Page last updated at 09:28 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Duchess attends Victoria premiere

Actors Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend talk to the BBC on the purple carpet

The Duchess of York joined the stars of The Young Victoria on Tuesday as the royal biopic, which she co-produced, received its world premiere in London.

Sarah Ferguson was accompanied by her daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, at the windswept event in London's Leicester Square.

Emily Blunt plays the young queen, with Rupert Friend as her husband Albert.

Princess Beatrice has a non-speaking role in the film as a lady-in-waiting to the title character.

"She was a remarkable strong young girl who was in a job that most people would have been crushed by," Blunt said of Victoria on the regal purple carpet.

Friend, who was accompanied by his partner Keira Knightley, said he had been "very inspired" by Prince Albert's selfless devotion to his wife.


The Duchess said she hoped the film would remind audiences "why we are Britain and why we are proud to be British".

"Queen Victoria was steadfast and loyal and we must remember that," she added, saying she had spent 15 years trying to get the film made.

The Duchess of York (centre) with Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice
The Duchess of York (centre) was one of the British film's co-producers
Blunt's co-stars Miranda Richardson and Jim Broadbent were also at the premiere, as were the actors Bill Nighy and Sir Ben Kingsley.

Sir Ben said it was "wonderful" to see a film about a subject that was "part of our fantastic history and language."

He also said it was "great news" for a period film to be made in such "risky times".

The Young Victoria was filmed on location in England and at Shepperton Studios in 2007.

The film - directed by French Canadian Jean-Marc Vallee from a script by Julian Fellowes - opens across the UK on Friday.

Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese was one of the movie's other producers.

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