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 later 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 ...
Did You Know?
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
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
[Edward VIII aka David is playing his own composition on the bagpipes
I always think it's so clever to have the bagpipes as one's show-off, because no-one has the faintest idea whether you are playing them well... or badly.
If You Were the Only Girl (In the World)
Music by Nat Ayer
(as Nat D. Ayer)
Lyrics by Clifford Grey See more