On August 31, 1997, the world suddenly came to a screeching halt upon hearing the news that Princess Diana had died in a car crash on the streets of Paris. In an instant, the story ran on TV news and landed on the front page of every major newspaper across the globe. People everywhere were shocked, upset and swept up in a tremendous amount of grief. In England -- a country trained to approach even the most extreme situations with a sort of quiet reserve -- the event rocked society's foundations, sending millions of people onto the streets to pay their respects to a woman everyone adored and obsessed over.
Only four months into his new role as Prime Minister, Tony Blair immediately jumped into action, preparing a National address in which he called Diana "The People's Princess" (a term coined by a writer brainstorming ideas, and not Blair himself). However, Blair's words were not enough, as England wanted more -- they wanted their Royal Family. They wanted their Queen. Thus, Blair -- presented to us as a young, hot shot PR wizard hell-bent on creating a new, hip England -- found himself up against a family steeped in tradition dating back hundreds of years, who wanted to treat the death as a private matter by hunkering down at their summer home in Balmoral, Scotland. And so we have the premise for The Queen, a new film directed by Stephen Frears.