Leopold Hoesch
Julia Melchior
Vera Bertram & Felix Gottschalk
1 x 45'
Lars Roland
Royal Heirs
The Gamechangers

Royal house expert Julia Melchior takes a multi-layered look at three memorable dropouts from Europe's royal houses and sheds light on their backgrounds, providing new insights into the royal house system and the biographies of Harry, Friso and Märtha Louise.

The "Megxit" in January 2020 is still causing a stir. Prince Harry is working through his fate in a media-friendly way: The press, the expectations, the customs. He felt "trapped in the system" of royalty, from which he has now freed himself and his small family. No office in sight and yet in the limelight. Hardly any duties, but many privileges. Apparently, the siblings of the heirs to the throne lead the easier life, but does that also make them happier people?

Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands gave their younger sons the chance of a self-determined life: study, job, personal responsibility was the parental motto in the 1980s. Princes Friso and Constantijn have shown that royalty and career can be reconciled. But Friso had to give up his place in the line of succession for his wife Mabel. Parliament did not want to approve the marriage. Away from the public eye, the top manager and family man led a fulfilled life that ended tragically in 2013.

For Märtha Louise of Norway, her marriage to the scene poet Ari Behn was the self-chosen step into the longed-for freedom. She had always felt like two people, the princess and the person Märtha Louise. But even today, almost 20 years after she left the royal family, her origins still determine her life. Whether it's her job, her world view or her love, the public is involved in the debate.

First broadcast: Tuesday, 13 July 2021, 21:00 on ZDF.

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