Before the wedding bells toll for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Saturday, it's important to remember that marrying into the royal family means much more than a simple exchange of rings. Prince Harry's ancestors have been at the center of some of the most dramatic events in British history, and here are 7 movies and TV shows that prove it.
Relation to Harry: Sixth great-grandfather.
Synopsis: King George III was in charge during the American Revolution and lost the colonies in the war. This movie is about how he suffered from an undisclosed mental illness in the aftermath of the revolution and acted so strangely his son George IV attempted to make Parliament remove him from power. They failed, and the "Mad King" ruled for another 22 years until his illness progressed further and he was removed from power in 1811.
Where to watch: The Madness of King George is available to rent or buy on Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play, and iTunes.
Relation to Harry: Henry VIII and Prince Harry are actually related a few times over due to all the uh, mixing up in the royal line. The most straightforward relation is that he is Harry’s 14th great grand uncle, but they’re also distant cousins several times over.
Synopsis: The Tudors was one of the first mega popular historical fiction series and it's easy to see why — it's absolutely riddled with sex, drinking, petty rivalries, and amazing approximately 13% historical truth peppered in. Keep an eye out for Natalie Dormer playing Anne Boleyn as a proto–Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones.
Where to watch: All of The Tudors is available to stream on Netflix.
Relation to Harry: Father
Synopsis: This is not a biographical film, but instead a speculative movie based on a play about what might happen when Harry's father Prince Charles ascends the throne after Queen Elizabeth II's death. Spoiler alert: William and Kate conspire to force him to abdicate and the ghost of Princess Diana shows up. It's a real weird movie.
Where to watch: Charles III is available to rent or buy on Amazon and iTunes.
Relation to Harry: Mary, Queen of Scots was Henry’s 12th great grandmother.
Synopsis: This CW series about Mary, Queen of Scots is about as ahistorical as a historical fiction series can be. There are witches, ghosts, syphilitic kings, beheadings, prophesies, and a mean Medici queen. Reign is notable for its costuming, which uses modern couture in lieu of period gowns.
Where to watch: Reign is available to stream on Netflix.
Relation to Harry: Great-grandfather
Synopsis: This movie isn't bonkers, but it is a wonderful, Oscar-winning film where the future king George V screams dirty words in a room by himself as part of his speech therapy. It's a nice, humanizing portrait of Queen Elizabeth's father with a few silly moments.
Where to watch: Rent or buy The King's Speech on Amazon, Youtube, iTunes, Vudu, or Google Play.
Relation to Harry: The titular Duchess of Devonshire is Harry’s fourth great grand aunt through his mother, Princess Diana.
Synopsis: The biggest sex scandal of the 1780s was the spiderweb of affairs surrounding Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, her husband William, his girlfriend (and Georgiana's best friend) Bess, and Georgiana's boyfriend Charles. There are fancy parties, illegitimate children, and rumors abound here.
Where to watch: The Duchess is available to stream on Netflix.
Relation to Harry: Please don't make me do this. This series covers five generations of English royalty, none of whom are technically direct ancestors of Harry but are somewhere up there in the super-great uncle/cousin line.
Synopsis: The Hollow Crown is a BBC series that dramatizes eight of Shakespeare's historical plays about the lives of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, and Richard III. To summarize it would take all day, but the series has won BAFTA awards for some of its actors and production elements.
Where to watch: Rent or buy The Hollow Crown on Amazon, Youtube, iTunes, Vudu, or Google Play.