7.2/10
558
22 user 3 critic

Bertie and Elizabeth (2002)

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

Director:

Giles Foster

Writer:

Nigel Williams
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Wilby ... Bertie
Alan Bates ... King George V
Eileen Atkins ... Queen Mary
Dolly Wells ... Princess Mary
William Mickleburgh ... James Stuart
Juliet Aubrey ... Elizabeth
Barbara Leigh-Hunt ... Lady Mabell Airlie
Rupert Wickham Rupert Wickham ... Equerry
Charles Edwards ... David
Alexandra Staden ... Young Woman
Nicholas Pritchard Nicholas Pritchard ... J.C. Davidson
Oliver Ford Davies ... Archbishop Lang
Geoffrey Beevers Geoffrey Beevers ... Earl of Strathmore
Deborah Cornelius ... Thelma Furness
Michael Elwyn ... Lionel Logue
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Storyline

The Duke of York, nicknamed "Bertie" (James Wilby), 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 (Juliet Aubrey), and their daughters, in the shadow of their reigning father, George V (Sir Alan Bates), and next that of his elder brother, who later succeeded to the British throne as Edward VIII. However, Edward decides to put his love for divorced American, Wallis Simpson (Amber Sealey), above dynastic duty, and ends up abdicating the throne, which falls to Bertie, who reigns as King George VI. He expects to be, as constitutional monarch, little more then a figure head, but again, fate has other ideas: Nazi Germany proves to be 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 ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a career rarity, Robert Hardy appeared in this movie, but not as British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. Instead, he played Churchill's counterpart, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. 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

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.
See more »

Connections

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

User Reviews

 
A royal love match
6 January 2019 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

For all the perks that being a royal can get you one of those is not true romance. You can count on the fingers of both hands the true love stories of kings and queens in many countries, the United Kingdom no different. The story of Bertie And Elizabeth is unique because they were genuinely in love. No scandal touched their relationship though their family sure had it share of them.

The story of Bertie And Elizabeth begins with their meeting in the 20s. The future King George VI and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons meet and fall in love and get the consent to marry. James Wilby playing Bertie would have gone on in a comfortable but obscure position in the line of succession had things gone as they should.

But something is always interrupting the flow of history. Brother David who became ever so briefly Edward VIII played by Charles Edwards won't settle down and marry some respectable princess type. His choice when he does is twice married already Wallis Warfield Simpson.

The contrast to the respectable Elizabeth played by Juliet Aubrey and Mrs. Simpson played by Amber Sealey is as real here as in real life. She hated the woman who would marry their king. As it turned out the two did stay wed until Edward VIII died in 1972. But given her track record there was no reason to think that. The royals were concerned and rightly so that royal property might become community property in a divorce settlement.

Anyway Bertie became king when his brother abdicated and both he and his wife were about duty. In fact he worked hard at being king, so much so it might have led to an early death. Unspoken as it is, but you constantly see him puffing away on a cigarette. No doubt that did his health no kid.

James Wilby and Juliet Aubrey did have a natural affinity for their roles and for each other. I really did get to think I was watching some private royal scenes between the two of them. Alan Bates played George V and Eileen Atkins was Queen and later Dowager Queen Mary. Both of them had a sense of responsibility that equalled that of number 2 son and his wife.

This is an excellently done feature and I recommend it highly for American audiences who might not get some of the subtleties involved with the abdication crisis. And because it's fine film making from Great Britain


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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 June 2002 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bertie e Elizabeth See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Color
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