Lord Percival Graves was the main antagonist of King Ralph and a British Lord who was a member of the House of Stuart and the main villain of the 1991 American comedy movie King Ralph.

He is portrayed by the late John Hurt who also played Caligula in I Claudius, The Horned King, and General Woundwort.

In a freak accident all the members of the British Ruling House of Wyndham were killed except for two men. The first was Sir Cedric Willingham and the second was the American Ralph Jones. Both were descendents of Wyndham men who had gotten commoners pregnant. Willingham refused to allow himself to be named King, and the job was instead given to Jones.

Against Jones from the start because of his common American background, Percival Graves met with Prime Minister Jeffery Hale and Willingham in which he outlined his objections to Jones becoming the King. At that meeting he suggested that Parliament declare the Wyndham line to be at an end, and declare the House of Stuart to be the royal line once again. Since that was his line, Graves would have been next in line for the throne. Hale decides that Jones has the right to the throne since he has royal blood and that the country would have to live with him. Graves says that he supposes so, and begins scheming over how he can embarrass Jones out of the job.

Graves soon learns that Jones is infatuated with one Miranda Greene - a salesgirl who took a job as a stripper to help make ends meet. He goes to Miranda with an offer to get photographs of the two in a compromising position in exchange for a large amount of money. At first she accepts, but soon she and Jones fall in love. She returns the money, but is unaware that Graves already has photographs. She decides to end the relationship, hoping to keep Jones from being hurt.

Graves uses the photographs to wreck any chance of a marriage by between Jones and Princess Anna of Finland. He does this by spreading the photographs around at a royal ball that the Finnish royalty were attending as guests. In the fallout, a Finnish company chooses a Japanese company over a British company for an important contract that would've created thousands of jobs in an economically depressed area. Pressure mounts for Jones to resign.

Meanwhile palace staff investigates and finds that royal page Gordon Halliwell was working with Graves to make sure that Miranda was invited to the ball. He was the one who reported on Jones to Graves. Scotland Yard takes over and finds checks made out to the photographer and negatives at Graves' house. Also Jones learns during this time that Willingham was also a Wyndham and had a better claim to the throne than he did. Jones decides to address Parliament the following day.

During that address, Jones accepts responsibility for his shortcomings and the harm they have done to the United Kingdom. He announces that he is going to give up the throne. Before leaving though, he presents the evidence of what Graves has done - hurting Jones and the United Kingdom in the hopes of the Stuarts being named a royal line and himself named King.

Jones has Graves arrested for violating the Treason Act of 1702 which among other things forbade interference in the proper succession of a monarch. Graves was led out of the chamber to boos and catcalls while young British punks watching the proceedings on television proceed to make obscene gestures towards the images of Graves. Jones says that he did not bring that up to defend his own behavior, and that while he severely embarrassed England it was unintentional, but Graves did what he did deliberately. Jones then hands over the throne to Willingham, who takes the throne as Cedric I.

After his attempt to ruin Jones Graves found himself with his career and Lordship over, and possibly facing the death penalty for his actions.


  • The death penalty was eliminated as a punishment for violations of the act in 1998, and now violations are punishable by life imprisonment.