This is the story of President Roosevelt's mistress and her account of the British Royals visit at the Roosevelt estate in New York. Margaret is a distant cousin of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and is invited to the country home, Hyde Park. She instantly becomes his mistress, all during the time when America is reeling from the Depression and is possibly on the brink of war with Europe. While there, she observes FDR's relationships with the many women in his life, namely his wife Eleanor, his mother Sara, and his secretary, Marguerite. Margaret becomes FDR's good friend and she comes and goes to the estate as she pleases. Eleanor is a devoted wife to FDR and is nagged by FDR's mother, who is quite opinionated. Marguerite is headstrong and in command of FDR's affairs.
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Meanwhile, the British Royals, King George and his wife Elizabeth have asked to visit FDR. It is the first time that any British monarch will visit America so the meeting is a huge deal. FDR wants to entertain them at the estate, away from the public eye. The king wishes for America's support if they go to war with Germany. Preparations are in full swing, and Margaret steps back to watch it all.
We are introduced to the royals, George apparently being domineered by his wife. Both are uncomfortable with their purpose for the trip but believe that it is a necessary step in securing victory for Britain in the event of war. The royals are welcomed to the estate, and get a little bit culture shocked. For one thing, their room is decorated with comics that seem to make fun of Brits. Eleanor acts very informal towards Elizabeth, who is not used to casual decorum. Nevertheless, George and FDR bond over their similar fate. Both are leaders of the free world, and both have disabilities. FDR, paralyzed with Polio, and George, a speech defect. FDR is very open and charming with George, and he gives him advice on how to handle his wife, and how to effectively project a good image as a leader, regardless of his imperfections.
Meanwhile, amidst the hustle and bustle of the activities, Margaret is a little neglected by FDR. She is further upset upon the revelation that Marguerite is also his mistress. She learns that they are not the first ones. Marguerite tells her to either deal with it or leave.
The weekend visit culminates with a picnic in honor of the royals, capped off with a PR-stunt of King George eating the very American hotdog. The state visit is a success.
Through the years, Margaret remains by FDR's side conspicuously, seeing him fade into his sickness and old age, and grateful for bearing witness to that historical weekend in Hyde Park.
Best part of story, including ending:
It was based on real events, particularly Margaret's journal depicting her affair with the President.
Best scene in story:
When the royals find out that FDR is seeing both Margaret and Marguerite, and gossip about it.
Opinion about the main character:
Margaret's character in the movie didn't really do much, she was simply a bystander experiencing an important moment in history.