Princesses on the town in wartime feelgood fantasy at Royston’s Picture Palace

A Royal Night Out

A Royal Night Out - Credit: Archant

It’s another ‘hot on the heels of general release’ weekend at Royston’s Picture Palace, with two screenings for a feature which has only just made its silver screen debut.

Showing on Friday and Saturday night is A Royal Night Out, the ‘what if’ period piece which ponders the possible consequences of two princesses slipping into the crowds to enjoy a carefree once-in-a-lifetime experience as London celebrates the end of the Second World War in Europe.

The two princesses, of course, were our present Queen and her sister, the late Princess Margaret, and this slight but enjoyable tale is apparently based – very loosely – on real events.

As you’d expect, there are cut-glass accents galore and plenty of attention to period detail.

Canadian Sarah Gadon gets the nod as the queen in waiting and Bel Powley – probably best known as Benidorm’s Bianca, which hardly seems to be the pedigree to qualify for a royal role, but there you go – is Princess Margaret, so both are not so high profile that their familiar faces get in the way of the fantasy.

More recognisable is Rupert Everett as their dad, King George VI, stepping into shoes previously occupied by Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, while Emily Watson is the woman who would in time become known as the Queen Mother but at the time of the story was, of course, Queen herself.

Director Julian Jarrold, who has a handsome movie version of Brideshead Revisted in his back catalogue to prove his costume drama credentials but scored his biggest hit with ‘failing shoe firm turns the corner switching production to serve booming transvestite market’ modern folk drama Kinky Boots, calls the shots as the two teenagers go all Princess and the Pauper and find out a bit about real life, warts and all, before returning to the protection of the palace.

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Both screenings begin at 7.30pm, and you can reserve tickets online at

The big new releases around the country include Jurassic World, which returns to the familiar ‘dinosaurs go ape’ territory first explored by Steven Spielberg way back in 1993.

Special effects have come on by leaps and bounds since then, of course, with Chris ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Pratt the most familiar human face.

Also on release is the hard-hitting London Road, the big screen adaptation of the hit Rufus Norris musical about the 2006 Ipswich sex worker murders.

Olivia Colman, Anita Dobson and Tom Hardy all feature in a strong cast.