History

Royal Wives at War

A revealing new look at the abdication crisis of 1936 through the eyes of the two women at its very heart. In a series of dramatized monologues set in 1967, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Wallis Simpson look back at the dramatic events, which led to the British King, Edward VIII, giving up the throne for the woman he loved.

Royal Wives at War

54m 25s

The British royal family torn apart, a nation and empire thrown into crisis and the world plunged into war. To mark 80 years since Britain’s Abdication Crisis in 2016, this drama-documentary for the BBC and PBS reveals a fierce rivalry between two women, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and American socialite Wallis Simpson, and the political, cultural and constitutional repercussions their bitter feud.

Episodes

  • Royal Wives at War: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Royal Wives at War

    54m 25s

    The British royal family torn apart, a nation and empire thrown into crisis and the world plunged into war. To mark 80 years since Britain’s Abdication Crisis in 2016, this drama-documentary for the BBC and PBS reveals a fierce rivalry between two women, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and American socialite Wallis Simpson, and the political, cultural and constitutional repercussions their bitter feud.

Extras + Features

  • The Royal Wives Trail: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Royal Wives Trail

    Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother pens a letter describing her strong feelings against Wallis Simpson.

  • Wallis on Wallis: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Wallis on Wallis

    58s

    Wallis Simpson, played by Gina McKee, recounts the advice she received from her mother when she was young on how to be the best at everything, and her aspirations to make it big.

  • Elizabeth on Elizabeth: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Elizabeth on Elizabeth

    46s

    Listen to Elizabeth the Queen Mother (Emma Davies) discuss duty to one's self and one's country.

  • Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Preview

    30s

    Take a fresh look at the abdication crisis of 1936 through dramatized monologues by the two women at its heart, the Queen Mother and Wallis Simpson, as they look back at the dramatic events that led to Edward VIII’s decision to give up the throne.

  • The Abdication Speech: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Abdication Speech

    2m 16s

    Watch an extended extract from King Edward VIII’s abdication speech from December 11, 1936.

  • Ten Locations in One: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ten Locations in One

    3m 34s

    Polesdan Lacey, an Edwardian Country house, was used as the location for the scenes in Royal Wives at War. Learn from the Production Designer, Alan Spalding, how it was used as 10 different locations, including Buckingham Palace.

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