Part fairytale romance, part political drama, A United Kingdom is a sumptuously mounted tale that shines a light on a forgotten – and rather shameful slice – of British post-colonial history.
The year is 1947 and the heir Botswana crown, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), is studying law in England when he falls head over heels for Londoner Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). However, their decision to wed provokes uproar both in England and in the Africa country, which at the time was a British protectorate. Khama’s uncle, the ruling regent Tshekedi (Vusi Kunene), is bitterly opposed to the marriage and effectively disowns his nephew. However, the response from the British government is far more underhand. Worried that the marriage will offend Botswana’s nearest neighbour South Africa – which was in the process introducing apartheid – the colonial service does everything it can to make sure that they the couple to do not remain in Africa. The stunning settings and the impassioned performances make A United Kingdom a must for fans of prestige British drama.