Starring: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport, Terry Pheto, Tom Felton, Arnold Oceng, Jack Lowden, Laura Carmichael
Period biopic directed by Amma Asante which tells the true story of Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), the London office worker he married in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments.
After their marriage, Khama and Williams were forced to live in exile in the UK, but were allowed to settle in Bechuanaland in 1956, after popular demand culminated in the sending of a telegram to the young Queen Elizabeth II. Khama gave up his royal status, and was elected the first president of an independent Botswana in 1966.
Best Quotes from Trailer:
[to Ruth; referring to Seretse]
Muriel Williams: Father will hate him on sight. He’s cleverer than him and he’s black.
Ruth Williams: I’ve met the man I want to spend my life with!
[to Seretse; referring to Ruth]
Charles: Are you insane! White, British, and she’s a salesman daughter!
[as Seretse is walking her back home]
Ruth Williams: You should stop here.
Ruth Williams: My father, he wouldn’t approve. I’m just two streets away. Can we do this again? I mean meet? Is that too forward of me?
Seretse Khama: No. No.
Ruth Williams: What?
Seretse Khama: Queen Victoria. The man who negotiated for her protection of Bechuanaland, he was my grandfather. A king. I am his heir.
[Ruth looks shocked]
Ruth Williams: Oh. I see. Thank you. Thank you for explaining, not simply disappearing. I quite understand.
[she takes his coat off her shoulders and gives it back to him]
Ruth Williams: I have had a wonderful evening.
[Ruth turns to leave]
Seretse Khama: Ruth!
[Ruth turns to face him]
Seretse Khama: No, I don’t think you do understand. I don’t know what happened tonight, but I do know that I would hate to walk away from you here, in this moment, knowing that I wouldn’t see you again.
Ruth Williams: Well then you must.
[he looks disappointed]
Ruth Williams: I mean see me again, I mean.
Seretse Khama: [to Ruth] My grandfather was a king, I am his heir. I have a responsibility to return home to my people.
Seretse Khama: But I will never achieve anything worthwhile if I leave my heart here.
[he kneels in front of Ruth and holds up a ring in its box]
Alistair Canning: [to Ruth] I am the government’s representative in Southern Africa. The policy of apartheid, do you know this word? If you choose to marry the leader of an African nation you will be responsible for the downfall of the British Empire in Africa. Have you no shame?
Tshekedi Khama: [to Seretse] Over two decades of preparing you to be our king and this is how you face me. How long before the village dust gets in her eyes?
[to his people]
Seretse Khama: I am told that you no longer wish for me to honor my duty as your king because of the color of the wife I have chosen. I am ready to serve you because I love my people, I love this land! But I love my wife!
Naledi Khama: [to Ruth] Who do you think will accept you? You belong to the whites, but they won’t want you either.
Alistair Canning: [to Seretse] Now you will see how an empire defends itself, Mr. Khama.
Ruth Williams: [to Seretse] We’ve misjudged this, haven’t we?
Alistair Canning: We have concluded that you should be exiled.
Seretse Khama: I belong with my people.
[to his people]
Seretse Khama: No man is free who is not master of himself. It is time for us to create a new nation, a new Africa! It is time for democracy, for independence, for us to be the masters of our own faith! It is time!
[referring to Ruth]
Lady Lilly Canning: She’s stronger than either of us suspected.
[holding onto Ruth as they are sat on a balcony ledge]
Seretse Khama: Did I ever tell you I didn’t just marry you for your good looks.
[Ruth slides down her skirt over her leg]
Ruth Williams: Liar.
[they both laugh]
A United Kingdom is set for release in the UK November 25th.