Thursday, November 26, 2009

Edward The King

Also knowns as : Edward VII  and The Royal Victorians

Edward The King is a 1975 TV drama series with 1 hour long episodes (13). It is based on the biography of Edward VII by Philip Magnus. Although the show focuses on Edward VII life, it doesn't put to much emphasis on his reign.

Timothy West as Edward VII
Annette Crosbie as Queen Victoria
Helen Ryan as Queen Alexandra

Annette Crosbie won a BAFTA award for her performance in the show.

The series starts with the first few years of Queen Victoria's and Prince Albert's marriage with Victoria discovering that she was pregnant. Now we all know that Queen Victoria hated being pregnant and of course we see her take out her anger on Albert. Then, Victoria gives birth to Prince Albert Edward. When Victoria (the princess Royal) is ill, this stirs up conflict between Prince Albert and Baroness Lehzen which results in Lehzen's retirement back to Germany. The second episode shows the home life of the royal family. Albert Edward (Bertie) is shown is his early years of stress of over exertions in the study room. The Princess Royal becomes engaged (eventually marrying) Prince Frederick of Prussia. Queen Victoria gets overly jealous of her daughter when Prince Albert lavishes his attention on her to help her prepare for new duties as a Princess of Prussia and eventually Empress of Germany. Bertie soon enters into the military and on trip to the Americas. While in the military, Bertie made some louche friends and they send him into a series of vices from smoking and drinking to his one nighter with the actress, Nellie Clifton. When his father discovers this, he immediately goes to Cambridge (in horrible weather) to chastise his son. From over work and worry, Prince Albert dies on December 14, 1861.

The next season is based on Bertie's marriage to the Danish Princess, Alexandra. Their relationship is hard because of Bertie infidelities but in the end Alexandra summed up their relationship by saying "he loved me best". It shows them through troubling times such as Alexandra outright refusal to see the Kaiser Wilhelm I as the death of Albert Victor It also has snippets from the lives of other royals connected to Britain's Royal Family such as Maria Feodorvna (Alexandra's younger sister) and her husband Alexander III or Russia etc.
After the death of Queen Victoria and Albert ascension (taking on the name Edward VII saying that "his father was sacred and that there should only ever be ONE Albert") we see him earning the title of "Peace Maker of Europe" most notably through being able to control his nephew, William II of Prussia. While trying to create better conditions for the poor Edward fell prey to his already bad bronchitis (most likely from smoking too much). On April 28, he suffered from several heart attacks and was clear to everyone that he was dying. When his son, George, came to tell his father that one of his horses had won a race, he said "I'm very glad" and then died (May 6, 1910).        
 I give this TV drama a 4/5.  I particularly loved Annette Crosbie in Edward The King. I think it is her best work yet! I found that Helen Ryan made a superb and beautiful Alexandra. I'll love the story line and the costumes were superb! I liked this series because it gave us an in depth look into the royal family without showing what happened outside in the world. I really enjoyed this series and would suggest it to all!

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