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I watch tons of shows based on the history of Europe. Heck, who doesn’t? Shows ranging from Da Vinci’s Demons to Tudors have become so popular that they are popping them out left and right! Even the CW, has created their own historical fiction with Reign.
So what I wanted to do was create a side by side comparison of these TV characters with their real life counterparts. Some were pretty well done, others not so much. Is this what you thought European royals really looked like? Let me know in the comments below.
1. Anne Boleyn
They did a fairly good job in casting here, and with wardrobe.
They even included Anne’s ‘B’ necklace which she often wore.
2. Elizabeth the 1st
Anne’s daughter Elizabeth is really well known for her look,
so I don’t think they could have steered too far with her look
without some repercussions.
3. Leonardo Da Vinci
Okay, Da Vinci’s not royalty, but he might as well be. His work is
more well known than most of the history of Europe itself.
I couldn’t find a young picture of Da Vinci, but I think they got the facial
features right. Course, Da Vinci in the TV show has to be handsome.
Guess we’ll never know if real Da Vinci looked like that at 20 something.
4. Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire
The wardrobe department was spot on with this!
Though it looks like Georgiana was a bit fuller in body than
Keira Knightley, it still works really well.
5. Marie Antoinette
Kirsten Dunst just doesn’t have a timeless look, and I think that’s
why this doesn’t work for me. Keira Knightley can pull that off,
and a few others. Kirsten just can’t, I see it as her playing dress up,
not being Marie Antoinette.
6. King George VI
Colin Firth did a splendid job of playing King George, so at
that point I don’t care if he doesn’t totally look like him, he
7. Henry the 8th
Previously I thought they had just made Henry more handsome
than he really was. However, this portrait is from his later years.
So, this maybe more correct than I formerly thought.
8. William Shakespeare
This movie was so far off that I can’t even call it historical fiction.
The movie Shakespeare in Love was entertaining, but I don’t think
it reflected anything true about Shakespeare.
9. Francis II of France
Couldn’t find a teenage picture of Francis, so this will have to do.
TV Francis is better looking, and has longer hair from what I
can tell. TV Francis never looks like real Francis on the show. Fail….
10. Mary Queen of Scots
Another one way off, though Mary is pretty in the real picture.
She appears to have reddish hair and is a lot more conservative than
the CW incarnation. I do have to say Adelaide Kane does a good
job of playing her.
11. Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville
Honestly didn’t know much about their story until the White Queen.
The show was pretty good, but the similarities fall short.
Neither one really looks anything like their real life counterpart.
12. Pope Alexander VI
Another laughable representation. Jeremy Irons, father of Max Irons
(pictured above) is a good looking guy. The Pope however, is older,
heavy set, and can’t do Jeremy’s scowl nearly as well…LOL
Haven’t watched the Borgias yet, but I’m sure it’s entertaining.