Infinity Entertainment // 2011 // 49 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge James A. Stewart (Retired) // April 24th, 2011
"A peek behind the palace walls that you won't be able to resist."
Just in case you haven't heard, Prince William, the man who could be king of England someday, is going to marry Kate Middleton on Friday, April 29, 2011, about eight years after they met. A Royal Romance: William & Kate is one of probably many DVDs available about the soon-to-be Royal Couple.
It starts out, appropriately enough, with the happy couple and a relatively chaste outline of their relationship, even though a magazine editor is seen briefly talking about the couple "living together." After 20 minutes or so, it goes back to William's childhood, and it wraps up with a look at other royal weddings.
The documentary has no real surprises (or fresh interviews with the royal couple), relying almost totally on APTN and Reuters footage. It generally presents an upbeat image of Prince William, emphasizing his charity work and his military service, and showing footage that backs up a portrait of him as an altruistic, energetic young man. Kate is seen as a hardworking businesswoman. Footage of a trip William took to Australia is the most interesting, showing him at play on the cricket pitch as well as in official activities; this part takes a little more time to extrapolate that portrait of William and does it well.
There is, however, a slightly ominous tone. It first appears when Kate is seen making her way through a press gang. Kate's experience with the media is tied to that of Princess Diana, whose life was cut short directly by the demands of the press. Diana and her tragic death turn out to be a constant thread through A Royal Romance. That's unavoidable, of course, and the documentary handles this aspect of William's life tastefully. The emphasis on the royal marital failures during the last segment probably could have been avoided, though.
The narration by Laurie Atlas sticks to facts for the most part, although there's some speculation on whether William could end up king while his father's still around. Rumors get their only representation in the tabloid headlines that pop up on screen occasionally.
Picture and sound quality are variable, depending on the source material. There are no extras, like timelines or additional footage or photos.
There's no fresh information here, but I doubt there really could be, given that William and Kate are probably the most famous engaged couple on the planet. If you're looking for a souvenir, though, it retells the story well and respectfully. I didn't care for that coda at the end on past royal marital failures, but that's one you'll have to evaluate for yourself. Given the sheer volume of choices, there probably are better options out there, but it does a decent job as a video souvenir book.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Infinity Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 49 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* The Royal Wedding
* The British Monarchy