Top 5 princes in film
#5 – Prince John (Robin Hood)Peter Ustinov’s immortal turn as the petulant, paw-sucking lion Prince John was fitting for a man who, despite the relatively humble circumstances of his birth, was technically the Baron von Ustinov. Whether he’s trying to balance his brother’s overlarge crown on his ears, smashing a variety of possessions on his serpentine aide Sir Hiss or carelessly allowing his bedroom to be emptied of gold, Prince John is the ultimate on-screen incarnation of the dithering, venal, callous royal that anyone who’s met the Duke of York will instantly recognise.
#4 – Diana Prince (Wonder Woman)Since the Wonder Woman film is looking ever less likely to make it out of development hell, we thought it was only fair to the Princess of Themyscira (whose alter ego is the unassuming nurse Diana Prince) to give her a spot on this list. Although she might seem dated, Wonder Woman’s actually got everything the modern royal needs – a lassoo of truth to help firm up those slippery diplomatic deals, a tiara to lob at potential kidnappers and an invisible plane to get the carbon footprint mob off her back.
#3 – Captain Prince (Romeo + Juliet)Shakespeare’s Prince Escalus becomes Captain Prince, the irascible police chief of Verona Beach, in Baz Luhrmann’s fast-paced adaptation of the legendary doomed romance. Winning his place in this article largely because he gets to wrap up the plot and throw down the ‘never was a story of more woe’ line, it’s nevertheless our sad duty to report that Vondie Curtis-Hall, who played Captain Prince, has done pretty much nothing since. The memory of standing over Leo DiCaprio’s bleeding corpse probably makes bit parts lose their savour.
#2 – Prince Vlad (Bram Stoker’s Dracula)Gary Oldman’s Dracula takes many forms throughout Francis Ford Coppola’s deeply odd film – the plasticky red armour at the beginning and the mad dressing gown at the end are particularly memorable – but our favourite is his gimmicky steampunk look when he’s in London posing as the exotic ‘Prince Vlad’, complete with top hat and purple-lensed sunglasses. It’s really no wonder that Winona Ryder let him have a go, particularly considering that her alternative was waiting for the return of her wooden fiancé Keanu Reeves.
#1 – Prince Humperdinck (The Princess Bride)We love an evil prince, and they don’t come much more menacing than Humperdinck. The prince of Florin’s busy schedule includes, but is not limited to: covertly orchestrating a war, having his fiancée kidnapped and murdered, sponsoring the work of a sort of research torturer, fibbing like a bad’un and wearing a succession of stupid doublets – and that’s without even getting into the version of the character found in William Goldman’s book, who amuses himself in a charming little place he calls the Zoo of Death. Frankly, if he dressed up as a Nazi for a costume party it’d come as light relief.