Rudolf Rassendyll is young, daring and ready for adventure. One day, having nothing else to do, he decides to visit Ruritania to see the crowning of the new king.
When he arrives there he stays in the town of Zenda, and it is here that his adventure begin. By chance he meets the new king out walking in the forest, and the two men are very surprised to find that they look exactly the same! The next day Rudolf finds himself involved in a dangerous game of pretence, with himself playing the part of king, and the real king a prisoner in the Castle of Zenda