Premiere spot for Harpenden producer of Royal film

PUBLISHED: 12:36 13 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:34 06 May 2010

Lynn Rothwell (left) and actress Geraldine James work on dubbing the English version of the film

Lynn Rothwell (left) and actress Geraldine James work on dubbing the English version of the film

A FILM producer will see the documentary she made about the legendary life of the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg during WW2 appear on the silver screen in front of Royalty next week. Charlotte: A Royal at War, which was co-produced by Lynn Rothwell from Har

A FILM producer will see the documentary she made about the legendary life of the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg during WW2 appear on the silver screen in front of Royalty next week.

Charlotte: A Royal at War, which was co-produced by Lynn Rothwell from Harpenden, will have its international premiere at the BAFTA (British Academy for Television and Arts) HQ in London on Friday September 19.

The film, titled Léif Lëtzebuerger in Luxembourg, charts the Grand Duchess Charlotte's time in exile during WW2 when she made renowned broadcasts to her people from a BBC studio in England.

It has already premiered in Luxembourg and the country's Royal Family were said to be overwhelmed by the film, which delves into an important part of their history and lifts the lid on many of its aspects.

Duchess Charlotte, who died in 1985, was the grandmother of the country's current Duke who will be attending the international premiere with his wife, the current Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

The Duchess of Gloucester will also be in attendance representing the Queen and a reception will follow at the Luxembourg Embassy.

Lynn Rothwell of GRACE Productions, the company which made the film, embarked on the project more than three-years-ago following a chance meeting with her co-producer, Candice Allen, at a railway station to which she had been diverted due to a landslide on the track.

When Candice, who was originally from a news background but expressed an interest in documentary making, met up with Lynn and GRACE Productions director Ray Tostevin, she pitched her idea for the film.

They have not looked back since and Lynn and Candice have travelled the world over searching for rare footage and finding people to interview about the Duchess's story, which turned out to have much more to it than they had originally anticipated.

As well as gaining a lot of attention from the Luxembourg Royal Family, the country's Secretary of State for Culture, Higher Education and Research, Octavie Modert, also got involved with the film and she has been key in arranging the premiere in London.

The film has been translated into an English version with narration by Geraldine James, who has completed films including Calendar Girls and Jewel in the Crown.

Lynn is not the film's only local connection - the Duchess was played by Jo Coleman, a performer for the St Albans and Harpenden Light Operatic Societies, and her hair for the film was styled by Harpenden's Capelli Cutting Company.

A Harpenden based cameraman also travelled with Lynn to conduct an interview in Ireland and sponsors of the film include Luxembourg-based satellite group SES whose senior vice-president, John Purvis, lives in Harpenden.

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