Man Candy Monday: Prinny!

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Nearly all of our Man Candy Monday posts have featured classically hot actors, so I thought it was time to mix things up a bit. Yes, I enjoy a rugged chest and symmetrical face just as much as the rest of y’all, but you know what else I like? I likes me some foppy fops who are silly and ridiculous and yet potentially powerful! Let’s take a look at the ultimate fop, George, Prince of Wales and later George IV of England (1762-1830) — he who gave the Regency era its name.

Prinny, as he’s affectionately known, was the eldest child of King George III of England and Queen Caroline Charlotte! In time-honored British tradition, he became an opposing force to his father, who was irritated by his extravagant lifestyle, uber-fashionable ways, and irresponsibility (ie getting married to a Catholic woman without official permission). Of course, George III totally exacerbated things in the time-honored British tradition by refusing to give Prinny anything to DO with his time — so Prinny filled it with cards and women and fashion and dabbling with the opposing political party. You know, the usual kind of father-son disagreements.

Prinny has been a character in a number of different movies and TV series, but let’s appreciate his ridiculous foppishness in some of the highlights. Because honestly, I just want to take him to a cocktail party so we can snark everyone else’s outfits.

 

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

We’ve reviewed this classic, giving lots of attention to Leslie Howard and a shout-out to the Prince’s (played by Nigel Bruce) wardrobe. And really, any guy who knows that a high collar is great, but a HIGH collar is fabulous, can come drink with me.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

Now THAT’S commitment to fashion.

1934 The Scarlet Pimpernel2

Does he measure up, Lord Percy?

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

Prinny knows his priorities.

 

Becky Sharp (1935)

Okay, so the Prince Regent (Olaf Hytten) only gets a brief cameo in this adaptation of Vanity Fair, but check out those pants:

Becky Sharp (1935)

 

Mrs. Fitzherbert (1947)

This film bucked trend in going for a legitimately un-ridiculous Prinny, or so it seems from the images I can find. Actor Peter Graves also played Prinny a year earlier in The Laughing Lady (1946), but I can’t find any images. Apparently Mrs. Fitzherbert is hard to find, so of course now I’m going to have to try!

Mrs. Fitzherbert (1947)

Satin pants and a shiny wig – rowr.

 

Beau Brummell (1954)

You know the great Peter Ustinov, who played detective Poirot in the 1970s-80s movies, including Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun? Yeah, he played Prinny in 1954’s Beau Brummell. It’s kind of a perfect symmetry, given that both characters are slightly portly, older gentlemen whose clothes are always Just So.

Beau Brummell (1954)

Any guy who can rock that many watch fobs AND that dog gets an invite to my party.

Beau Brummell (1954)

And apparently he can dance, which is important!

 

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)

Yes yes, you all love this movie and it’s on my shortlist to review. But stop looking at Anthony Andrews and pay attention: the Prince of Wales? Is played by Julian Fellowes. Yes, THAT Julian Fellowes, who wrote Gosford ParkVanity Fair (2004), The Young Victoria, and Downton Abbey.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)

Whose lace is more bountiful, Lord Percy or Prinny?

The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)

Okay, so Percy’s pants are tight, but so are Prinny’s (far right) and his wig is higher.

 

Black Adder the Third (1987)

Hugh Laurie: comic genius. Who can forget his hilarious turn as the ditziest, most idiotic Prince of Wales ever? He’s the perfect foil to Blackadder and he has enormous trousers. SOLD.

Black Adder the Third (1987)

“Socks are like sex: tons of it about, and I never seem to get any.”

Black Adder the Third (1987)

“From His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales to Miss Amy Hardwood. Tally-ho, my fine saucy young trollop! Your luck’s in! Trip along here with all your cash, and some naughty night attire, and you’ll be staring at my bedroom ceiling from now till Christmas, you lucky tart! Yours with the deepest respect, etc., signed George. P.S.: Woof, woof!”

Black Adder the Third (1987)

I KNOW, RITE?

 

The Madness of King George (1994)

A wonderful, touching movie with stunning costumes and the ever-great Rupert Everett providing THE BEST comic relief as Prinny, with his sidekick/younger brother the Duke of York joining him in foppy fopperton-land. He desperately wants to take power, so he’s happy to encourage his father’s madness. And he does it all with ridiculous wigs, too much makeup, and his pinky finger out and up.

The Madness of King George (1994)

I love that Prinny’s (tallest guy, center left) wig is askew.

The Madness of King George (1994)

Everett does an impressive job of giving Prinny a receding chin.

The Madness of King George (1994)

“Assaulted by both one’s parents in the same evening! What is family life coming to?”

The Madness of King George (1994)

Prince of Wales: [pointing to medal] What’s that one?
Duke of York: Oh, I found out the other day that I’m Bishop of Osnabruck. [pause] Amazing what one is, really.

The Madness of King George (1994)

Ever the doting son.

 

Beau Brummell: This Charming Man (2006)

Not only does this mini-series feature the incredibly hot James Purefoy as the debonair titular character, but it has Hugh Bonneville as the Prince of Wales. HUGH BONNEVILLE. Of Downton Abbey etc. GENIUS CASTING. Brummell tones down his look, but he starts off looking like this, and it makes me deeply happy:

Beau Brummell: This Charming Man (2006)

Now THAT is commitment to Sparkle Motion.

Beau Brummell: This Charming Man (2006)

You’re right, it IS a fabulous outfit, Prinny!

If you’d like to see Hugh in action, watch his introductory scene on YouTube (and then watch the whole thing while you’re at it!).

 

Alright, let’s do this. Which Prinny would you shag?

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

13 Responses

  1. Susan Pola

    Decisions decisions Re shagging Prinny. I’m torn btw Hugh Bonneville and Julian. Can I shag both? ‘Demmed elusive Pimpernel’.

    Reply
    • hsc

      “Huge” Laurie? Are you sure that’s not just a fold in the fabric in that second photo?

      Still, definitely most shaggable IMO, with Rupert Everett second.

      Reply
  2. Robyn

    Eldest child of Queen Charlotte and George! Queen Caroline was his grandmother (or wife). (:
    Hugh Laurie will always be my favorite Prinny. So clever you could stick a tail on him and call him a weasel!

    Reply
  3. Carolyn

    Hugh Laurie is my fave Prinny, hands down. But I couldn’t take him nearly seriously enough for a shag, not even a silly one. I saw a pair of Prinny’s breeches at an exhibition of Regency fashion at the Brighton Pavilion a few years – ENORMOUS trousers indeed! Though not in the way Laurie’s Prinny meant ;o)

    Reply
  4. Maggie

    What about Richard E Grant in A Royal Scandal? Another great Prinny, in my humble opinion.

    Reply
  5. Susan Pola

    Forgot him. But will see film again. I thing he also was Sir Percy opposite Elizabeth McGovern as Marguerite.

    But I’m still sticking with Hugh Bonneville and Lord Fellowes.

    Reply

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