HAD enough of kings and queens? Seen enough sceptres and crowns and jewels to last at least three lifetimes?

It’s fair to say that Scots don’t embrace the traditions of pomp and ceremony – not to mention displays of incomparable wealth – quite so much as our neighbours to the south.

But should that mean we can’t allow a little royal fantasy into our lives? Especially when it’s a love story.

The King and I, which first premiered on Broadway in 1951, tells the story of Anna Leonowens, a governess who sets off to look after the children of the King of Siam. So far, so good. We love stories of governesses who manage to mould children into just the right shape (Mary Poppins, Maria in the Sound of Music, Mrs Doubtfire). We even love stories of governesses who are a little less selfless (Jane Eyre, Vanity Fair).

And we certainly love a good political tale.

In this instance, the fraught and (inwardly) fragile King of Siam has to contend with the fact his world is crumbling around him. (Sound a little familiar?) Neighbours are giving in to colonialism and so he resolves not to be influenced by the West.

But the king also has to face questions of modernisation; how can his subjects look up to a man who is unyielding, a defender of “barbarism” – and as such is liable to hasten his own downfall?

So far, so intriguing. But the internal conflict is racked up by the appearance of a Western woman, Anna, a widow with a young son, who speaks her mind, becoming a “difficult woman” in the process. Anna may wear a ridiculous 10- foot-wide hooped dress but she has the effrontery to challenge Eastern orthodoxy.

The appearance of the new governess allows for a wonderful clash of opposites to rival any rom-com set-up. The debate about Eastern and Western philosophies is hotly contested, but this dynamic between the pair also asks questions of how friendships – and more? – can be developed between two people from very different worlds.

There is an added frisson for the audience. They will remember our very own Princess Diana’s example of entering a royal world unable to fully comprehend expectations. Modern audiences are entirely aware of the experience of the Harry and Meghan entry into the same Royal Family.

When this stage show was first presented there would have been fewer people asking themselves why Anna would wish to enter a world which is not her own, to surrender to institutional command. But now? And what if her commitment to the King were to extend beyond schooling his children? Isn’t the idea of taking on a man’s school-sized group of children asking an awful lot?

Yes, there are tonal issues with the story which seem so much more pronounced today. The original concept appeared to suggest that the West could in some way civilise the more barbarian aspects of eastern life.

But audiences are asked to set that aside and remember that the story (made into a Hollywood film starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr – which is still banned in Thailand) is set in the 1860s, when the world was a very different place.

And how can you not be seduced by a group of children on stage who have been described as both “mesmerising” and “cute” to the point that on appearance an audience will gush like a burst drain pipe?

Annalene Beechey, who stars as Anna, believes the show to be a treasure. And the West End star describes her character as a great role model for women and children. “She’s feisty, smart, funny and very brave. I can’t imagine, even in this day and age, doing what she did back then on her own with her young son, it’s very courageous.”

Audiences will most certainly recognise classics such as the Rodgers and Hammerstein classics Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance.

But that aside, this is a love story, which hopes to suggest that two people really can make a connection despite all the discrimination, inherited omniscience and outdated values they have to contend with.

Annalene Beechey stars alongside Broadway’s Darren Lee in The King and I, the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, May 16-20 and the Edinburgh Playhouse, September 12-16