The queen and the personal physician

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German title The queen and the personal physician
Original title En kongelig affære
Country of production Denmark , Sweden , Czech Republic , Germany
Publishing year 2012
length 128 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Nikolaj Arcel
script Nikolaj Arcel
Rasmus Heisterberg
production Sisse Graum Jørgensen
Meta Louise Foldager
Louise Vesth
music Cyrille Aufort
Gabriel Yared
camera Rasmus Videbæk
cut Mikkel EG Nielsen
Kasper Leick

The Queen and the Personal Doctor is a Danish historical film from 2012 . The film drama , directed by Nikolaj Arcel , is a literary film adaptation of a novel by Bodil Steensen-Leth and is set in Denmark in the late 18th century. It depicts the rise and fall of the doctor Johann Friedrich Struensee at the Danish royal court.

The German theatrical release took place on April 19, 2012.

In September 2012, The Queen and the Personal Physician was selected as Denmark's official candidate for an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Foreign Language Film . The film prevailed against Susanne Biers Den skaldede frisør and Bille Augusts Marie Krøyer .


The plot is portrayed as a flashback. The terminally ill Danish Queen Caroline Mathilde writes a letter to her children from her exile in Celle so that they can later understand her mother's life. In it she describes how, growing up in England, she was married to her cousin King Christian VII of Denmark without ever having seen him.

The king turns out to be inhuman and not very interested in Caroline. He prefers to go to brothels at night and see plays. After the birth of his son, he only calls Caroline "mother". Life at court becomes more bearable for her after Johann Friedrich Struensee , a doctor for the poor from Altona with enlightening ideas, returns with him from a trip as Christian's personal physician. Struensee is able to get along with Christian's difficult personality, can distract and distract him. Caroline and Struensee fall in love. The Queen encourages the personal physician to allow the ruling council to pass laws and regulations about his influence on the king. The council chairman Bernstorff , himself a German, would like to get rid of the annoying and unsuitable German rival, but the king dissolves the council and appoints his friend Struensee as the all-powerful minister. This can now push through reforms in the spirit of education such as general smallpox vaccination, the abolition of censorship and the ban on torture. Because of the financial straits of the state, he also cuts the salaries of the nobility and funds for the military and thereby undermines his position of power. Juliane von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel , the king's stepmother who wants to maneuver her own son to the throne, uses rumors about the love affair between Struensee and the queen, which has not remained without consequences - this gives her daughter Louise Auguste life - to deal with the nobility and to ally the palace guard against Struensee. Struensee and a helper are arrested, tortured and sentenced to death. The king wants to pardon his friend, but is passed over by the regained nobility clique. Struensee is beheaded, Queen Caroline is banished to Celle , where she dies.

At the end of the film you can see the letter being handed over to the children years later. A short time later, the son Friedrich took over the reign and reestablished the reforms in Struensee.



The new film adaptation should initially be based on Per Olov Enquist's book The Visit of the Personal Physician . However, the filming rights to Enquist's book had been with Nordisk Film , Yellow Bird and ZDF for several years . The film company Zentropa tried unsuccessfully to buy these rights. Then Zentropa acquired the filming rights to the novel Prinsesse af blodet from Bodil Steensen-Leth and had the scriptwriters Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg write a script based on it. In contrast to Enquist's book, Steensen-Leth's novel depicts the events from the point of view of Queen Caroline Mathilde. Per Olov Enquist nevertheless saw a copyright violation in the film's script . Zentropa rejected the criticism as unfounded.

Further films

The historical figure of Dr. Struensee and his love for the Danish monarch provided material for three widely acclaimed film adaptations:

The silent film Die Liebe einer Königin by Ludwig Wolff was shown as early as 1923 with the following cast: Harry Liedtke (Struensee), Henny Porten (Queen), Walter Janssen (King), Adele Sandrock, Max Gülstorff. The production companies were the Austro-Americana-Film-Company and the Maxim-Filmgesellschaft Ebner & Co.

In 1935 the British film The Dictator opened in cinemas and was awarded in Germany under the title My Heart of the Queen . Directed by Victor Saville starred Clive Brook (Struensee), Madeleine Carroll (Queen) and Emlyn Williams (King).

The 1956 production Herrscher ohne Krone by Harald Braun was extremely successful in Germany . The prominent cast included OW Fischer in the role of doctor, Odile Versois as his royal mistress and Horst Buchholz as her husband.


"Although the historical film traces the 'Dialectic of Enlightenment' in some tense sequences, it does not find any thematic focus and no connection between the material and the present."

“The focus here is more on the eponymous queen, but in particular a shirt-sleeved personal doctor and educator who brings a breath of fresh air into the Danish royal family. Incidentally, a little more swing would have done the sedate and somewhat stiff costume ham good. "

“The fact that the film won two bears at the Berlinale this year is surprising. First, because Folsgaard got the Actor Award, although Mikkelsen plays a lot more concise. But especially because the script bear went to this production. This drama is dignified costume cinema, nothing more. "

"The Danish director tells calmly and without pathos, his pictures are exquisite, but never get lost in the splendid decorations."


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate of Release for The Queen and the Personal Physician . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , March 2012 (PDF; test number: 132 194 K).
  2. ^ Danske film til Oscar . In: Politiken & Politiken Weekly , August 17, 2012 (accessed via LexisNexis Wirtschaft ).
  3. Oscar's 2012 Foreign-Language Submissions: The Master List (So Far) at, September 25, 2012 (accessed September 30, 2012).
  4. Strid om ny Zentropa-film ( Memento of the original dated February 12, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. at (Danish), accessed May 7, 2012 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. The Queen and the Personal Physician. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  6. The Queen and the Personal Physician at, accessed on April 24, 2012
  7. ^ Rheinische Post, April 25, 2012, page D8
  8. The Queen and the Personal Physician at, accessed on May 4, 2012