A Royal Scandal Made into Movies
Did you know there are quite a few movies about King Edward and Wallis Simpson?
Face it, when something unexpected happens, we all love to watch, so when there is a royal scandal made into movies, we certainly watch them.
When Edward, Prince of Wales met Mrs. Wallis Simpson in 1931, no one knew the scandal that would ensue. Edward was heir apparent to the British throne, destined to be Great Britain's next king. Wallis Simpson was a married American woman who had been previously married and divorced.
When Edward became King, it was his affair with Wallis that caused Edward to give up his crown for, as he put it "...the woman I love." Check out the movies that have been made based on the story of Edward and Wallis and a few that contain snippets of their fascinating story.
Edward, Prince of Wales
David, H.R.H., King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor
Edward, Prince of Wales was born Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David in 1894. He was called David. His great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, reigned over the British Empire at the time of his birth. His parents Duke and Duchess of York would become King George V and Queen Mary.
When Queen Victoria died in 1901, the Duke of York became King George V. Prince Edward became next in line to the throne.
In 1931, Edward was introduced to Wallis Simpson, a married American woman living with her husband in London. They became closer in 1934 and began an exclusive relationship. His father, the King, died in January 1936, and Edward was crowned King.
In 1936, after reigning as King of England for 11 months, he abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced woman. He and Wallis visited Germany before the war against the advice of the British government. To keep him from further association with Germany, he served during World War II as Governor of the Bahamas. This was his last assignment and he then retired, mostly to France. Edward died in 1972 in France at age 77.
His titles through his life follow:
born: His Highness Prince Edward of York
1911, age 17: Prince of Wales
January - December 1936, age 42: King Edward VIII
December 1936 to his death: His Royal Highness (H.R.H.) Duke of Windsor
Wallis Warfield Simpson
The Woman He Loved
Bessie Wallis Warfield was born in Pennyslvania in 1896. Her father died later that same year. She and her mother then lived with wealthy relatives in Baltimore.
She first married Wen Spencer in 1916. They divorced in 1927. She then married Earnest Simpson in 1928 in London.
Wallis was introduced in 1931 to Edward, Prince of Wales, through a mutual friend. In 1934, Wallis and Edward's relationship became closer. By 1936, when King George V, Edward's father died, they were in an exclusive relationship.
She divorced her husband, and she and Edward planned to marry. There was a little glitch. If the King married a divorced woman, he could no longer remain King. King Edward VIII abdicated the throne and he and Wallis married in 1937 in France. Wallis died in 1986 at age 89. She and Edward were buried side by side near Windsor Castle.
Prince Albert Becomes King George VI
Secedes His Brother as King
After Prince Edward (King Edward VIII) abdicated the throne, his younger brother Albert "Bertie" was named King George VI. Albert was not groomed to become King of England, being second in line to the throne. He was not prepared for the job.
During his reign as King, the British Empire dissolved and the Commonwealth of Nations took its place. King George VI reigned as King of England from 1936 until his death in 1952. He was 56 years old. His daughter Elizabeth became queen at age 26 and remains Queen of England today.
The movie The King's Speech was based on King George VI (Bertie).
Photo Source: Matson Photo Service, Wiki Photos
Any Human Heart - 2010 TV Series
In this 2010 TV series centered around a novelist who meets Ernest Hemingway, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (played by Tom Hollander and Gillian Anderson), and more.
I just watched this series and it was fabulous! I did not recognize Gillian Anderson at all.
More Movies Featuring the King Edward Scandal
Upstairs, Downstairs: Emma Clifford plays Wallis Simpson in the 2010 season of the TV miniseries of Upstairs, Downstairs.
To Catch a King: This 1983 movie is set in 1940 during World War II involving a plot to kidnap the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Bertie and Elizabeth: In this 2002 television movie, Edward was played by Charles Edwards and Amber Sealey played Wallis.
I watched this movie about King George (Bertie) and thought this was a good portrayal of the scandal of King Edward and Wallis Simpson.
Wallis and Edward: The 2005 movie Wallis and Edward stars Joely Richardson as Wallis and Stephen Campbell Moore as Edward. This was a TV movie that showed events from Wallis's point of view.
Edward & Mrs. Simpson: This 1978 TV miniseries is 200 minutes long and stars Edward Fox as Edward and Cynthia Harris as Wallis.
The DVD includes the A&E Biography show "Wallis Simpson." I watched this movies and the A&E Biography. I found it very entertaining and educational.
The King's Speech - 2010 Movie
Guy Pearce played Edward and Eve Best played Wallis in The King's Speech. Colin Firth as Bertie/King George VI and Helen Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth also starred.
I watched this movie and loved it! I must say Guy Pearce is the most handsome of all of the actors to play King Edward that I've seen so far.
The King Speaks
The true story behind the film The King's Speech
I just watched this BBC documentary, The King Speaks. It detailed the true to life story behind the movie The King's Speech. Other students of Lionel Logue were interviewed and spoke about their stuttering and how Mr. Logue helped them as he did King George VI.
It was very educational and entertaining to see the actual king giving the actual speeches shown in the movie starring Colin Firth as King George VI.
Books About King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson - In case you'd rather read all about it
Edward Viii -- the King Who Abdicated C.l. Doughty
Buy This Allposters.com
What do you think about the Edward/Wallis affair?
W.E. - 2011 Movie About King Edwards and Wallis Simpson
This King Edward/Wallis Simpson movie aired in 2011.
I recently watched W.E. and found it interesting but a tad long. And with Madonna's influence, it was a little over the top in places for me. Mainly the dancing at the party seemed like a choreographed mess, in my opinion.
I also wasn't a fan of the choppy camera action in places, but I enjoyed this angle to the story (told from Wallis's perspective).
Books About Wallis Simpson - Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor
Have a favorite movie?
Share your take on the Prince who became King who became a Prince again.
Tanya Jones from Texas USA on February 17, 2014:
Well, I think it a difficult situation and an even more challenging decision to make. BTW, I'm reviewing The King's Speech and would like to use this lens in the related lenses section. I think you covered this occurrence in history really well.
Darcie French from Abbotsford, BC on January 12, 2013:
Royal scandals always draw a scene! Great idea for a lens :D
kathryn-gillespie on October 04, 2012:
Angela F from Seattle, WA on September 19, 2012:
I think it's a fascinating topic. Congrats on the purple star. *blessed
Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on September 13, 2012:
You did a really nice job on this lens, well done. The affair is still now a sticky subject in the UK, and I dread to think what might have happened should they have been allowed to wed. Maybe this could make a good sci-fantasy story - Britain coming under the thumb of the Nazis, the German invasion, and eventually a revolution throughout Europe and the Germans being overthrown.
anonymous on September 10, 2012:
This is so complicated and life is that way sometimes. We are seeing a similar situation play out now with no loss of the throne...I just am glad they found and kept love together all those years because there was some great sacrifice for that love that none of us can really ever fully understand. I guess I've had my head in the sand and missed the whole affair even with several movies and books on the subject....but I didn't miss it on Squidoo! Very well done my dear and about to be blessed!
GetFactsnotHype on February 12, 2012:
There is a fairly new movie that was released titled W.E. and subtitled Masterpiece, and one of the songs from the movie won a Golden Globe award, which was pop icon Madonna's.
She also was involved in the making of the film itself with 2 others. In Madonna's one win for music song not music score, she thanked Harvey Weinstein (in her speech) for believing in her and her film, even though it did not get nominated for best picture or best direction - but hey it did get some attention.
I added this page of yours under the section Other British Learning Pages when I featured this lens on mine seen here http://www.squidoo.com/royalandprincessthemedfun
Georgene Moizuk Bramlage from southwestern Virginia on February 09, 2012:
From everything I've read and seen, I've come to the understanding that Edward was a very immature man who never really grew up. Your compilation of films and books was excellent. Personally, I would have liked to have sen them more towards the beginning of your lens.
anonymous on December 10, 2011:
I've always been fascinated by their story. Rumors abound, but I guess we'll never know the real truth. I'd like to hope they lived happily ever after....
bosieboy on September 08, 2011:
Great lens. Being English myself I found it very interesting - The King's Speech is one of my all-time favorites
lasertek lm on September 07, 2011:
He made the right decision of giving up the throne. He knew she would make him happy.
Peggy Hazelwood (author) from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on September 06, 2011:
@KimGiancaterino: Oh boy, Guy Pearce was wonderful in The King's Speech as King Edward. Thanks for the Angel blessing!
KimGiancaterino on September 06, 2011:
Oops, forgive my lousy typing. I meant compilation.
KimGiancaterino on September 06, 2011:
Thanks for this great compliation of films. I'm also a Guy Pearce fan.
Laura Fincannon from New Orleans and South Florida on September 05, 2011:
Romantic and frankly, when all is said and done, his brother probably was better suited for the job. Things have a way of working out.
happynutritionist on September 05, 2011:
I'm too old fashioned to feel good about someone falling in love with another when they are married...though it happens, it does make a mess of things as it should if not put aside for what is right. JMHO I did enjoy The King's Speech and was glad George became King.
Peggy Hazelwood (author) from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on September 05, 2011:
@Frischy: Interesting! She was called "ambitious" in several reports. Makes you wonder if she really just wanted to be queen.
Frischy from Kentucky, USA on September 05, 2011:
I heard a spot on NPR the other day about this. They said that Wallis Simpson was not happy, because as it turned out she was still in love with her ex-husband.
Joan Haines on September 05, 2011:
Pretty romantic. He had his priorities straight.
gottaloveit2 on September 05, 2011:
I still think he should have been able to get married AND remain king.