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LOS ANGELES— It may seem as though Academy Awards voters would be a bunch of fawning monarchists, considering how often the ceremony has been a love fest for all things English. But British kings and queens generally wind up losers at the Oscars.
If “The King’s Speech,” a saga about Queen Elizabeth II’s dad, makes good on its status as best-picture favorite on Sunday, it would become the first film with a British monarch as its central figure to win the top prize in the 83-year history of the Oscars.
Two films with a British king or queen as a supporting player — 1966’s “A Man for All Seasons” and 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love” — did win best picture. Yet past contenders with a monarch in a lead role have always lost: 1933’s “The Private Life of Henry VIII,” 1946’s “Henry V,” 1964’s “Becket,” 1968’s “The Lion in Winter,” 1969’s “Anne of the Thousand Days,” 1998’s “Elizabeth” (which lost to “Shakespeare in Love”) and 2006’s “The Queen.”
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