7.2/10
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19 user 2 critic

Bertie and Elizabeth (2002)

A chronicle of the life of George VI, who was forced to become King following the abdication of his brother Edward VIII, and his relationship with his wife, Elizabeth.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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James Stuart
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Lady Mabell Airlie
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Equerry
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David
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Young Woman
Nicholas Pritchard ...
J.C. Davidson
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Geoffrey Beevers ...
Earl of Strathmore
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Storyline

The duke of York, nicknamed Bertie, was born as royal 'spare heir', younger brother to the prince of Wales, and thus expected to spend a relatively private life with his Scottish wife, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, and their daughters, in the shadow of their reigning father, George V, and next that of his elder brother, who succeeded to the British throne as Edward VIII. However, Edward decides to put his love for a divorced American, Wallis Simpson, above dynastic duty, and ends up abdicating the throne, which falls to Bertie, who reigns as George VI. He expects to be, as constitutional monarch, little more then a figure head, but again fate has other ideas: Nazi Germany proves such a formidable war challenger to the British Empire that the desperate nation looks to the royal couple as a comforting symbol of its unbroken spirit, a part they play with great success, while hosting chased monarchs and governments from continental Europe. After victory, life returns to normal, but pulmonary ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Drama

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4 June 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bertie e Elizabeth  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tommy Lascelles (Paul Brooke) is depicted as the Private Secretary to Bertie from the start of his reign and certainly from the beginning of the war. In fact though he had been an Assistant Private Secretary since shortly before King George V's death, he was only promoted to the full role (directly dealing with the King and his boxes, for example) as late in the War as 1943. He remained at post for the rest of the King's reign, several years after retirement age, and into Elizabeth II's first year as Queen. It's best to think of the role as combining two real live persons (Sir Alec Hardinge and Sir Alan "Tommy" Lascelles) into one. See more »

Goofs

Just before his coronation, the new king George VI describes the coronation crown as Edward the Confessor's Crown. He would presumably know that the crown is in fact a replica created for the coronation of Charles II, although it is often referred to as St. Edward's crown (Edward the Confessor having been made a saint). See more »

Quotes

Queen Mary: We've been advised in the country to pick up servicemen. We picked up an American. He was delightful, but I don't think that he knew who I was!
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Connections

Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: The Stars (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Were the Only Girl (In the World)
(uncredited)
Music by Nat Ayer (as Nat D. Ayer)
Lyrics by Clifford Grey
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User Reviews

 
Charming and well performed, but the inaccuracy gets in the way
28 June 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Now I really liked Bertie and Elizabeth on the whole. It is sumptuously filmed, with beautiful photography, costumes and scenery, and the music is beautiful. And the casting is wonderful, James Wilby is surprisingly good as Bertie while Juliet Aubrey is charming as Queen Elizabeth. Alan Bates is a wonderful George V and Eileen Atkins gives another solid turn as Mary, while Charles Edwards was good as Edward VIII(David).

Though David Ryall seems underused and Robert Hardy is wasted(my opinion) as Roosevelt, somehow I didn't feel he was right for the role, and both actors were given little to do. The pacing is good as is the direction and there are some charming and witty moments in the script.

However, some characters aren't developed with care as much as the other characters, David is quite flat character-wise and Wallis is like a witch here. Also the story has some glaring inaccuracies as well as some moments and people that are either underdeveloped, mentioned and then forgotten or not even mentioned. In spite of the good pacing in general, there are one or two scenes that are too tedious and overlong.

Overall, worth seeing for some good acting, music and visuals, however for those looking for a history lesson or a completely true story they are perhaps better off reading a book on the subject. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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