by Miss Elliot
I’ve been studying Twentieth Century World History this year, and in just eleven weeks I’m already in World War II. Which is part of the reason I haven’t blogged in so long. (Listen, Anne, I’m SOARY.) It’s been a bit of a blur, but one of the things that really stuck out to me was the story of King Edward VII, who abdicated in 1936 because he wanted to marry (drumroll please…) Wallis Simpson, an American woman who’d been married twice before. (WHAT.)
Most of the headlines I saw were things like, “Edward VII abdicates for love”, “English monarch abdicates for the woman he loved”, and so on. Kinda drives me crazy. I mean, I like the whole ‘give up your throne for love’ idea, but this was not love – not the kind of love the Bible talks about: patient, kind, not envying, always protecting.
Wallis Simpson, the woman who in essence brought low the British monarchy(erhmmm…) had been married and divorced once before she met the young, handsome Prince of Wales. Wallis didn’t fawn over Edward the way other women did – she provoked him, and he was smitten. Wallis’s husband at that time saw the affair developing and entangled himself in a different affair so Wallis would have grounds for divorcing him…
…okay, moving on. My point is that this was not a fairytale give-up-the-throne-for-love moment (as I believe it’s been portrayed in modern media). It’s NOT something anyone, especially the future king of England (for goodness’ sake!), ought to involve themselves in. Especially at the start of a major world war (well, I guess he couldn’t have foreseen that, but there was trouble brewing in Europe in general).
I realized while thinking this over that I’ve seen/heard of several movies that include Edward VII as a major or minor character. More than any other English royalties, in fact. So, here are some of the ones I’m aware of – and I haven’t seen all of these movies, so don’t take this as a ‘recommended movies’ list, haha.
The King’s Speech
This was, of course, the first one that came to mind. The sniveling Prince of Wales is played by Guy Pearce:
He’s a more important character in this movie, from what I hear. The real Edmund was a bit more dashingly handsome, but you can just see the childish look on his face. I’m not sure who played Wallis Simpson in this one.
(Guy Pearce also played the villain, Fernand, in the 2002 Count of Monte Cristo.)
Chariots of Fire
Edward as the Prince of Wales is a more minor character in this one, but he is key in the amazing scene with Eric Liddell and the Olympic committee, where Eric declares that God makes countries and kings, and he will not break God’s law even for his government. (I love that movie!!)
The Prince of Wales is portrayed in this movie by David Yelland. He looks more like the real Prince of Wales, in my opinion – very suave and dashing.
(You can tell it’s an old movie when there aren’t many publicity pictures or stills from the movie. Heehee.)
The Woman He Loved
I I don’t know much about this movie at all, but guys, it’s Jane Seymour!!! And Anthony AAAAAndrews…
…okay, just because Percy’s in it doesn’t mean it’s good, does it? (Of course it does. Always. ;-)) Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews are the stars of this show:
Just stop being so gorgeous, you two. Just quit. Percy, what ARE you doing without a cravat?? Marguerite. Where is your huge hat?
…anyways. This might actually make me more sympathetic than I should be to Edward and Wallis. Because Percy, y’know.
Someone *I* think would make a great Edward VII is Leonardo diCaprio:
(The picture’s from The Great Gatsby, which (from reading the WORLD review) I can’t recommend. Heh.)
So… that’s all for now, folks! 🙂 It snowed for the first time a few days ago, and we’re expecting more this weekend. Time to snuggle up and watch a good movie. Or read a good book – speaking of which, this book is really, really good:
I got it at Barnes & Noble several months ago, and it was part of the inspiration for this post, actually. It’s an amazing book based on the diaries of the real Lionel Logue. GO READ IT. NOW.
And do leave a comment and tell me if you’ve seen any other movies that portray Edward VII! 🙂