Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Film Review: Bertie & Elizabeth (2002)

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

Starring James Wilby, Juliet Aubrey, Alan Bates, Eileen Atkins, Charles Edwards and Paul Brooke.

Filmography links and data courtesy of IMDb.

My Review: 
I picked this up cheap on Amazon as part of a package deal as I'm interested in anything to do with the Abdication and Britain at War. I was a bit unsure of whether I'd like it in the first ten minutes but when it got into the swing of things, I started to enjoy it. 

There was a lot of good acting in this TV film. Wilby and Aubrey were a very convincing Bertie and Elizabeth as they tried to come to terms with their change of status and Bertie's stutter. Edwards was brilliant as David, whose abdication had such a profound effect on his brother. The makers of this film make no apology for portraying David as arrogant, rude, manipulative and a fascist and his lover Mrs Simpson as rude and controlling. While I understand his fury at being told to abandon the woman that he loved, his Hitler loving antics did not impress me at all in real life as well as this film.  Brooke is also excellent as the devoted and loyal Tommy Lascelles. 

There was a great deal of humour in the film, usually featuring Atkins as Queen Mary. Her horror over being presented a fishcake to eat during the war and Gandhi sending one of his hand made loin clothes as a wedding gift were very funny. There were also some very emotional moments with the death of Bertie, a death that Elizabeth blamed on the stress of the job and never forgave Edward and Mrs Simpson for, from what I've read. Watching this, you can understand her feelings. However I think it is safe to say that the country were much better off with Bertie as their King when all is said and done.

Those with an interest in Monarchy in Britain or history in general might well enjoy this.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png


  1. I caught this on tv (probably when it was new) and it was pretty good. Definitely have to have an interest in the topic to begin with though. Great review!

    1. It's only the second new-to-me film I've watched this year which is pretty shocking! I need to get a few more watched. Glad I liked it though!