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).


Giles Foster


Nigel Williams




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


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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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Denis Lill (Clement Attlee) played King George VI in The Gathering Storm (1974) and his paternal grandfather King Edward VII in Lillie (1978). See more »


The Duchess of York is shown as being pregnant at the time of her and the Duke's first visit to Lionel Logue. In fact, the visit took place in October of 1926 when the infant Princess Elizabeth was already six months old. See more »


[Queen Mary and Lady Mabell Airlie notice that Bertie is taking an interest in Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon]
Queen Mary: I think my son is rather keen on the Strathmore girl.
Lady Mabell Airlie: I formed that impression too.
Queen Mary: We could do worse than marry Bertie to a member of the British aristocracy. I mean, *some* of them are quite respectable - yourself, for example.
Lady Mabell Airlie: Has it ever been done? Isn't royal blood supposed to be a unique asset? Surely she'd be the first commoner to marry into the royal family since, umm...
Queen Mary: Anne Boleyn.
Lady Mabell Airlie: Well, ...
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Version of The King's Speech (2010) See more »


If You Were the Only Girl (In the World)
Music by Nat Ayer (as Nat D. Ayer)
Lyrics by Clifford Grey
See more »

User Reviews

It's like watching the Reader's Digest Version
23 July 2010 | by suessisSee all my reviews

This television film shows a lot promise despite the historical inaccuracies. It's problem is the fast paced progression through history that provides little opportunity for character exploration and more in depth look at how George VI become one of the best loved and most respected of English Kings. Otherwise, the performances are quite good and the writing in certain scenes is first rate. It's worth a look despite it's obvious flaws.

American Audiences might find the portrayal of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor a bit harsh after years of romantic conditioning but as Russell Baker notes in the segment that is shown after the film on the DVD it represents a more accurate picture of how those in the UK came to view Edward VIII.

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Official Sites:

PBS [United States]





Release Date:

4 June 2002 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bertie e Elizabeth See more »

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