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The Duchess is a lavish historical drama based on the true story of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (1757 – 1806) who rumour has it, was distantly related to Princess Diana.

Georgiana’s mother presents her beautiful 17-year-old daughter to the powerful William Cavendish (Ralph Fiennes) as his prize bride and the clouds darken.

William’s face is like hewn stone with a heart to match. We learn his only motive for marriage was to produce a son. The contrast of the abusive William and his arrogant superiority; with the beautiful, innocent, sensitive Georgiana, loved by the people, was hard to watch.

The strength and resilience of Georgiana emerges like steel refined in the furnace and crafted into a beautiful sword. Stone sharpens sword but only if it’s managed well. The clash takes centre stage, often echoing throughout the halls of opulent grandeur, surrounded by stunning costumes, wigs and feathers. Will the stone crack? Will the sword shatter?

I enjoyed the well-crafted cinematography and the performance of the actors. A reminder of the social norms of the day, highlighting the raw realities of our forebearers whose beliefs and behaviours still cast a long shadow over society today.


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