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Murder in the royal family! Well, sort of. OK, not at all really. But a dead body was found on the grounds of Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham estate recently, and it has just been declared a murder. This is like something out of the movies! In fact, it should be a movie. But what kind exactly? Here are five ideas.

Her Majesty's Secret

A murdered woman is discovered on Sandringham estate. Tom Hardy plays the Scotland Yard investigator tasked with solving the case and Gwyneth Paltrow is his initially frosty royal liaison in this romantic thriller directed by Adrian Lyne. A tale of betrayal, long-buried secrets, and illicit love affairs, Her Majesty's Secret is a swoon- and chill-inducing look behind the bedroom doors of the royals. Felicity Jones plays a young Queen Elizabeth and Douglas Booth her paramour in flashbacks that have important ties to the present.


Paul Greengrass directs this handheld camera-shot espionage drama about a murdered woman found on Sandringham estate, a situation that quickly threatens to unravel into a political catastrophe. Naomie Harris plays the dogged MI5 agent trying to sort out a mystery involving North Sea oil, shady dealings within NATO, and the highly suspicious son of a Qatari sheik. She is aided by an agent on loan from the States (Lee Pace) and her local team (among them Mackenzie Crook, Kevin McKidd, and Rosamund Pike). Foot pursuits through the crowded streets of London's East End, a cat and mouse sequence leading to the grand Eye ferris wheel, and a dizzying car chase that ends at the cliffs of Dover all make for a bracing thriller.

Real Britannia

American college student Wyatt Winters (The Vampire Diaries' Steven R. McQueen) and his hard-partying buddies are traveling through England, chasing skirts and drinking like crazy. Meanwhile, a hooker turns up dead on one of the Queen's estates. The connection? Wyatt and his friends were her last known clients! So Wyatt must race around England trying to prove his innocence, all while being chased by an angry pimp (Jason Statham, in rare comedy mode) and his brawling football hooligan henchmen. Luckily he has the help of a beautiful English girl (Skins' Kaya Scodelario) and a surprisingly spry and cunning butler, played by Stephen Merchant. Cameos abound (Elizabeth Hurley as a sexy school marm, Michael Caine as a ganj-smoking wannabe rastafarian, etc.) in this dark screwball comedy from John Landis.

The Grounds

A young woman is found murdered on a royal estate in this searing human drama about regret, memory, and the class divide that still permeates the seemingly egalitarian veneer of modern England. Another Year's Lesley Manville plays the girl's mother, a longtime domestic worker at the estate who, grieving, seeks out the girl's father for comfort. He's a distinguished lord who had a tryst with the maid while visiting the estate some twenty years ago and has never recognized the child as his own. Manville reunites with her old husband Gary Oldman, playing Lord Athington, in this tragic and intimate portrait of loss and connection. Directed by Fish Tank's Andrea Arnold and featuring Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones) in the small but crucial role of Athington's wife.

Noble Blood

A murdered woman is found on the grounds of one of the Queen's estates. It's shocking for sure, but made entirely more so when an intrepid young researcher (James McAvoy) discovers that there has been a covered-up murder on that same land every year... since 1666. McAvoy endeavors to solve the centuries-old mystery, which involves a changeling child, a secret treaty with France, and the Great Fire of London, all with the help of a beautiful newspaper reporter (Thandie Newton). It's The Da Vinci Code meets Elizabeth in this mystery-adventure about what we really know of the past. With Frank Langella as the foreboding caretaker of the estate and Benedict Cumberbatch as a steely Oxford professor who knows more than he lets on. Gore Verbinksi directs.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.