh, George?

Stop the carriage.

Dance, dance.

Darn, guv'nor, what's the idea?

I think they'd dance better if you showed them how.

Now, supposing you dance for a bit.


Your Royal Highness is celebrated for his love of animals.

I'd like you to accept these little chaps.

That's very nice of you, uh, I think they ought to have a bath.

How much for them? Very dear to me they are, sir.

My bread and butter, bless their little hearts.

You know, I seem to have come away without my purse.

Oh, Edwin, pay for them, will you?

I think you ought to keep that one, George.

That's very nice of you, sir.

Droll little fellas. What do you intend to call yours?

The way his ribs stick out, I think Bonaparte might be a good idea, don't you?


Bone apart! Oh! Very good.

I shall call mine Napoleon.

No, on second thoughts it'll have to be Josephine.

My Lord, you must excuse me for interrupting your happy news.

But I don't like to see animals mistreated.

I understand perfectly.

We ought to celebrate Edwin's good fortune.

Go to Brux's. Open a bottle.

With Your Royal Highness' permission I'd rather not mention it at the club.

Patricia wishes the announcement to be made this weekend.

Oh, well, a hunt will be an ideal opportunity.

What are you wearing, George? I haven't been invited, sir.

Didn't you go through the list that was sent me?

Oh, don't worry, sir. I've arranged to go on a picnic with Duchess of York.

Well, I'll come with you.

That is unless Lady Patricia revises her guest list.

I'm sure she'll be glad to have Mr. Brummell, sir.

Ah, St. Clair.

I have a new member I wish to propose to this club.

Mr. George Bryan Brummell.

With your gracious permission, may I remind Your Royal Highness of the club rule requiring three signatories to propose new members.

Yes, I know, I know. Well, look here, Lord Edwin Mercer here will sign once and I shall sign twice.

Once as the Duke of Cornwall, once as the Prince of Wales.

Gentlemen, if you please, His Royal Highness.

Good morning, gentlemen. Please go on with your playing.

St. Clair, I want a bottle of champagne, please, the best.

It's a rather special occasion.

And I'd like some food for these little monsters.

Now, what have you, uh, that's really good?

The Golden Tubbard is excellent.

Yes, well, we'll have a couple of bowls of that, won't we?

Good day, Mr. Brummell. Delighted to see you.

Very good of you to say so. Let me present you to the members.

May I present Mr. George Brummell.

Lord Alvanley, you know Lord Byron, Lord Mindon.

I don't wish to meet Mr. Brummell.

Mr. Pitt, surely you're not serious in wishing to put him up here?

Oh, I'm putting him up. Your Royal Highness.

You seem to object to Mr. Brummell, milord?

I meant no offence to you, sir.

But surely Your Royal Highness is aware that Mr. Brummell's grandfather was a valet.

He was a very good valet.

I doubt if your grandfather was as usefully employed Lord Mindon.

The presence of His Royal Highness prevents my demanding satisfaction from you now, sir.

I hope you don't intend to challenge me, milord.

I detest giving up so early in the morning.

Sir, the food for Your Royal Highness' dog.

Oh, yes, put it down there, will you?

Josephine's absolutely famished. I wonder Bonaparte is also.

Just a moment, Mr. Brummell.

I'll wager 300 pounds if His Royal Highness' dog finishes his dinner before Mr. Brummell's.

Done. I'll take a piece of that.

Very well. One, two, three.

[men clamoring]

I've been planning to call on you soon, Mr. Brummell to discuss your future.

Oh, I'm very flattered, Mr. Pitt, that one responsible for an empire's presence should concern himself with my future?

I was wondering where your very obvious talents might take you.

If you're ever interested in standing for Parliament, I might be of help you.

I'll give it some thought.

Do. Many advantages, you know. Legal immunity for example.

An M.P. cannot be prosecuted for debt.

Well, luckily my credit is excellent.

Credit fluctuates, but a seat in the house is for a definite term and it leads to definite rewards.

If one is loyal to the party. Naturally.

I'm afraid that party loyalties might conflict with my personal loyalties.

Your loyalty to the prince is commendable, but it might be kinder to advise him to break off with a certain charming widow.

You see, he'll never marry without the king's consent.

It would be contrary to the Royal Marriage Act.

Then the Act should be changed.

No man should be forced to make love according to an act of Parliament.

With the welfare of the nation in mind, Mr. Brummell what do you suggest?

A new government.

One capable of negotiating outside the bedroom.

[clamoring continues]

George, your little beast just swallowed a fortune.

You attached yourself to the right dog, Mr. Brummell.

Oh, I couldn't resist him, sir.

Little chap was getting so frightfully knocked about.

These were the thinnest, the most cranky little beasts you ever saw.

French dogs. Now, bones sticking out and George Brummell came in.

He said, "Do you know what he's called?

He's called Bonaparte."

I found it rather funny. Bone apart, you see.


Ah! Hello, George.

Good morning, Your Royal Highness.


Good morning, Mr. Brummell. I'm so glad you could come.

Nothing could have kept me away.

Mr. Brummell, come and sit here, next to Patricia.

I finished my breakfast.

No, you stay where you are. George, come here and sit by me.

What a charming idea. A coat to match yours. Does he hunt?

No, but he dances beautifully. Good morning, Mrs. Fitzherbert.

Good morning. Where is Josephine, sir?

In a delicate condition.

Dr. Warren found out just as we were leaving.

Splendid! Congratulations, Napoleon.

Mr. Brummell, you designed a red hunting coat because it's easier to see.

But easier for whom?

The fox or the hunter? For my valet, sir.

He has difficulty getting his eyes open early in the morning.

Mr. Brummell, I'll get your breakfast. What would you like?

I'm sure you'll make the proper choice.

Rely on it, Mr. Brummell, her judgment is excellent.

You may be proud of me, George. I've had nothing but coffee.

Perfect agony. Upon my honor.

Well, with a long ride ahead of you, sir I think it's permissible to relax on the diet.

May I select something for you? I wish you would.

I feel faint.

You can't run away from yourself, it's foolish to try.

Bacon, Mr. Brummell?

Think you can hide behind a marriage announcement?

Would have been kinder of you not to come.

Love isn't necessarily a kind emotion.

Quite sure that your feelings for Edwin are very warm at the moment, but how will you end up?

And how do you think we would have ended up?

You're still prophesying disaster for me?

[Prince] I say, George, do hurry. I'm absolutely famished.

Ah! Good of you, George. There.

He's been absolutely ruthless with me.

You deserve credit. Dieting is one of the more difficult arts.

Difficult? Repulsive.


By George, if it isn't George. [chuckles]

By George, you've shown character.


Oh, George, I feel a speech coming on.

Put some jumping powder into this, will you.

I want to propose a toast.

Hurry up, thank you.

My dear friends, it's no secret, but I've got a great many debts.


But this morning I want to talk about one particular debt which I owed one particular friend, George Brummell.

It's a rare thing in life when a man meets another man whom he can trust up to the hilt.

It's even rare for a prince to meet such a man.

And I count it one of the most fortunate events of my life that I have, that I have found such a man in George Brummell.


Now, George, as a token of my very deep affection for you.

I wish you to accept this gift.

As you see it is not yet inscribed.

But when I've the power I shall direct you to engrave an Earl's coronet on it.


The implacable and immutable laws of nations and of nature have decreed that one day I shall be king.

Well, I hope I shall be a wise king.

And I, I think I may be.

If I have wise friends like George Brummell about me.

[all] Aye.


George Brummell.

[all] George Brummell.

Your Royal Highness, I'm deeply grateful.

As my prince I salute you.

As my friend I embrace you.

As my future sovereign I thank you for the Earldom you promise to bestow on me.

For sincere and unselfish reasons, I've always wished His Royal Highness good health.

Now, with an Earldom at stake, I have equally sincere but very selfish reasons for wishing.


I trust that His Royal Highness will take very great care of himself.

If no disaster befalls him no disaster will befall any of us.

I give you His Royal Highness's health.

[all] To Royal Highness.

Your Royal Highness, ladies and gentlemen, I hope my father will forgive me.

He was going to make this announcement tonight.

But I think that now is the ideal time to tell you of my forthcoming marriage to Lord Edwin Mercer.


Edwin and I share Mr. Brummell's wish for an untroubled future.

We plan to stay in a happy and secure bay.

And avoid the storms of life.


Then I suggest we drink to future happiness and security.

Patricia and Edwin. [all] Patricia and Edwin.

Ladies and gentlemen.

I suggest that with His Royal Highness' approval that we be mounted and get on our way.

By all means.

Oh, this is wonderful.

[indistinct chatter]

...Patricia, I know you'll be happy.

Is it any different now?

Is your heart quite still?

About three times over and never occurred again.


Well, my dear, shall we, shall we away?

Prinny dear.

This seems to be the hour for making announcements.

I was thinking I might make a short trip.

Where to?

I was thinking, perhaps, Italy.

I think I understand my dear, it's just that everybody else is happy and you're not, but you will be.

I pledge it, there's no need to go away.

Don't let's be children, Prinny.

We may be together a few months or a few years if we're lucky, but it can end in only one way.

Now, don't talk of separation, I won't allow it.

I'm sorry.

Shall we go?

We'll pretend the fox is Mr. Pitt.

It's a losing battle, Patricia, it has been ever since that day at Brighton when you first saw him.

Please, Edwin, I need help.

You want him, don't you?

Haven't you ever wanted something you knew was wrong?

Even though it would hurt you?

Once when I was a small boy a large spiced cake.

Did you try? Of course.

It made me frightfully ill.

[dogs barking]

[hunting calls]



Is Mr. Pitt, alright? Let's get him.

[orchestral music]

[music continues]

Please, let me alone.

[music continues]

[music continues]

[music continues]

A thorn, sir. But she'll be alright.

When you've got it out, soak the leg in brine.

Very good, sir.

Good day's work, Edwin, very good.

Jayka took it into her head to run.

Looks like you had an argument with a tree, Mr. Brummell Nasty-looking bruise you got there.

I hope it blends with the color of my coat.

We'll wait what is known as a decent interval and then you can jilt me.

[soft music]

[knock on the door]

[Edwin] Come in.

Will you send these back to Mr. Brummell?

Please, Edwin, you've got to believe what I tell you.

It's over.

I promise I'll never see him again.

I wish to see Mr. Brummell. He's not receiving anyone today, sir.

Good morning, Mr. Tupp, is there anything I can do for you?

There is indeed, you may inform Mr. Brummell that I want

10,000 pounds on account immediately.

I will put up with no more evasions or excuse--

Your Royal Highness. Never mind about it.

Summon Mr. Brummell, quickly.

Good morning, Your Royal Highness.

George, I must talk to you.

I'm absolutely distraught, George, the most awful thing.

I've been up since dawn walking in the park.

You look quite done in, sir. Would you like some breakfast?

No. Brandy, George.

Mortimer, some brandy. Come with me.

She's leaving me George.

Maria is going.

I don't want to live without her.

I won't live without--

I'm sorry George, I know it's not very manly of me.

Silly of me to have come.

You're the only friend I've got.

I had to. Come and sit down.

Don't talk if you don't feel like it, just rest.

These came for you early on, sir.

Thank you.

Maria is going to Italy to live.

I can't say I'd blame her really.

People whispering about her, slandering her.

They said this would ruin my life, but I've told her again and again everything's going to be different when I'm king.

Just can't wait that long poor, dear.

I understand completely, sir.

Not only because of my affection for you.

But because I'm in the same position.

Oh, you're in love?


I knew it. I sensed something.

What about Edwin?

Well, it seems that he represents the solid, respectable present and I am the uncertain, dangerous future.

The female yearns for snug harbors.

It's rather fundamental.

It's very difficult to fight.

What will you do?

I'm not certain, sir.

I'm only certain of what's in my heart and hers.

I don't intend to let her go.

I know what I'm gonna do, I'm going to give up the throne.

Let Freddie have it.

What use is the throne without the one you love?

I'll end up as mad as my father.

You won't solve anything by getting slobbering drunk.

George, I won't allow you to speak to me like that.

I've never spoken anything but the truth to you.

And I intend to speak it now.

There is a way for you to keep the throne and the woman you love if you're man enough to take it.

What is it?

The king's insanity has been kept hidden.

Not from any delicacy, not from any sense of decency but because Mr. Pitt maintains the fiction that there is a king and thereby maintains himself in power.

Certify your father insane and declare yourself Regent.

You'll then exercise all the powers of king including that of marrying whom you please.

How could I?

Take Dr. Warren to Windsor.

Ask him to certify your father's incapacity.

Dr. Warren's my doctor-- Then take several doctors!

I'm not asking you to lie, just to tell the truth.

But it will kill my father.

Your father won't be aware of what's happening.

That's true, he talks to trees, mixes paint with his feet.

This man rules an empire? Oh, Pitt rules.

Only because you allow it. And if you continue to allow it, you'll never rule and you'll never be fit to rule.

You'll come with me George, won't you?

You won't leave me alone for a moment?

[pipe organ music]

His Majesty was here. I distinctly heard music.

Possibly he's retired.

It might be better if Your Royal Highness would see him in the morning.

I will see His Majesty now. His Majesty is still quite frail.

To confront him without warning might be damaging.

Sir Geoffrey, is it so very unusual for a son to be concerned about the condition of his father?

Perhaps in the circumstances I should wake the queen.

Now I must ask my mother's permission to see my father?

You forget who you're addressing.

I beg your Royal Highness' pardon.

Restrain your effrontery till England is governed by bone-setters and blood-letters.

[dramatic music]

Your Majesty.

Sire, his Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales and several other gentlemen are here.

Take a note to them.

Sire, I have neither paper nor pen.

Remember it.

Write it on your heart.

Book of Psalms.

Psalm 146, verse 3:

"Put not your trust in princes."

[intense music]

You can inform sir Geoffrey, that I've gone to my bed.

He mustn't pout. Affairs of state, you know.

Sire, his Royal Highness, the prince of Wales requests an audience.

There's no prince of Wales. all London is under water and he's drowned, Now women can be honest again.

Sire, the prince is here.

You certain?

He's my son, you know?

He was such a pretty little boy.

Will you see him in your apartment, sire?

Nowhere near.

The morning room?

Oh, let me see... where should a king see a prince?

Oh yes. Of course... the throne room.

I'm going mad. I wish to God that I might die.

Our Father, rejoice in heaven.

Take away this malignancy from my brain and make me well again.

Grant this one boon and I'll ask no more.

Allow me to see his golden head once again.

And take his little hand in mine.

Then I may die, dear God.

And ask nothing more.

Oh, I can't go in.

It'll be over in a moment.

I can't George, a man's part of his father.

If I degrade him, I degrade myself.

Very well, wait here.

[knocks on door]


These gentlemen are aware that you have been ill and will not presume upon Your Majesty for long.

Mr. Brummell.

Doctor Willis, Doctor Warren.

Your Majesty, we are here at the insistence of his Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales to reassure ourselves as to Your Majesty's condition.

I'm well.

His Royal Highness will be pleased to learn of Your Majesty's recovery.

Will he? He's been concerned, sire.

And busy with his own affairs, no doubt.

He's made adultery fashionable, you know?

Always did burn the midnight oil but never over books.

Slander has reached Your Majesty's ears.

It has indeed, ocean waves of it.

A man could be blessed or cursed by the sons he bears.

I've had 9 sons and been blessed once.

Fredrick is a good son.

Gentlemen, we must not tire His Majesty any further.

I trust that Dr. Warren and Dr. Willis are reassured by His Majesty's good health.

His Majesty's appearance is such, that I'm quite sure his Royal Highness would wish to see it.

Your Royal Highness need have no further worry about upsetting His Majesty.

Your Royal Highness's concern about the future appears to be groundless.

Your Majesty.

Your Majesty, you must believe me, when I say how very happy I am, to see him so recovered.

This is not my son.

Fredrick is my son!

Your Majesty, this is His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales your son, your heir, the future king.

He shan't be, you wish me dead.

You want to kill me? No.

But you're going to die first.


Fredrick, Fredrick, Fredrick!

[King screaming]

[Prince singing]

Oh, splendid! [laughs]

That--that was a joy to listen to, was it not?

Very lively. Yes, it was.

Parliament must have voted on my regency by now.

I wonder what's keeping Mr. Pitt?

My first official act as Regent will be to award Mr. Willy Pitt, the order of the boot.


Your Royal Highness' touch has improved.

You have the hands of a musician.

Yes, they're wonderful, are they not?

It's the first thing Maria noticed about me.

She cannot abide men with ugly hands.

She loved mine.

Blessed little minx, the excitement's quite done her in.

She's so nervous, she won't leave home.

But, of course, she'll have to on Friday night.

Ah, yes, the gentleman at Brooks is organizing a gala to celebrate my Regency.

Will you be bringing Patricia, Edwin?

I should be honored, sire.

Haven't seen her in quite a while.

She's been in the country, a little indisposed.

Nothing serious, I hope.

I'm sure, there'll be no further complications.

Your Royal Highness, Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Burke are here, sir.

Send them in.

Your Royal Highness. Good afternoon, sir.

Because of the gravity of this matter, I've asked Mr. Fox and Mr. Burke to accompany me as representatives of the opposition.

Remnants of opposition, sir. We have been crushed.

The sentiment of the Commons was overwhelmingly against an unlimited regency, sir.

They insist upon restricting you, sir.

Our arguments were quite in vain.

The house was adamant.

Mr. Pitt was adamant.

So you wish to tie my hands, Mr. Pitt?

The house feels that the Regent should not have the power to grant peerages or pensions.

After all, the king might recover... and not approve of some of the honors granted.

Does the house feel that I'm to be trusted with anything at all?

The house proposes no further limitations, sir.

In all fairness, sir apart from the matters mentioned your power would be unimpaired.

For instance, as Regent you would administer the Royal Marriage Act.

You're certain? Is that clear?

If you accept any limitations you accept the principle of limitations and you no longer rule except at the pleasure of Parliament.

Yes, that's true. I won't be a puppet!

You see, it isn't really a question of the terms of a Regency.

It's a question of who rules.

You or...Mr. Pitt? You're right, George.

Mr. Brummel is in error, sir. It is a question of whether your Royal Highness or Parliament rules.

[Prince] Don't quibble, sir.

You are Parliament, and I decline to become your creature.

Go back to your Commons.

Tell them we dissolve Parliament.

We'll allow the nation to decide this issue.

I will deliver your message, sir... when the House sits again.

Isn't it sitting now?

Mr. Pitt, made a motion for the House to recess for a few days.

Naturally, it carried.

Why should the House recess before this question's been settled?

Your Royal Highness will be happy to learn that His Majesty is much improved.

He's to be examined again, by a medical commission.

Till then, I think it'll be better to postpone this unfortunate debate.

Get out, all of you!

Get out! [indistinct chatter]

I regret this conflict between us. And I'm sure it wouldn't have come to this if you hadn't been so poorly advised.

Get out! Your Royal Highness.

[hoarsely] Get out!

Mr. Pitt has tricked me.

He's gonna have my father declared sane.

Oh, what shall I tell Maria?

She must be told that-- that everything is going to be alright.

And it will be alright.

Even if my father recovers, I shall marry her.

Law or no law, I shall marry--

I shall marry her secretly and you must go and tell her, she believes you.

I'll never carry a message so unworthy of the future King of England.

Would you give up a woman you love simply to sit on a throne?

If she really loves you, she won't let you do anything else.

I can't give her up. No use.

I shall accept to the regency with the limitation.

Pitt was right. You advised me badly, George.

All this talk about fighting for principles.

Standing up to Pitt. Being a man and a leader.

It's you who are lacking in principles.

You're like everybody else, thinking only of yourself.

Your only interest is to be an Earl?

Your Royal Highness seems to forget that it was your suggestion.

You want me to have full power so that I grant you position, income, turn a poverty-stricken ex-officer into a gentleman of property.

It seems you're going to inherit more than just a crown from your father.

You're raving like a lunatic.

How dare you?

How dare you say that?

Retract that, George.

If you do not, our friendship's at an end.

Do I have your Royal Highness' permission to withdraw?

You have.

Lord Byron to see you, sir.

My dear Gordy, come in.

That was precisely my intention.

It's beastly, out.

That's why I'm in. [chuckles]

You've repainted this room.

It's a very interesting shade of blue.


We've missed you at the Hazard Table. You were having quite a run of luck.

It ran out.

They're saying at the club that the king is recovered.

Their medical commission reported to the Privy Council today.

They'll announce it publicly tomorrow.

I didn't have any doubt about it.

You didn't?

Not about the commission's report.

We're going ahead with the gala at Brooks.

Perk up the Prince, you know?

You're coming, I suppose?

Is there any reason to suppose I wouldn't?

I've seen the Prince.

Oh. He sent for me.

He didn't tell me why you'd quarreled, but he did say that he regrets it.

Well, as his powers of speech seem to be unimpaired why didn't he tell me so himself?

After all, he is the Prince of Wales.

I've never allowed that to stand in the way of my friendship for him.

The trouble with most men of superior intellect is their pride.

And a proud man can be just as foolish as a fool.


You should know better, than to try and reason with a fool.

Very good, these.

And difficult to come by what with high prices and the French blockade.

I'll send you some.

I'll see you at the gala, my dear friend.

I'll be there.

[ballroom music]

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.

George is here.

So I see.

Good evening.

I see you're having trouble bending your back, George.

Well, this waist coat is infernally tight.

I'll have to speak to my tailor about it.

You didn't tell me Mr. Brummell would be here tonight.

Good evening, Lady Patricia.

Patricia, Edwin, how nice to see you again.

I wanted you to see him. I was afraid you might wish to avoid him.

But it's over, Edwin.

He tried to see me and I refused.

I returned his letters unopened.

Even if I'd known he'd be here tonight I... still would have come.

See, there's something devilish out of foot with the Prince and Brummell?

Yes, I hear they quarreled.

Then what's Brummell doing here?

Well, he had to come here.

Or let it be known among his creditors.

Mama, may I present Lord Byron, Mr. Brummell?

My mother, the Countess of Montelier I've heard so much about you, Mr. Brummell.

Not a word of truth in it, madam.

Mr. Brummell, Mama and I would be charmed if you would take tea with us one day.

My dear young lady, one takes a journey, or one takes medicine but one drinks tea.

What's the use of it, William?

Someone has to make the first move.

It'll not be me, madam.

At least you might meet him halfway.

The blame was all his, not just half.

Still, we should pay our respects to Mrs. Fitzherbert.

Good evening, Mrs. Fitzherbert.

Your Royal Highness. Evening, Gordan.

Mrs. Fitzherbert, no matter how brilliant an occasion it's made more brilliant by your presence.

We're, all of us, in your debt for brightening our lives.

One thing one can always be sure of, Mr. Brummell, is your graciousness.

[chiming "Jolly Good Fellow"]

There's more promising news out of the continent, tonight.


I hadn't heard, sir.

Yeah, peace with the French.

Almost certainly, they're at Amie, discussing the details.

And that is promising, sir. Hm.

But do you think there can be any permanent peace with Napoleon?

Possibly not.

Still...certainly worth trying.

Well, at least, it will give us all a chance to stock some French wine.

If there's the slightest chance of a reconciliation I think we should try it.

I suppose, we must, my dear.

Even if we have to deal with impoverished upstarts.

Too stupid to know what's good for them.

Gordy, who's your fat friend?

[ballroom music]

Shall we dance, Maria?

George, you can't let it end like this.

I never wish to hear his name again.

A leper is loose in the streets.

Hadn't you better dance, Gordan?

One of the nice things about being a cripple is not having to dance.

One of the nice things about this world, Gordy is your presence in it.

[music continues]

[crowd arguing]

[door shuts, shouting fades] must tell Ainley not to shout so.

A man of breeding is quiet with everything whether it be an insult or a spoon.

They'll be back soon enough, Sir. With writs and bailiffs.

Perhaps you could talk to them, sir.

Promise to pay soon.

Then we can get back to cheap side and dig in.

The game is cold, Mortimer.

Always walk away from a cold game.

Well, I failed to create a king.

But I did teach society to wash it's hair and wear clean linen.

I'm not at all sure which is the most important.

What are we going to do, sir?

Open a new deck.

I shall go to France.

I may decide to make Bonaparte the fashion.

[dog barks]

No, not you. Your namesake.

[knock on door]

Come in.

Sir, there's a lady to see you, sir.

Lady Patricia Belham.

Thank you.

I'm glad she came, sir. I knew she would.

Might have been better if she hadn't.

Oh, my darling.

I was wrong about everyone. Wrong even about myself.

But never about you.

You know me even better than I did.

I'll never leave you again.

Well, I wish it could be like that but I'll very possibly be in debtor's prison before the day is out.

I'd loathe being married in a debtor's prison.

I shall refuse to let them take you.

A wealthy wife to gratify my old age with small attentions and large loans.

Not small attentions, my love, great big ones., you'd despise me if I became a lap-dog.

And I'd despise myself. I could never despise you.

I thought I did once, but I was so wrong.

You were right!

I'll always be a gambler.

There'll always be disasters.

And I don't intend you to share them, so... you stay with Edwin.

Stay safe and secure.

Oh, my dear, what's the good of all these words and arguments and logic?

I know, I tried them.

I convinced myself, but I wasn't convinced.

What do they mean?

Love is none of these things.

You do love me, don't you?

Don't you?

Tell me in this room that you don't love me, I'll believe you.

No, I'll never tell you that.

But you were there last night. You saw what happened.

Possibly, I was a fool.

And I can't stay in this-- in this country anymore.

So, I'm going away.

I must.

Take me with you, please.

I must be alone for a time.

Where will you go?

I don't know.

You'll be back soon?


[pleasant music]

I'll wait.

I won't be alive until you're with me again.

I'll always be with you.

Goodbye... for a little while.

[dramatic music]

Mortimer, start packing, I wanna be gone within the hour.

Is Lady Patricia accompanying you, sir?

No, she's decided not to, and you won't either, if you know what's good for you.

I do, sir.

By the way, have we any money?

14 shillings, sir. 14 shillings.

Well, this didn't take us to the House of Lords.

But...perhaps, it'll take us as far as Callais.'re going home.

[organ music]

[marching band music]

[ambient music]

[male #5] Lord Edwin Mercer.

Oh, Edwin, I'm glad to see you.

You're fit, I trust. Very fit, sir.

And Patricia? She's very well.

Your Majesty is most thoughtful.

No, no, she's a lovely girl, your wife, very lovely.

We see too little of her these days.

That's what life's like.

Time passes and one sees the least of those who matter most.

Oh Edwin, my ministers have suggested that it might be in the public interest for me to visit the continent.

Does that strike you as wise?

Might be a good idea, sir, yes.

Yes...very well.

Well, just wanted to know what you thought of it.


Edwin, there is one other matter.

Yes, sir?

Uh, I've had some rather disturbing news.

The chap...George Brummell, well, Gordy tells me that he is in a rather desperate condition, he's ill.

A bit of a financial fix. Won't accept any help.

I wish there was something that we could do... discreetly.

Oh, dear me, we can't just let the fellow starve, can we?

I'll attend to it, Your Majesty.

Yes, right.

[speaking French]

It is not necessary to creep in, monsieur.

I didn't wish to disturb the house.

Don't worry about your rent.

You'll receive it, presently.

Mr. Brummell is this moment engaged in consummating an important business transaction.

I wish him good fortune.

But if it is not to be, Mr. Brummell will still be welcome.

Thank you, ma'am.

Is Mr. Brummell feeling any better, today?

A bit better, I think.

I'm going to make some onion soup.

I will bring some up to him.

You're very kind.

[speaking French]

I'll have a cup of tea for you, in a minute, sir.

Grand, Mr. Brummell. Grand!

Well, I'm--I'm glad you approve, Mr. Mclver.

Approve? [chuckles]

In all my days, as a publisher I've never read anything, I was more certain of.

You'll make at least 20,000 pounds out of it.

I think, we'll call it, uh, simply, uh, Memoirs.

Uh, Memoirs of George Bryan Brummell.

It'll sell better. Amazing!

Uh, that night at Windsor, with the old king.

The prince with his light of love, Mrs. Fitzherbert.

Oh-ho, very spicy! Very spicy!

We'll open the lid there, you may be sure. Tell the public.

Mr. Mclver, I do not want this presented as an anthology of scandal.

This is the history of an era.

Of a social revolution.

Of a, of a crisis in the philosophy of Parliament versus the divine rights of kings.

Oh, very good, very good!

But there's a great deal more comes through.

Your book peeps into the bedroom.

It tickles the skeletons in the royal closets.

That's what'll interest the public.

Apparently, a man can get so close to his work that he doesn't see it at all.

I had no intention of making public what you've just made me see.

I'm not going to publish it.

You're pulling my leg, to be sure.

Can you afford such expensive gallantry to protect His Majesty?

His Majesty was my friend.

So was Mrs. Fitzherbert.

Wherever she is, whatever she's doing her pain must be terrible.

I don't intend to add to it.

Oh, come, Mr. Brummell.

You've got to be reasonable.

You're sick, you're very sick.

It's just, it's just a cold, Mr. Mclver.

In my last trip to Paris, they put me in a carriage with a damp stranger.

It's no slight cold.

I know what you've got, if you don't.

You need a warm climate, proper food, a good doctor.

You need money, Mr. Brummell, immediately, before it's too late.

Don't be melodramatic, Mclver.

Very well.

I'll be business-like, Mr. Brummell.

I advanced you several hundred pounds. Can you return it?

I've made an agreement with you. Can you deny it?

I intend to publish this.

No, no, no!

It's my life, Mr. Mclver, not yours. Let it burn.

You've just committed a felony, Mr. Brummell.

I'll make it up to you, Mclver.

I've just written a poem, which you can publish.

It's called "The Butterfly's Funeral."

It's very spicy.


[door slams shut]

Well, it's the first time the room has been warm for a week, Mortimer.


Let me get Dr. Dubois, sir?

No, no, that--that would be the end of me.

That very sore man who missed his calling in life, was the doctor.

No, I'll just, uh, I'll just sit down here for a bit.

Hand me the newspaper.

Thank you.

The king is coming to Calais, sir.

On his tour of Europe.


If His Majesty should try and get in touch with me, Mortimer, you may say that I'm out of town.

Yes, sir.


Mortimer, perhaps you had better get the doctor.

Yes, sir.


[Instrumental British national anthem, "God Save the King"]

[crowd cheering]


Sir, the doctor told you not to get out of bed.

I--I just stepped out to get some writing paper.

But this crowd here--

Please, sir.

Your most gracious Majesty.

It's not only in the name of the people of Calais but in the name of the people of all France that I greet you and say that it is a great moment of history.

[marching band music]

You happen to know whether...

George Brummell still lives here?

I don't, sir.

Do you wish me to make inquiries?

No. I'm quite sure that he doesn't wish to see me.

He's rejected all help.

Perhaps, sir, if you saw him.. that would make a difference.

There'll be no point to it, my dear.

He always was a proud man. Too proud.

Man of great convictions, but... very reckless.

Tell him to drive on, would you, Edwin?

I expect it to be a devilish long speech at the City Hall.

And this is their king?

Fat English pig!

How dare you, you scum?

Now, what's that?

Just a street brawl, sir.

[crowd cheering]

[breathing heavily]



Mr. George Brummell, please?

Now, these are Mr. Brummell's rooms, are they not?

Yes, sir. Thank you.

Sire, this is the place.

Mr. Brummell here?

He's--he's very ill, sir.

I must see him.

Your Majesty.

I beg your pardon.

Mr. Brummell's condition is extremely grave.

There is little hope.

Surely, there must be something we can do.

We'll get another opinion, another doctor.

Whatever Your Majesty wishes, of course.

But regardless of what any doctor does, I am sure that the case will be in higher and more capable hands, before morning.

[ambient music]

[breathing heavily]

Your Majesty-- No, no, no.

Your Majesty.

I heard Your Majesty was coming to the continent.

It was thoughtful of you to pay me a visit.

I was afraid you might not want to see me, George.

But then, suddenly, I knew better.

And so, I made a very short speech at the city hall.

How well you look, sir.

Well, I've put on a bit of weight.

Haven't been very faithful to your diet chart.

Becomes you.

A king should look rather substantial.

We'll have you well in no time, George.

It's that, I'm just tired.

I've been working.


Never did take very kindly to work.

It's your birthday soon.

Well, then you must give me a party, George.

There's no one who does it as well as you do.

And London's become deadly dull in your absence.

It's time you went home.

Oh, one bit of fun.

I've, uh, I've got a new horse.

Much faster than Escape.


How--how is Gordy?

Gordy, oh, getting about.

As usual.

And Mr. Pitt?

More like an old woman every day.

Past bearing.


Past bearings.

Very witty, sir. Very.

It's good of you to say so.

Patricia, Edwin.

Are they happy?

Is everything well?

Only so well.

How lovely she is!

I thought, she looked more beautiful than ever, today.

Standing there in the wind.

Oh, yes, she's really lovely.

I must talk to your tailor, sir.

That uniform does not do your shoulders credit.

I told you, you should come home soon.

Oh, George!

It's so good to see you again, George.

We never stopped being friends.

Not really.

[George gasping]

I--I think we both... might be better with some rest.

If you don't mind, sir.

Yes, well, it was nice...

...sitting here beside you.

Goodbye, Your Majesty.

We'll see each other soon.

[chiming "Jolly Good Fellow"]


Most people will count him a failure.

And yet you's not how a man ends up.

What matters is, it's how he's affected the hearts and souls of those around him.

It's the measure.

On my word, it is.

Let me know.

I will, Sire.

Goodbye, Mortimer.

[ambient music]

He made it possible for me... to live gracefully.

Now, he's made it possible for me to get through this... awkward business.

But sir! You'll be up in-- No, Mortimer.

We've never deceived each other.

And now...

I really must try to catch some sleep.

[music continues]

[orchestral music]