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Les Brigades du Tigre - Prince of Wales


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I think the fidelity to historical details is better now, compared to what has been before. In 1970s the French TV released a charming detective series, entitled Les Brigades du Tigre. The story took place in Paris, from the early years of 20th century to, as far as I remember, mid-1930s. Le commissaire Paul Valentin (Jean-Claude Bouillon) and his men were then one of the best trained and most modern police teams in the French Police Forces.

In one of the early episodes, named Visite incognito the British Prince of Wales (later King George V) is coming to France to sign a pact against Imperial Germany. German special services learn about the visit and first try to compromise His Royal Highness by putting him to sleep and replacing by their own man, who gets drunk in public. Then they decide to kill the Prince by exploding a bomb during a cinema show which he watches, but the brave policemen prevent the coup and save the Prince's life.

Throughout the whole episode the Prince (played by Pierre Londiche) is a rather unpleasant and haughty figure (I wonder if that was purely accidental in a French film), both as himself and as his German other self. In a few scenes he appears in the uniform of a Fleet Admiral (to which rank I think he was actually promoted only as King). Here are a few stills from the film, showing the Prince in full glory. Take a look at his medals and enjoy! And pay particular attention to the riband!

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"à la santé de l'Entente Cordiale!" Commissaire Valentin is seen behind the Prince's right shoulder. In the movie the Prince is at least half a head taller than the others. As far as I know George V was not that tall.

Edited by Lukasz Gaszewski
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Either the wardrobe master or I am nuts. I recognize some of the medals (I think), but the ribbons seem crazy, especially for pre-WWI.

Please - help!

Hugh

Hugh

It's not you!

In my very limited experience with the film industry, they pay thousands of dollars/euros/zloty fflew or history consultants then ignore what they say if it conflicts with "the look" the director or artistic designer is looking for! :speechless:

A recent film production flew dozens of uniforms from LA to Hawaii for a film set 'before the present', THEN asked the consultant which ones to use. Turns out they had enough 1800-ish British naval uniforms to outfit the whole crew of a sizeable ship as Midshipmen - no sailors, no other officers.

When the last version of Vanity Fair was shot, the scene at the ball in Brusseles the night before Waterloo was "stunning". Every British officer in the room was dressed in a shade of purple, pink, orange or blue. It looked like somebody had given a bad colour photo of senior British officers to a bad civilian tailor, along with a truckload of sequins and lace, and said "Make them sorta like this, but different." :speechless1: I asked around and, no word of a lie, it turns out that the [Hungarian] art director "doesn't like red". :banger:

As I am prone to point out to my more sensitive comrades when we have to deal with such visual atrocities: "One, they're selling popcorn, not history and , two, grit your teeth, walk away and cash their cheque." Life's to short to waste on morons!

My tuppence and more.

Edited by peter monahan
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OK, let me say what I myself see on the Prince of Wales' chest. Let me start by saying that judging from the medals he must have been kind of prophet, as he had anticipated the coming WWI. Note that his film visit must have taken place before his accession to throne, ie. before 1910.

Well, most of the medals ARE at least partly British. What I see is (l. to r.):



  1. Military Cross - instituted 1914 and awarded to junior army officers. No idea what the ribbon is from.
  2. British War Medal, 1914-20 - instituted 1919, surprisingly on the correct ribbon!
  3. Conspicuous Service Cross - well, in this case it is at least technically possible, as the cross was instituted in 1901 and renamed to Distinguished Service Cross in 1914; the ribbon seems to be from the 1939-1945 Star.
  4. 1914 Star - no idea about the ribbon.
  5. Was unable to identify this. Seems a little like the Royal Red Cross, but I am not sure. It is easier about the ribbon which is probably of the Defence Medal of the Slovak Puppet State (1939-45)
  6. Aaaah, esier: Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal - awarded to non-commissioned ranks only, ribbon correct, but as far as I know, the white edges were added after WWI. To make the things funnier, he is wearing the medal with his own effigiy... as King!

I would be more than glad to know what the yellow sash is from. This regards the star as well. Any ideas, gentlemen? Ah, and do not be confused by the fact that it is worn once through the left, other time through the right shoulder. The fellow on the first photo was not the Prince, but a German officer, pretending to be him, so he probably did not know how to wear it correctly, or perhaps it was the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle - certainly the right thing in the right place during a visit to France!!! :D :D :D

As far as the one hanging from the neck is regarded, it can be the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, so technically the Prince could wear it. Yet, the picture is too unclear to see the details.

Anyway, the only correct item on His Highness' uniform seems to be the Royal Victorian Chain. Congratulations wardrobe master!

To sum up the whole thing: HELP!!!

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As far as the one hanging from the neck is regarded, it can be the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, so technically the Prince could wear it. Yet, the picture is too unclear to see the details.

I stared at the neck cross for quite some time. The British Venerable Order of St. John has a lion and a unicorm between the arms of the cross, I'm fairly certain those are fleur-de-lis between the arms which is used by the Catholic Order of Malta.

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Anyway, the only correct item on His Highness' uniform seems to be the Royal Victorian Chain. Congratulations wardrobe master!

Hey, cut the guy / girl some slack. It takes a lot of work to get it that wrong! :cheeky: Given that almost everything is from the right country and within 50 years of the right date, somebody in wardrobe/props must have actually rifled through a medal book for a whole 3 or 4 minutes! :whistle:

Peter

Edited by peter monahan
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As a French frog, I would like you to apologize for this offence.

In France there are actually two paradoxes.

The first one is that we are living longer than others thanks to the red wine;

The second is that French people are absolutely fascinated by monarchy, Orders, decorations and medals but without knowing anything about them (but the wine!).

I am very often disappointed when I watch a French film in which uniforms and medals are always coming from a third class operetta cloakroom, mixing ribbons and medallions.

It's a pity, sorry, this is just a very bad ignorance.

Sorry again

Bison :cheeky:

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Is number 6 not the George V Military Medal for Bravery In the Field

Instituted: 25th March 1916 and only awarded to Men and NCO's?

AGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!Enlarged the picture clearly shows no stripes for the above MM. :banger:

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

Edited by Kev in Deva
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