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.
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:
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!
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.
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 Park, Vanity Fair (2004), The Young Victoria, and Downton Abbey.
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.
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.
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:
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?