Laura Piani, Tara Mulholland
IT/FR Co Production with
Les Films D'Ici
1675, Europe is in the midst of a massive game of musical chairs, as foreign princesses criss-cross the continent, strengthening dynastic unions. France and the House of Habsburg are battling for supreme power. Religious wars rage and Italy is divided into principalities: directly or indirectly the Spanish control almost the entire peninsula. As England and Holland, the young Protestant powers, rise up as the Lords of the Seas, the Catholic countries struggle to compete with these new economic behemoths. In this turmoil, in the center of Europe, the strategically crucial Alpine Duchy of Savoy finds a brief decade of peace, harmony and prosperity under the reign of an extraordinary woman: Marie-Jeanne de Nemours, Madama Reale.
The series opens just before her wedding with Carlo Emmanuele II, Duke of Savoy. Freshly arriving from France, the young futurless orphan loves Carlo passionately and will be soon disillusioned. When her husband suddenly dies, the cards are reshuffled. She becomes Regent until her son Vittorio turns 14.
Finally, Madama Reale finds meaning in her existence: she was made to reign. Rejecting tactics of warfare, she defies conventions as she transforms Torino into “a new Athens” of learning and culture.
But power can be intoxicating and she creates powerful enemies. In her quest to “have it all”, Marie-Jeanne sacrifices something vital on the way: her relationship with her only child. She pushes him aside and fails to notice she has created a young man thirsty for war and revenge. And when he rises up against her, a fierce battle for the throne of Savoy rages. How will she face this new battle?
As Madama Reale fights to realize her destiny, two women cross paths with her life in a deep and inextricable way. Through their trajectories, the series weave a narrative that explores how their isolation in a patriarchal world brings them close to self-destruction.
By telling Madame Reale’s complex story, as she battles her way through a brave new world, overcoming traumatic events, adapting and growing with each setback to empower herself, in modern, sophisticated and epic tone, we hope to hold up a mirror to the universe we live in today.