more trailers Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown

Queen Victoria is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Brown...

Release Year: 1997

Rating: 7.2/10 (6,672 voted)

Critic's Score: 71/100

Director: John Madden

Stars: Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer

Queen Victoria is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Brown, who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but that relationship creates scandalous situation and is likely to lead to monarchy crisis.

Judi Dench - Queen Victoria
Billy Connolly - John Brown
Geoffrey Palmer - Henry Ponsonby
Antony Sher - Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli
Gerard Butler - Archie Brown
Richard Pasco - Doctor Jenner
David Westhead - Prince of Wales (Bertie)
Bridget McConnell - Lady Ely
Georgie Glen - Lady Churchill
Catherine O'Donnell - Lady-in-Waiting
Sara Stewart - Princess Alexandra
Finty Williams - Princess Helena
Claire Nicolson - Princess Louise
Hattie Ladbury - Princess Alice
Oliver Kent - Prince Alfred

Taglines: Queen Victoria, the world's most powerful woman. John Brown, a simple Scottish Highlander. Their extraordinary friendship transformed an empire.


Official Website: PBS [United States] | Production company |

Release Date: 18 July 1997

Filming Locations: Ardverikie estate, Highland, Scotland, UK

Opening Weekend: $76,268 (USA) (20 July 1997) (6 Screens)

Gross: $9,217,930 (USA) (22 March 1998)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Gerard Butler (Archie) became hypothermic after filming the scene in which he and Billy Connolly (John Brown) run naked into the ocean.

Factual errors: When the Prince of Wales recovers from typhoid, the Queen commands that a Mass of Thanksgiving be held at St. George's Chapel. The Queen was a devout low-church Anglican/Presbyterian in England and Scotland and would have never ordered a mass. In reality, a Church of England Service of Thanksgiving was held at St. Paul's Cathedral.

Queen Victoria: Duty? You talk about duty?
John Brown: If duty and safety are served by the same end then, aye, I do.
Queen Victoria: I cannot believe you are saying this? You, who I have relied on all this time.
John Brown: Have I ever let you down before?
Queen Victoria: You stand there and tell me it is my duty. After all you promised me!
John Brown: I'm breaking no promises!
Queen Victoria: You are forcing me to do the very thing you know I fear most!
John Brown: For god's sake, woman, I'm just trying to keep you safe!
Queen Victoria: I will not hear any more about my safety! You made me a promise and now you have broken it!
John Brown: When I took you out riding, come rain or shine, because I knew it was right for you, when I kept the bairns off your back so you could have a bit of peace, when I saw you safe from home to home and you didn't even knowI was there. All I've ever thought about is you!

User Review

Excellent, but not a romance


This is a phenomenal movie, but I am rather peeved at the way it has been marketed. When I rented the movie, the blurb on the box luridly touted the "forbidden passion between a rugged Scotsman and the most powerful woman in the world." Other marketing of the film is similar. That's not what the movie is about at all!! It is a very sad commentary on our society if a moving drama about terrible grief being assuaged through loyal friendship cannot be accepted for what it is. Is the American public really that shallow? I don't know whether to blame movie execs for dumbing down the presentation of their product to titillate the lowest common denominator, or the American public for maybe actually being that way.

Diatribes aside, Dench and Connolly are phenomenal. Victoria and Brown are complex characters with conflicting emotions, and one almost feels able to look upon their souls in this portrayal. Antony Sher was delightful as the orator/politician Benjamin Disraeli, at the same time both wise and gently pompous. The makeup job was so good that I actually recognized him as Disraeli before his name was mentioned.

If you are disappointed because this is not a puerile romance, shame on you. These are real people with real emotions. This moving story of grief and friendship is definitely one of the best of the year.