“We are Oxfords not brogues”
If you have been an ardent follower of the Kingsman franchise over the last few years, you would have heard something similar being said “Oxfords, not brogues”. A reference to the shoes of a Kingsman. This latest installment of the Kingsman franchise is a prequel to the first two ‘Kingsman’ movies, The Secret Service (2014) and The Golden Circle (2017). It is meant to serve as a background as to the origins of the independent spy agency, the Kingsman.
Directed by Matthew Vaughn, the prequel is set in the early 1900’s when Europe was at the precipice of its first Great War, (World War I). It is a historical film and this then begs the question as to whether the movie is a true story steeped in historical facts.
Orlando, Duke of Oxford
The lead character in the movie is Orlando, Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes). He is a formidable fighter and strategist who portrays himself to the outer world as a pacifist but is secretly working to thwart the plans of an evil organization bent on plunging Europe into war. Duke Orlando is the founder of the Kingsman agency. This character is fictional.
This character is the son of the Duke of Oxford. A young man very much eager to join the fight to defend King and country. After a few clashes with his father over his desires to fight, he is finally brought into confidence and absorbed into the agency. Conrad Orlando (Harris Dickinson) did get the chance to defend his nation to the end. This character is fictional.
Polly and Shola
Both are members of the Duke’s domestic staff and also members of the Kingsman. Both were handy with weapons in a fight, Polly (Gemma Arterton) with a gun and Shola (Djimon Hounsou) with a knife. Polly and Shola are fictional.
Grigori Rasputin (Rhys Ifans) was a Russian mystic and peasant, a self-proclaimed holy man who in the reign of the last Russian emperor, Czar Nicholas II held considerable power and influence in the Imperial court. His reputation was not a good one and many believe his presence at court aided in the overthrow of the Romanov dynasty. His character existed in real life.
Erik Jan Hanussen
Erik Jan Hanussen (Daniel Brühl) is a historical figure who served in the German army during World War I. A mentalist and a publicist, he is said to have trained Adolf Hitler in dramatic performances. He was assassinated after the Reichstag fire for the role he supposedly played in the event.
King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Czar Nicholas II
These three European monarchs played key roles in the conflict that would envelope Europe in World War I. All three were related but that did not stop them from plunging their mighty empires into a brutal war that ended up costing two of them their crowns. All three characters were played by Tom Hollander.
The Shepherd aka Captain Morton
This fictional character is the chief antagonist in the prequel and the role is played by Matthew Goode. The Shepherd played the role of officer in the British armed forces on one hand as well as the mastermind behind the plot to throw Europe into war.
Other historical characters include Herbert Kitchener (Charles Dance), a senior officer in the British army and Secretary of State for War. Tsarina Alix (Branka Katić), wife to Czar Nicholas II and last empress consort of Russia. Mata Hari (Valerie Pachner), exotic Dutch dancer and courtesan and the man who started World War I, Gavrilo Princip (Joel Basman) the Serb student who assassinated Archduke Franz. Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. This act triggered the series of events which ultimately led to full scale war.
The main storyline of the movie is fictional but the movie does show major historical events as well as many characters who actually existed.
This post was submitted by Uwa Echebiri
Uwa Echebiri is a creative writer with interest in movies and the luxe lifestyle of Hollywood royals. When she’s not writing, she’s curled up in bed catching up on the latest movies/TV shows or taking a stroll down e-tabloid lane for the latest in pop culture. An avid gamer and lifelong Arsenal fan, she is never one to shy away from a challenge.