'The Favourite' is a wickedly funny and at times arbitrary period film. Set in 1708 Britain, the dramedy centres on the reign of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and the powerful women she surrounds herself with – Sarah Churchill Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail, Baroness Masham (Emma Stone). Director, Yorgos Lanthimos, focuses on the sexual intrigue and plays for dominance among Queen Anne's.
Did Queen Anne truly have bunnies in her bedchamber?
The grotesque bunny meets Abigail scene... The queen's bedroom in the film is also shared with 17 bunnies who are representative of Anne's 17 dead or miscarried children. Unsurprisingly, pet rabbits would never have been found in the royal chambers in the 18th century as they were regarded as one of the nation's greatest pests. Although historically inaccurate, this acknowledgement of Anne's suffrage as not just a queen but a mother, is beautifully emotive. This ultimately personalised histories 'childless' queen.
How much financial power and influence did Sarah Churchill actually have?
Put simply, a lot… Similar to the film's portrayal, one of Sarah's jobs as the Queen's companion was Keeper of the Privy Purse. Meaning she managed the royal household's financial accounts and with her husband away at war, Sarah also managed the finances and investments for her own family's estate. She had over 19,000 pounds in stocks, at one point she even loaned the UK government 200,000 pounds.
How much truth lay in the lesbian love triangle?
This main plot point was based off rumour and overly friendly letters between Sarah and Queen Anne. We can never be certain of the exact nature of the relationship between Anne and her 'favourites'. Many historians believe that these suggestions of homosexuality stemmed from the feelings of discomfort experienced by a male dominated society about women wielding power than actual same-sex relationships.
Multi-Award winning film, The Favourite is new to Blu-ray, DVD & Digital.