Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard says that playing Queen Victoria's playboy son Bertie in Stephen Frears' latest movie meant he was the one character who could stand up to the all-powerful monarch.
Izzard plays the heir to the throne who would go on to become King Edward VII in Victoria and Abdul, a new film about the unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria, who is played by Judy Dench, and Indian servant Abdul Karim, played by Bollywood star Ali Fazal.
However, Abdul's rise in Victoria's affections and his increasing sway over the ageing monarch causes alarm in the royal household, not least with Bertie who sees Abdul as a dangerous upstart.
Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment ahead of the release of Victoria and Abdul, Izzard said that Bertie could be a bit of a bounder. "I think with Abdul he was. We know that after Queen Victoria dies, there is the burning of all the links between Abdul and her.
"And that actually happened in India as well - they sent people out there to get rid of any evidence. You could say that Bertie's dislike of Abdul wasn't even racist - here was this person who was in Bertie's way.
Watch our full interview with Eddie Izzard
Izzard added: "Abdul Karim was having this, I presume, platonic relationship with Queen Victoria and she was enjoying life for the first time in ages and so it gave her an extra maybe ten years of life and that was ten years when Bertie couldn't be king and he was p***ed off about it so he was slamming into her. I'm the one character in the film who can tell mum to p*** off."
Victoria and Abdul is in Irish cinemas on Friday, September 15.