Director Ernst Lubitsch's first talking picture, The Love Parade was a witty souffle about a royal "marriage of state." Jeanette MacDonald, the queen of Sylvania, is required to take a husband. Maurice Chevalier is a highborn Sylvanian diplomat called back to his country due to his amorous escapades. It is arranged for Chevalier to marry MacDonald, but though he is ostensibly the "king" of the boudoir, he is not allowed to participate in any affairs of state. Gradually the royal protocol erodes the marriage, as the formerly footloose Chevalier bristles at being a mere consort. After numerous complications and misunderstandings, Chevalier asserts his authority over the secretly willing MacDonald. Counterpointing the main plot is the backstairs romance of servants Lupino Lane and Lillian Roth, who, like the stars, get to cut loose in the occasional musical number.