The streets of Hull in East Yorkshire were transformed to portray period London, with thousands of local extras commandeered to dress the part for A Royal Night Out; a major new feature film backed by the Yorkshire Content Fund. Directed by acclaimed British director Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane, Brideshead Revisited), A Royal Night Out is inspired by true events surrounding one perfect, glorious evening in the lives of two real-life princesses. They are Elizabeth and Margaret Windsor and the night is May 8, 1945, VE Night.
The whole of London is on the streets to celebrate the official end of World War II in Europe. Buoyed by the revelry happening right outside the palace gates, Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Margaret (Bel Powley) get permission from their parents (Rupert Everett and Emily Watson) to slip away and join the communal euphoria.
It’s not long before the plan goes awry, and Elizabeth finds herself separated from her sister. The future Queen is alone in the city, surrounded by strangers. She encounters Jack, a handsome young man who takes a shine to the royal in disguise, and the two get to know each other as the revelry continues around them. Things are never simple though, and as celebration turns to chaos, can Elizabeth stay safe?
This formerly untold story tells the tale of royals let loose in the big city on the most exciting night of their lives, and watches as they struggle with their identities and the way they are ‘supposed’ to behave.
Funding from Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund ensured that a major part of the production filmed on location in Hull, East Yorkshire, at locations including; Land of Green Ginger, Alfred Gelder Street, City Hall, Meister House, TE Kettlewell & Sons, Bond 31 – High Street, Exchange Court, St Andrews Dock, Hull Marina, Trinity House School and The Guildhall. Additional scenes were filmed in Belvoir Castle, Chatsworth, London and Belgium. Creative England supported the production by sourcing locations, crew and filming permissions.
‘A Royal Night Out’ was released at cinemas nationwide on May 15, 2015
In the news
Olivia Rudgard, The Daily Telegraph ”Out in crowd again,” the real life Princess Elizabeth wrote in her diary. “Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly, Pall Mall, walked simply miles. Saw parents on balcony at 12.30 am – ate, partied, bed 3am!”
Ellie Walker-Arnott, The Radio Times: ‘’It’s the making of a brilliant story, so we can see why director Julian Jarrold has decided to take it to the big screen to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day later this year.’’
Charlotte Eagar, The Mail On Sunday: ”It’s true… the Queen really did go AWOL on VE Day”