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
Rupert Wickham ...
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

In a career rarity, Robert Hardy appears in this film, but not as British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. Instead, he plays Churchill's counterpart, American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. See more »

Goofs

A British Movietone Newsreel, complete with commentary, shows the Duke of York attending the Empire Exhibition at Wembley. This visit took place in October 1925 - not only is this four years before Movietone News began in Britain, but it is two years before sound film was invented. The Exhibition was covered by British Pathe News but the film is of course silent. See more »

Quotes

King George V: I have no pretensions of being able to run anything. But I do know a few fellows who can. I'm a very ordinary sort of chap... as are you, David. The difference between us is that you seem to be unaware of this very important fact.
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Connections

Follows Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Charming, historically inaccurate romance
6 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you want historical accuracy, look elsewhere. Fact, distortion, omission, and plain fiction are so interwoven in this picture that I almost wanted to see a disclaimer at the start of the film.

However! If you can chuck all that aside and just focus on the film itself, it's a charming, sweet, no-brainer movie with uplifting moments tossed in.

The portrayal of the struggles between David and Bertie, who'd always been close, after the arrival of Wallis, is the most "poison pill" version I've seen. David is portrayed as a flat-out cad, while Wallis is a scheming, grasping "rhymes-with-'itch.'" The devastation of Bertie and the poise of Elizabeth are in sharp contrast to the "bad couple."

This is just one example of how the writers used elements to highlight the tremendous tension between public and private royal life in the 20th century, and how personal feelings *must* be sacrificed to duty. Obviously, this dynamic still plays out in the 21st century.

What shines through above all in this picture is the love between Bertie and Elizabeth. As such, it is a charming romance film with some lovely costumes and sets, and some moving historical references thrown in. The steadfastness of B & E's relationship, and how it allowed both of them to survive some of the most crushing episodes of their lives, is inspiring to watch.

And then one wants to grab a book to find out what *really* happened. :-)


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