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A Night at the Palace
Genre Drama
Created by Ifan Barber
Starring Harriet Walter

Kate Winslet

Keeley Hawes

Dan Stevens

Jonathan Pryce

Preston Nyman

Kristin Scott-Thomas

Claire Bloom

Tilda Swinton

Miranda Richardson

Bill Nighy

Opening Theme None
Location London, UK
Country Of Origin United Kingdom
Number Of Episodes 7
Running Time 90 minutes
Original Channel: Channel 4
Original Air Date February 5th 2016 - present
Produced by Channel 4
Directed by Various
A Night at the Palace is a British drama television series created by Ifan Barber, that airs on Channel 4. Rather than conventionally airing on a weekly serial basis, A Night at the Palace airs periodically in a 90-minute time slot.

7 episodes of the series have aired since its premiere in 2016, all focusing on a fictional British royal family. The first episode aired following the real-time format, a storytelling device that was only repeated in the third, fourth and sixth instalments. The most recent instalment aired on July 21st 2019, with an eighth instalment scheduled to air on December 22nd 2019.

The series has received critical acclaim for its dark dramatic storylines, while maintaining authentic humour and character development. The series' characters bare almost no resemblance to the actual British royal family, with writers stating that the show's ensemble is based on royal character archetypes, as opposed to specific people.

A further 3 episodes have been commissioned by Channel 4, reportedly set to air across 2020 and 2021.

Cast

  • Harriet Walter as Queen Charlotte, the harsh matriarch of the royal family, and Britain's head of state. (1 - 8)
  • Kate Winslet as Princess Victoria, Queen Charlotte's eldest child, quiet and proper, she disapproves of the family's lavish lifestyle. (1 - 8)
  • Keeley Hawes as Catherine, Duchess of Norfolk, Charlotte's second daughter who enjoys her life of luxury and is care-free knowing she'll never be queen. (1 - 8)
  • Dan Stevens as Samuel, Prince of Wales. Charlotte's youngest child and only son, thus the heir to her throne. He is known for his nasty behaviour, and is eventually caught out by his mother. (1 - 2, 6)
  • Jonathan Pryce as Prince Sebastian, Charlotte's husband and the prince-consort. He does not interfere with official royal business, and is firmly retired from public life.
  • Preston Nyman as Prince Xavier, Victoria's only child and Charlotte's only known grandchild, much like his mother, he is mild-mannered and weary of public life. (1 - 6)
  • Kristin Scott-Thomas as Camille, Duchess of Pembroke, Charlotte's younger sister who detests her and frequently sells stories of her to the press. (1 - 3, 6 - 7)
  • Claire Bloom as Helena, the Queen Mother, Charlotte and Camille's frail mother, who hates the fact that the nation celebrates the jubilee, which she sees as a celebration of her husband's death. (1 - 4, 6 - 7)
  • Tilda Swinton as Beatrice Wandsworth, the Prime Minister of the UK until the 2018 general election. (1 - 5)
  • Miranda Richardson as Hillary Banks, Queen Charlotte's friend and confidante for over three decades, she is her eyes and ears on the ground in the press room of every news outlet. (1 - 8)
  • Bill Nighy as Frank Millard, the Prime Minister of the UK after the 2018 general election. (5 - 8)

Premise

Each episode follows a different significant event or notable occurrence in the life of the British royal family, headed by the Queen, Charlotte.The first episode unfolds entirely in one evening and focuses on a scandal unfolding behind the scenes of a royal banquet to mark Queen Charlotte's 25 years on the throne. The second episode focuses on the aftermath of the death of a member of the family. The third instalment takes place on the eve of a royal wedding. The fourth takes place during a state banquet for the President of the United States of America. The fifth focuses on the events unfolding in the run up to a general election. The sixth unfolds on the night the Queen's husband dies. The seventh focused on the relationship between The Queen and her sister, and how it impacts the family and its future in British society. The eighth, set to air over the festive period, will focus on Christmas night with the royal family, and the consequences of the Queen's controversial Christmas address.

Episodes

The episodes have aired periodically between February 2016 and July 2019.

Episode Title Synopsis Airdate
1 A Night at the Palace Noticing her son has silently slipped away from the dinner table of a banquet marking her silver jubilee, Queen Charlotte of Great Britain hunts down her son and heir to throne and finds him violently raping a chamber maid. Appalled by her discovery, Charlotte navigates the rest of the evening deciding how to broach the situation. After lengthy communication with her daughters, husband, prime minister and mother without revealing too much about the scandal, a heated confrontation with her son ultimately results in her accidentally killing him, with the help of the abused chamber maid, she attempts to cover it up, and is caught in the act by her oldest friend. February 7th 2016
2 Beyond Imagination The world is at a standstill after the shocking untimely death of of Prince Samuel, the royal family continues to mourn in the weeks that follow. The maid, his victim and the queen's accomplice, has been quietly paid off and dismissed by Hillary. As family gather to support Queen Charlotte, she soon discovers that a clause in the royal charter determines that she personally must now pick her heir, but she is reluctant to make a decision when she learns from Hillary that one of her own is leaking stories to the press. March 27th 2016
3 The Night before the Knot It is the eve of Catherine's much-anticipated wedding to her long-time partner, but as secrets begin to spill out at Winchester Palace, events take a rather dark turn when Queen Charlotte decides to be honest with her daughters. Meanwhile, the feud between Camille and Hillary comes to a head, with Helena's intervention. April 2nd 2017
4 The Banquet As the President of the United States descends on Winchester Palace, an international political crisis emerges when the Prime Minister receives a threat. As the Queen comes to terms with the demands, she turns to an unexpected person for assistance, her only grandson, Prince Xavier, who has just graduated from Cambridge with a degree in International Relations. As the night progresses, an American official reveals to Princess Victoria that recently surfaced intel suggests that the late Prince Samuel has teenage twin daughters residing in Arizona, who are seeking financial gain from the family in exchange for their silence. October 22nd 2017
5 The Vote The campaign for the next general election has begun, and The Queen knows that she must privately back a candidate to ensure the royal family is secured. Victoria returns from a state visit to America, where she met with her nieces in secret. As the country heads to the polls, the Queen betrays her incumbent Prime Minister, and Victoria reveals all about Samuel's life in America. Elsewhere, Prince Sebastian receives some unexpected news from the royal doctor, learning he only has months to live. May 13th 2018
6 The Night She Says Farewell After collapsing at a laying of wreaths in France, Prince Sebastian is flown back to Winchester Palace. As Queen Charlotte learns he only has hours left before he succumbs to his illness, the estranged royal family is brought back together for a final farewell for the consort. Helena struggles with the news, but when Camille reveals more about Samuel's death than she intended, the entire dynamic of the royal family implodes. Hillary contemplates revealing the identity of her son's father, after rumours surface that it may be Prince Sebastian. November 11th 2018
7 The Special Relationship As Charlotte learns that it was Camille who told their mother about the killing of Samuel, she vows to destroy Camille and take away everything. Meanwhile, Catherine announces her adoption of a Cambodian orphan, which Victoria and Xavier suspect will lead to an international publicity disaster. Hillary publishes a memoir in the wake of Charlotte dismissing her. Frank Millard begins privately examining the legal framework for the abolition of the royal institution. July 21st 2019
8 The Speech After demanding the resignation of her Prime Minister on national television on Christmas Day, Queen Charlotte deals with the international political fallout of her public stance. Prince Xavier contemplates abdicating his royal titles and stepping into politics, but Princess Victoria is dismissive of the idea at first, but when Charlotte catches wind of Xavier's plans, a new future for Great Britain is set into motion, and it all begins with bringing Hillary Banks back into the royal fold. December 22nd 2019

A further 3 episodes are currently in pre-production and are set to air in 2020 and 2021, with several major cast members set to return.

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