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Wallis & Edward (2005)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  18 December 2005 (UK)
6.6
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In 1936, Edward VIII abdicated in order to marry the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced American. These events caused a scandal around the world and Wallis has since been ... See full summary »

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Title: Wallis & Edward (TV Movie 2005)

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Cast

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Mary Raffray
Helena Michell ...
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Perry Brownlow
Bill Champion ...
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Elizabeth
Debora Weston ...
Kitty Rogers
Mykolas Dorofejus ...
Herman Rogers
Clifford Rose ...
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Storyline

In 1936, Edward VIII abdicated in order to marry the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced American. These events caused a scandal around the world and Wallis has since been demonised as the woman who stole the King of England. Wallis and Edward is the first time that the events have been considered from Wallis's point of view. The drama follows the beginning of their affair whilst Edward was Prince of Wales and Wallis was still married to Ernest Simpson. Written by Company TV Productions

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

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18 December 2005 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Her Royal Affair  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

One scene mentions a rumor of Wallis Simpson being a KGB agent. The KGB was not created until 1954. See more »

Quotes

King George V: Some day the whole ruddy Empire will look to you for guidance, and God help it when it does.
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Soundtracks

Scotland the Brave
(uncredited)
Traditional
Ernest Simpson hums
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User Reviews

 
Puppet on a string?,
29 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

Yet another Mills & Boon type foray into the unfortunate love affair between the "traitor king" (Edward VIII...David to the family) and his American paramour, but this one was all a bit one-sided and wishy-washy.

Wallis Simpson was a woman of questionable character and a chequered past. The suggestion bandied about that she had been a whore in a Chinese brothel, was I'm sure pure fiction, but the feeling that (as quoted in the film) "there's no smoke without fire", gave impetus to the general consensus of the day (although there was a certain popular sympathy with Edward's predicament), that the woman of his choice should not become queen.

Although obviously not as black as the media of the time painted her, she was certainly a woman of the world, and I don't believe for a moment that she hadn't really got designs on becoming Edward's consort. If she had known at the outset that she would never become queen, I doubt if the romance would ever have gone the distance. As it was, and I suppose to her credit, the future marriage (if not the passion) did last, but she lived it in disappointment and disillusionment, and after him giving up everything and bringing the whole British Empire into turmoil, probably felt she couldn't leave him. Anyway, she may not be a king's consort, but she had gained a certain status, and wealth. And who knows...? But as everyone does know, the fairy tale turned into a pointless, roundabout existence, including a hopeful collusion with the Nazis, (in particular von Ribbentrop, a close friend of Mrs Simpson) who wanted to put Edward back on the throne as a puppet king to prevent any interference from Britain to Hitler's nasty little designs in Europe. I wonder how world history would have changed had the plan succeeded.

There is no doubt that Edward and Wallis were sympathetic to this aim, and even before their marriage they both had friends in, and an admiration for, the Nazi regime, and he especially for everything German.

Given Winston's anti-Nazi views, Churchill surprisingly had supported the intended nuptials, but maybe as he was still in his "wilderness years" at the time, could have had his own agenda in mind. However, the bulk of the British Establishment must have been extremely jittery.

Apart from the actual Constitutional crisis, which of course was the primary concern, I believe this underlying factor was one of the unsaid objections to the marriage, and why the couple were eventually exiled to far off domains. Objections due to Wallis's background, her divorces, her foreign nationalism etc., were valid, but could have been overcome (unless she was a Roman Catholic, which she wasn't) and let's face it, the British royal families have been dealing with situations like that for centuries. But in view of increased European tensions and possible and impending hostilities, a potential Nazi collaborator on the throne could have been a little awkward to say the least. That Edward was besotted with the influential Wallis is well recorded and being a puppet on a woman's string is one thing, but to be the puppet of a psychotic dictator is quite another. So in hindsight, the abdication was perhaps a blessing in disguise.

Of course, none of the treacherous and treasonable qualities of "Romeo" Windsor and "Juliet" Simpson were shown to any great extent in this somewhat insipid and inferior re-telling of "Edward & Mrs Simpson", and why it was ever made is beyond me, but if you're a fan of the likes of "Brief Encounter" or Barbara Cartland, you'll probably love it. And I suppose it might just encourage the modern generation to delve into the history books.

The dialogue was slow and laboured at times and was only dragged along by the experience of an impressive cast, of which the acting honours have to go to Margaret Tysack as Queen Mary, the veteran Richard Johnson as Stanley Baldwin, and the ever excellent David Calder as a refreshingly look-alike Churchill.

Apparently the main attribute of Wallis Simpson was not so much her beauty, but her charm. Sad to say an irritating Joely Richardson exuded no charm whatsoever, nor for that matter, very many of her acting skills either, and her terribly contrived American accent grated on the nerves. (Why couldn't an American have been awarded the part? Seems logical to me.) Stephen Campbell Moore as the love-lorn and beleaguered prince looked so wooden and listless throughout most of the proceedings, that I wasn't sure he'd even make it to the abdication, let alone the wedding. However, he livened up a bit towards the end.

When I saw the preview on this production and its subject matter, I thought "Oh Lord, not again", but then considered that maybe it would shed a different light on the events. It didn't. Nevertheless I struggled gamely through it, but overall the boredom of this over-trodden story was only relieved by the commercial breaks, and of course it's conclusion.

I hope this is the end, for surely enough has been sung of the whole dismal song, about this sorry little Merryman and his Maid. As it happened Edward was not really missed. King George VI (Bertie to the family), unlike Edward, was loved by everyone, and without him we wouldn't have had the present queen.

I must conclude by saying that my father used to proudly wear a "Windsor" knot in his necktie. From the day of Edward's abdication he never wore that style of knot again, and his subsequent comments on the real Wallis and Edward are unrepeatable.

NB. Eduncan-1 is misinformed. Ernest Simpson was American-born, naturalised-British, but certainly not English. Eduncan-1 should also get his facts right.


23 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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