Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978): Season 1, Episode 5 - The Decision - full transcript

With Wallis Simpson's interim divorce decree issued, the King makes his intentions known. He advises his friend Walter Monkton and Prime Minister Baldwin that he has every intention of marrying Wallis and that he will not be crowned unless she can stand by his side. He also advises him that should he be prevented from proceeding with his intentions, he will abdicate in favor of his younger brother Bertie. The King has a few supporters - Lord Beaverbrook and Winston Churchill among them - but for the most part, few believe that the people would accept the union. The press will soon publish the story and there is no support in the Dominions for his marriage. He advises his brother Bertie of what may happen. His mother, Queen Mary, cannot believe that with all of the benefits he has had, the King would forgo his duty for love.

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---
[ "God Save the King" plays ]

[ Up-tempo music plays ]

♫ I've danced with a man
who's danced with a girl ♫

♫ Who's danced
with the Prince of Wales ♫

♫ "It was simply grand,"
he said ♫

♫ "Topping band" ♫

♫ And she said,
"Delightful, sir" ♫

♫ Glory, glory, alleluia ♫

♫ I'm the luckiest of females ♫

♫ For I've danced with a man
who's danced with a girl ♫

♫ Who danced
with the Prince of Wales ♫



[ "God Save the King" plays ]

[ Up-tempo music plays ]

I, Edward VIII,

do solemnly and sincerely,
in the presence of God,

profess, testify,
and declare

that I am a faithful Protestant

and that I will,

according to the true intent
of the enactments

which secure
the Protestant succession

to the throne of my realm,

uphold and maintain
the said enactments

to the best of my powers
according to the law.

CHIPS:
A marvelous scene.

He looked just as he looked
in 1911



at his investiture
at Caernarvon.

Ah.
You were there, Chips.

[ Chuckles ]

I've seen the pictures.

So have I.
A pretty little prince.

But if he still looked
like that,

it'd be a case
of arrested development.

You don't have to take me
so literally, Wallis.

I'm sorry, Chips.

I'm afraid I'm taking everyone
literally these days.

It comes of spending
too much time with lawyers.

Never mind, my dear.
That's all over now.

Sometimes I wish
it had never started.

Do you really, Wallis?

I can well understand that.

Divorce isn't at all smart
in England.

They prefer adultery here --
at least in the upper classes.

How like you, Chips,
to be so astute.

As a matter of fact,
I was just trying to save

certain people trouble --
or scandal.

How very quixotic, Wallis, dear.

But be careful.

Quixotry isn't smart either.

I'm no longer concerned
with notions of fashion.

You know, Chips,

you really should have invited
the king tonight.

He'd have enjoyed coming out.
He told me.

On the day he's just opened
Parliament?

He must have
a score of engagements.

He's very good
at getting out of them

to be with people
he really wants to.

Cheers.

It's time that I made myself
plain to you, Walter.

Well, I'm sure you've told me
everything I should know, sir.

No, I haven't.

I mean to marry Wallis.

That wasn't quite what she
gave me to understand, sir.

Well, whatever she may have said

or whatever you may have been
given to understand,

that is what I mean to do.

You see?

Does Mrs. Simpson
mean to marry you, sir?

I shall marry her.

Well, not for six months.

Her decree doesn't become
absolute until April 27th.

Well, once the decree
is absolute.

Wouldn't it be wiser
to say nothing, sir?

After all, you've no need to
commit yourself before April.

But I am already committed.

I'm deeply committed, Walter.

And honor requires
that I say so aloud.

I cannot go forward
to the coronation

without making myself plain.

-Diana.
-Oh!

How lovely to see you.

I'm afraid
I'm horribly behind time.

I was two hours
at the hairdresser's.

You look absolutely radiant,
Wallis.

Well, I should.
It certainly took long enough.

Mary?

I'll be as quick as I can.

If you'll just come in, I'm
afraid that the room is a mess.

I'm sure it isn't.

You know,
the whole of London is agog

with talk of your sparkling
jewels and conversation.

Well, there wasn't much
opportunity for conversation

at Felixstowe, so I think I'm
making up for it now.

You'll be pleased you're being
discussed and admired

at all the dinner parties.

Not criticized?

Well, of course.

But never mind.
Isn't it wonderful to be back?

It's simply marvelous.

Oh, Felixstowe
is a beautiful village.

But an English provincial town
off-season

isn't exactly my idea
of an exciting life.

I'm glad the Ipswich episode
is over.

It was a strain
being away from London

and the king and all my friends.

Thank you.

It's all in the past now,
Wallis.

And there's been hardly
a mention of it in the papers.

Well, why should there
have been?

And Ernest was simply marvelous
about the whole thing.

Most divorces are undefended,
you know.

It's considered caddish for
the man to behave any other way.

Diana, I know I have very little
knowledge of English life

and even less
of your quainter customs,

but I am learning.

Divorces are the same
in America,

except they take less time.

Six months will pass in a trice,
Wallis.

-You wait and see.
-Mm.

Yes.

But why the waiting period
in the first place?

The decree nisi
was originally provided

in case a child should be born
to a divorced wife.

Another one
of your quaint customs.

There's no fear of that.

At Felixstowe,
I lived next to a school,

and I had my fill of children.

Home again.

And Aunt Bessie is on her way
from America.

Oh, I've had
so many invitations,

I simply don't know how
I'm going to fit them all in.

You will, Wallis.

You're quite the best organizer
I know.

Now, how's the king?

Duff said he's looking
very well.

He is.
Of course, he's very busy.

But then you'll see him
tomorrow night at Emerald's.

Of course I will.

Now I am taking you to lunch
at Claridge's.

How lovely.

An opportunity
to tame the sable.

The simple question is this,
Prime Minister --

What does His Majesty intend?

I'm afraid that there is
no simple answer.

Glass of sherry?

Yes.
Thank you.

You don't think
the king would be content

merely to carry on
with this close relationship?

I just don't know, Attlee.

You see, given discretion
on his part

and forbearance
on the part of the press,

the situation might be held
for a time.

But is there to be discretion
on his part?

I'm afraid I wouldn't like to
guarantee that.

No.

I remember when we were
at the Accession Privy Council,

you expressed your anxiety
about the future

and doubted whether the new king
would stay the course.

I'm not a reader
of the American press,

nor am I much interested
in society gossip.

But I spoke to Walter Citrine

soon after he returned
from America.

I had a word with him, too.

I wanted a sounding
from the trade unions.

Then you'll know
that during his recent visit,

he was humiliated

by the discreditable newspaper
stories about the king.

If you want a sounding from me,

the Labour Party
will not countenance the idea

of Mrs. Simpson becoming queen.

EDWARD:
Wet, gentlemen, isn't it?

Very wet.

I only hope I look as trim
as you do.

So what it comes down to,
Prime Minister, is this.

The press can no longer stay
silent about Mrs. Simpson

unless we have your assurance

that the government has
the whole matter firmly in hand.

You have my assurance.

You do know, Prime Minister,
two affidavits have been filed.

Yes, I know.
On grounds of alleged collusion.

But I still have your assurance

the government has it all firmly
in hand?

If the king's proctor were
to intervene in the Simpson case

and if the decree nisi
were not made absolute,

then Mrs. Simpson
would still be married

and that would put an end

to all and any speculation
about her marrying the king.

There would still be
the romance.

Romances are more perishable
than marriages.

So we may hope.

But meanwhile, the press
are bound to comment soon.

We have the matter in hand.

Mrs. Merryman, ma'am.

Aunt Bessie.

Oh, Wallis, honey.

-How wonderful to see you.
-Oh, my darling.

-How was the trip?
-Just wonderful.

My!
Let me have a good look at you.

It's so good of you
to come to the fort so quickly.

Oh, family must stick together.

Besides,
it's not the first time.

My, it's so good to be back
at the fort.

I'm afraid you're in for
a rather miserable time.

Well, we'll soon change
all that.

I made a promise to your mother
when she died

that I would do what I could
to take her place, so here I am.

-Where's the king?
-Reviewing the fleet.

What's the trouble, Wallis?
What's the matter?

I almost feel like
I'm taking sanctuary here.

What can you mean, my dear?

Oh, I mean I've come here to
escape all the wagging tongues.

Oh, tongues have wagged at you
ever since your first divorce.

You should be used to them
by now.

Well, it's never been
this horrible before.

Whose tongues?

Everyone's, my friends included.

Well, then they can't be
true friends.

It's simply envy,
as it's always been.

Remember, you're a Warfield
from Maryland.

That means something.

Well, you don't know
the English.

To them it means
I'm an outsider -- and worse.

Oh, never mind, Wallis, honey.

Now you have me to count on.

[ Sighs ]
Yes.

-Come in, Alec.
-Thank you.

I've, uh, just had
a long meeting

with Dawson, Prime Minister.

He showed me
a strongly worded leader

he'd written for The Times.

-He's not going to print it?
-For the time being, no.

But he warned me
the press could only be held

for a few days more.

Naturally, he wants The Times
to be in the forefront.

I understand that you're
shortly about to have a meeting

with your senior ministers.

Yes, I am.

Now I...I've written a letter
to the king,

urging him that his only course

if he is to avoid a head-on
collision with his ministers

is for...for Mrs. Simpson to go
abroad as quickly as possible.

Now, are you prepared

to postpone your meeting
with your ministers

until I have a reply
from the king to this?

At the moment,
he is reviewing the fleet.

It can be postponed no longer.

The pressure is overwhelming.

[ Men cheering,
harmonica playing ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Music ends ]

[ Talking stops ]

Can you play "Tipperary"?

[ Slow introduction plays ]

♫ It's a long way to Tipperary ♫

ALL:
♫ It's a long way to go ♫

♫ It's a long way to Tipperary ♫

♫ To the sweetest girl I know ♫

♫ Goodbye, Piccadilly ♫

♫ Farewell, Leicester Square ♫

♫ It's a long, long way
to Tipperary ♫

♫ But my heart's right there ♫

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Rain falling ]

Oh, what a filthy night.

Evening, Osborne.

Have my bath drawn, please.
I'll take a tub right away.

Yes, Your Majesty.

Uh, Major Hardinge asked me
to tell Your Majesty

that he left a letter for you
in in your room.

Major Hardinge? A letter?
Oh.

So I understand, Your Majesty.

He was most anxious that you
should read it without delay.

Oh, damn.

Damn and blast.

Evening to you.

HARDINGE:
Sir, with my humble duty.

As Your Majesty's
private secretary,

I feel it my duty to bring to
your notice the following facts

which have come to my knowledge
and which I know to be accurate.

One --
The silence of the British press

on the subject of Your Majesty's
friendship with Mrs. Simpson

is not going to be maintained.

It is probably only a matter of
days before the outburst begins.

If Your Majesty
will permit me to say so,

there is only one step
which holds out any prospect

of avoiding
this dangerous situation.

And that is for Mrs. Simpson to
go abroad without further delay.

Owing to the changing attitude
of the press,

the matter has become one
of great urgency.

I have the honor to be, sir,

your humble and obedient
servant.

Sir?

Sir?

Sir, is Your Majesty quite well?

Tell the ladies, will you...

...that I shall have
the pleasure

of joining them presently.

More coffee, David?

More coffee?

Yes, please.

WALLIS:
You seem a long way off.

I was thinking.

I actually have to leave you
again tomorrow morning.

But you've only just come back.

Well, I have to.

David, you're tired.
You need a rest.

Can't you say that --

that you're ill,
that you caught a cold at sea?

To plead false sickness
is to tempt Providence, Wallis.

Yes.
That's quite right, Aunt Bessie.

But tell me --
How does one placate Providence?

I suppose by telling the truth,
sir.

Yes.

Hope you're right.

[ Birds chirping ]

HARDINGE:
As Your Majesty no doubt knows,

the resignation
of the government

would result in Your Majesty
having to find

someone else capable
of forming a government

which would receive the support
of the present House of Commons.

"The only alternative remaining
is a dissolution of Parliament

and a general election in which
your Majesty's personal affairs

would be the chief issue.

And I cannot help feeling

that even those who would
sympathize with Your Majesty

as an individual

would deeply resent the damage
which would inevitably be done

to the Crown."

Well, don't you rather think

that the prime minister
could have had a hand in that?

Yes. There must have been some
discussion between them, sir.

I agree.

Well, then, according to Alec,

the government is threatening
resignation,

which would mean
a general election

on the issue of my private life,

endangering the Crown
and the empire.

But can this be true, Walter?

I think it could be true, sir,

but I don't think it is
quite true quite yet.

What, do you think
he's trying to force the issue?

Well, I think it would be
more accurate to say, sir,

that he's trying to force you
to face the issue.

He wants me to send the woman
I love away from my own country?

Yes.
I think he's too blunt, sir.

Well, do you think he's wrong?

Well, I think he's lacking
in tact.

-So do I.
-In sympathy.

I can't trust a man

who overrides my private
feelings like that.

And I won't put confidence
in a private secretary

who adopts a bullying tone.

Yes.
It is unnecessarily harsh, sir.

It's intolerable, Walter!

Now, then, look here.

As my friend,

would you take on the job
of being my adviser from now on?

Well, I already am, sir.

No. I mean speak for me
to the prime minister.

To be quite honest with you,

I'd much rather you did it
than Alec.

Very well, sir.

You see,
his letter forces the issue.

I tell you,
I feel moved to dismiss him.

Oh, you mustn't dismiss
Hardinge, sir.

If you do, it'll become known

that you've had a breach
over Wallis.

You must retain him
and be patient.

But if you wish, sir,

I will go between you
and the government from now on.

Thank you, Walter.

Sir.

Well, now, his letter says
that I should send Wallis away.

We agree it's too blunt,
but could he be right?

Well, it would put an end
to the crisis,

if not entirely to the scandal.

Some would say it's your duty.

Would you say that?

Not many days ago, sir,

I asked you if you intended to
marry Wallis.

I do.

Then I must ask you again,
sir --

Does she wish to marry you?

She'd like to please me, Walter.

Then she would leave England
if it pleased you?

It wouldn't please me.

Even though some would say
it's your duty?

Even though it would avert
a looming crisis?

Well, then I can only repeat
what I said before, sir --

that you must wait and see.

I don't feel that I can do that,
Walter.

I cannot, in honor, let the day
of my coronation draw closer

without making my intention
plain.

Well, you still have supporters,
sir.

In Parliament, there's Winston.

-He'll be loyal.
-Yes, I'm sure he would.

But again,
I can't put that loyalty

to so bitter and unfair a test.

No.

Walter, I shall send
for Mr. Baldwin very soon,

and I shall say
what must be said.

What a shame
you missed the king, Sibyl.

He won't be back until tonight,

and I'm afraid the fort
is rather quiet without him.

It's not at all like those gay,
carefree summer weekends.

Oh, there'll be plenty more
of those, Wallis.

This is a chance for us to have
a quiet little chat on our own.

You're so kind
to try and cheer me up, Sibyl.

Aunt Bessie has certainly been
doing her best.

Oh, Aunt Bessie.
How nice.

How nice to see you,
Lady Colefax.

Sibyl,
would you like some sherry?

Thank you, dear.
Dry.

-Aunt Bessie?
-Yes, please, dear.

-Come along in and get warm.
-Oh, yes.

I've been showing Wallis
some cuttings

-from back home, Lady Colefax.
-Oh, really?

Every newspaper is on her side.

Not a word of censure
in one of them.

Which is more than I can say
for my so-called friends here.

They're at me all the time
to do my duty.

-And what is that, my dear?
-To go away.

Yes.
To leave.

Without telling the king?

Some say yes and some say no.

After a while,
I stopped listening

and decided to come here.

Tell me, my dear --

What, um, what prognosis has he
given you of your situation?

Prognosis, Sibyl?

I believe the word means
the probable forecast

of the course of a disease.

[ Laughter ]

What they don't understand
is that if I went away,

the king would follow me,
regardless of anything.

And then there'd be a far worse
scandal than there is now.

Has, um, has the king
ever suggested marriage, Wallis?

No.

Oh, I think I know the reason
for all this hostility.

You see, the upper classes mind
your being an American

far more than they mind
your being divorced.

And the lower classes, Sibyl?

Oh, they don't mind
your being an American.

Oh, no, dear.
No.

But, of course, they do mind

that you've had two husbands
already.

Whichever way,
it seems I just can't win.

"...there is only one step
which holds out any prospect

of avoiding
this dangerous situation.

And that is for Mrs. Simpson to
go abroad without further delay.

So this is Major Hardinge's
point of view.

If you agree with him, perhaps I
should take the hint and go.

Devil take,
it's more than a hint.

His advice, then.

Could he be right, David?

Perhaps if you think he's right,
you should send me packing.

His advice is damned
impertinent,

and I shall not heed it.

Others may.

But they cannot send you away,
Wallis.

Can they send you?

That remains to be seen.

I shall see Baldwin about that
tomorrow.

I just don't understand, David.

You're the king.

But the government have
all the power, Wallis.

But you must have rights.
Can't you stand up for them?

Well, yes, I have rights.

As king,
I shall marry whom I choose.

Have you spoken
to Major Hardinge?

-No.
-Will you?

No, and I shan't pay it
the slightest attention.

And there's absolutely
no question

of your leaving the country.

Australia is deeply concerned,
Prime Minister.

I have already spoken
to Queen Mary

and written to the Duke of York
about this matter.

And your own prime minister --
What view does he take?

There would be no doubt
about it.

Mr. Lyons is a Catholic,
and a devout one,

so there's no question
of his supporting a marriage

to a divorced person.

And he would accept it
least of all from his monarch.

That's why I have delayed
pressing my prime minister.

When I saw the king at the fort,

I told him how anxious I was
about opinion in the empire.

And this is what I'd like to
discuss with you, Mr. Bruce.

It would be madness if he
contemplated marrying the woman.

Did you discuss this with him?

He did not say
he was thinking of marriage.

But is he?

He didn't talk of it.

You must acknowledge

that there's evidence
to show it is a possibility.

I talked to him
about the damaging effect

that his behavior was having
both here and in the Empire

and appealed to him
to mend his ways.

And do you think he will mend
his ways, Prime Minister?

I was confident

that the position
would gradually right itself

and that there would be no need
for further action.

But now I'm not sure.

I see.

My policy has been
to give the king time

to reconsider his position.

But now clearly it's working
against you.

You must ask the king if he
intends to marry the woman.

And if he says he does, tell him
what the consequences are --

that the people
would not accept her as queen

and would demonstrate
against them both.

Warn him that the House
of Commons would probably take

drastic action
regarding the civil list --

the king will understand that --

and that it would be impossible
for him to resist the demands

for his abdication.

I have tried to exercise
a fatherly influence

to help a young man
for whom I care a good deal.

I think I understand
his feelings.

He's under a strong
emotional stress

which I do not think
will prove to be lasting.

He's not yet aware of the
conflict between love and duty,

and I would go to any extreme

rather than drive him
from his throne.

Would you be prepared to resign,
Prime Minister?

I should consider it.

What would you resign for --
to prevent him marrying

or to force him to break off
relations with her?

My sympathy for him

does conflict with the most
important consideration.

It is essential
to protect the Crown

against any taint
or controversy.

You must -- You must admit

that the empire has been
involved from the beginning.

That is why I asked you here
today, High Commissioner.

The dilemma is quite clear
to me --

If I do not force the issue now,
the king may act imprudently.

If I do press the matter,

I might cut him off
from any hope of reprieve.

I still believe that I am right
in preferring to wait.

You cannot decide what to do

until you know
the king's intention --

Does he or does he not intend to
marry her?

I cannot answer that
with any certainty.

It is imperative
that you find out.

What you need, if he doesn't
intend to marry her,

is a safeguard that the decree
would not be made absolute.

And then the king would have to
be weaned away from her

or persuaded to behave
with more discretion.

If he does intend to marry her,

you will have to advise him
to abdicate.

And unless he accepts
this advice,

the government
would have to resign.

I've had the same advice
from Neville Chamberlain,

who thinks I should take
a hard line with the king.

Good.

And what is the opinion
in Canada?

They've been deeply hurt

by the tittle-tattle
in the American press.

Canada feels that the monarchy
is the one stable center

of the empire,

and they dread anything
that might weaken it.

That's Tweedsmuir.

Then I'll leave you with
this thought, Prime Minister --

As far as Australia
is concerned,

if there is any question
of marriage with Mrs. Simpson,

the king would have to go.

I'll send you an aide-mémoire

recounting our conversation,
Prime Minister --

something to ponder on
and to help you to decide.

Thank you.

Everyone is most kindly
helping me to decide.

Alec, ask the prime minister
to come to the palace

at half past 6:00 this evening,
will you?

Yes.
Very well, sir.

And, uh, ask the attorney
general to come in now, please.

No.

Um, before you do,

put through a telephone call
to Lord Beaverbrook, will you?

Sir, Lord Beaverbrook is on
a liner on his way to New York.

Might be rather difficult
to get hold of him.

Is he?

Oh.

Well, nevertheless,
let's arrange for a radio call

to be put through to him
on board.

Yes.

And ask the attorney general
to come in now, please.

Yes, sir.

[ Door opens ]

Sir Donald Somerville, sir.

Good afternoon, Sir Donald.
Very good of you to come here.

-Sir.
-Do please sit down.

Thank you, sir.

Sir Donald, I wish to put to you
some questions

to which I believe
I know the answers

but would like you
to confirm them for me.

Certainly, sir.

Is the sovereign of England
free to choose his own consort?

Two views are tenable, sir.

The first is that the sovereign
may marry anyone

who is
approved by the government.

The second, rather less precise,

is that he may marry any woman
generally regarded as suitable.

And what makes a woman
unsuitable?

Her being a commoner?

Not necessarily, sir.

Being divorced.

Well, now,

suppose that the government
would approve a marriage

despite the woman's
being divorced,

They could not approve
such a marriage, sir.

No clergyman
of the Church of England

would consent to marry the king.

The civil marriage?

Unconstitutional
for the monarch.

But again, suppose
that such a marriage took place.

The Archbishop of Canterbury
would refuse to crown

either of them.

And if the marriage were made
or mooted after the coronation?

Then, sir,
the king would be dishonored.

Yes.
Of course.

I see.
Thank you very much.

Excuse me, sir.

Lord Beaverbrook is, uh,
on the telephone.

-Ah. Do please sit down.
-Thank you, sir.

Thank you, Alec,
for arranging it.

Can't have been easy, I know.

Hello?

H-Hello?

Lord Beaverbrook?

Ah, yes.

Look --
Y-Yes.

How soon can you be back
in England?

Well...

No.
I need your help.

Yes.

What --
Two days to reach New York?

Ah.

Well, look.

I wish you'd turn around when
you get there and sail back.

Well, no.

There's a most dreadful row
boiling up here.

Well, that would be possible?

What do you say?

The 26th?

Oh, good.

Oh, yes.
Good.

Good.
And thank you very much.

They simply will not
leave him alone.

Have you thought
that they could be right?

-Right?
-About your going away.

No.
Don't look like that, Wallis.

Just hear me out.

You're miserable.

The king is being hounded.

The British government
is disturbed,

and the whole country
is about to be scandalized.

Well, perhaps only one thing
is needed

to set all this to rights.

Oh, Aunt Bessie,
the king won't let me go.

So you stay, Wallis.

What will happen?

He's the king.

It's for him to say
what will happen in his kingdom.

His kingdom could reject him.

They've turned kings out
of England before now.

But they were tyrants.

This king is loved.

Oh, Aunt Bessie, look at
the faces in this picture.

What do you see?

I see adoration.

Reject him?

Why, people love him.

The government wouldn't dare
turn him out.

Excuse me, sir.
The prime minister is here.

Oh.

Well, Mr. Baldwin's early.

Show him in at half past 6:00,
will you?

Yes, sir.

The fort, please.

Hello, Wallis.

I've just got a minute.

How was your day?

Oh, how lovely.
Was that fun?

Hm.
Wish I'd been there.

Wish I was there now, but...

-Oh, yes. Of course I will. Yes.
-The prime minister, sir.

Yeah.
I've got to go now.

Goodbye.

Good afternoon, Mr. Baldwin.

Good afternoon, sir.

Now, I understand,
Prime Minister,

that you and several members
of the cabinet have some fear

of a constitutional crisis
developing

because of my friendship
with Mrs. Simpson.

That is true, sir.

This friendship of yours --

It is not one that the cabinet
or the country approve.

Won't you sit down?

Thank you, sir.

Would they approve
of my marriage?

I do not think
that this marriage is one

that would receive
the approbation of the country.

Good gracious.
You sound like the archbishop.

Sir, the position
of the king's wife

is different from the position
of any other citizen.

That is part of the price
that the king must pay.

His wife becomes queen,

and therefore
in the choice of queen,

the voice of the people
must be heard.

Then I want you to be
the first to know

that I've made up my mind
and that nothing will alter it.

I have looked at it
from all sides,

and I mean to abdicate
to marry Mrs. Simpson.

Sir, this is
a very grave decision,

and I am deeply grieved.

The thing is not worthy, sir.

Even in its own terms,
the divorce is not sound.

There are those, even, who say

that a decree nisi
should never have been granted.

There are affidavits out.

The king's proctor may be
called upon to investigate.

Any investigation
must sooner or later

come up against my part
in the affair.

And there it must stop,
Prime Minister.

Well, sir, I do not know
how all this may stand.

Uh, see here, sir.

Personal letters to me
from Mackenzie King of Canada.

"It is the throne
that holds the empire together."

Bruce, of Australia,
says much the same thing.

Sir, what you are proposing
would break up the empire.

If the British empire
is worth preserving,

it will survive without me.

I intend to marry Mrs. Simpson
as soon as she is free.

Think of your duty, sir.

I have a duty to Mrs. Simpson --

to marry her,
as I'd promised to.

If I could marry her as king,
then well and good.

I would be happy...
and a better king.

Sir, you cannot marry her
and stay as king.

In that case, I shall go.

Sir, you must not.

My mind is made up,

and I shall abdicate
in favor of my brother.

Look, I shall tell my mother
and my family this evening.

So please don't mention
my decision

except to trusted
privy councillors

until I give you permission.

I can hardly bear to hear
your words, sir.

Well, I can hardly...
bear to say them.

Goodbye, Prime Minister.

Goodbye, sir.

I mean to marry her.

That is all I can say, Mama.

I've dreaded hearing something
like this for months past.

How are you to justify yourself
to me, to your family?

I love Wallis.

Love.

What is love compared with duty?

Are we to think only of you?

All those sacrifices
made for this country

during those long,
terrible years of war,

by loyal and simple men.

And now you, their king, cannot
make a far lesser sacrifice.

I'm going to marry her, Mama,

because what matters now
is our happiness.

And if I have to,
I shall abdicate.

You will desert.

No.
I shall resign.

For the sake of someone I love
more than anything else.

Have you condescended to hear

what the prime minister
may have to say?

Yes, I have.

He doesn't understand
my feelings.

Please, Mama, won't you let me
bring her to see you?

I have seen her.

If you only knew Wallis.

If you were to meet and talk,

you would then understand
how important she is --

I understand well enough.

My son intends to desert
his country for a woman.

Of course you may not bring her
to see me.

It's impossible.

I cannot bear to hear you talk
only of your happiness.

[ Sighs ]

By tonight the king will have
told the prime minister

and his family
that he intends to marry me.

But you don't intend to
marry him.

Only a day or two ago,
you told Lady Colefax and myself

that there was no question
of it.

Were you telling Sibyl and me
the truth?

Why should I not have been?

Were you, Wallis?

Had the king suggested
such a marriage?

What matter?

He has suggested it now --
to the prime minister,

to the government,
and to Queen Mary.

What will you do?

What can I do?

The king may command me
as he commands them.

Well, Prime Minister,
here's a pretty kettle of fish.

Oh, ma'am,
I don't know what to say to you.

I'd expected something
of the kind for a long while.

And I should have prepared
myself to bear it

when it happened.

But now that it has, I...

I feel so humiliated,
so ashamed.

There has been no real struggle
here, no search after duty.

Only talk of self,
of his need for that woman.

How can any woman do this
to a man so brilliant,

so full of promise?

The case is not without
precedent, ma'am.

What will happen if he persists?

I would not wish to say this
to you, of all people, ma'am,

but if he persists,
I think he cannot stay.

And I would not wish to say this
to you, Mr. Baldwin,

but if he persists...
he is not fit to stay.

So there it is, Bertie.

If the worst happens...

No, David.

It mustn't ever come to that.

But if the worst came
to the worst and I had to go...

well, it will, of course,
make a great difference to you

and to Lilibet.

So I wanted you to know about it
quickly.

Oh, David.

I mean to marry Wallis even if I
have to abdicate to do so.

But something I want all of you
in the family to be sure of

is that if I have to go,

I shall do so quietly
and in a dignified way.

[ Mid-tempo music playing,
indistinct conversations ]

Well, Wallis, isn't this better,
being back in London?

It's rather less depressing
just now than being at the fort.

How is he, Wallis?

Unaccountable.

Meaning that you don't choose
to give an account to us.

-Perhaps.
-Excuse me.

Chips, do you think I could go
to Honor's bedroom?

My tiara's giving me a headache.

[ Laughs ]
Come this way, Diana.

Well, Sibyl, at least that's
one headache I shall never have.

Oh, you never know, darling.

It was so sad.

Dreadful.

He is besotted.

Mrs. Simpson is
a very clever woman.

But how could he let himself
get into a state like this?

With all he's been given...
all he has to do?

She must be more
than merely a clever woman.

She's ambitious.

She has total influence
over him.

It's his doing as well as hers.

He's obsessed.

Look at the way he treated
Bertie.

He's not been consulted
or kept informed.

David's just used him --

like that wretched business
at Aberdeen this autumn.

Bertie will always do his best.

Of course Bertie will always do
his best,

but he shouldn't have to.

He's been put
into a false position.

And what is to happen now,
Bertie?

He's a-asked to talk

to some of the younger men
in the government,

l-like Duff Cooper.

He...thinks they might have
more sympathy...

...that he might be able
to talk them 'round.

He simply will not face
the truth.

He asked me to see her,

but, of course,
it's inconceivable.

Yet he is my brother.

If only I could help him.

He has had all the help
he should need.

He has had the upbringing,
the training, the teaching

that befit him as an heir
to the throne of England.

His father and I gave him these.

If they do not enable him
to do his duty, I cannot.

Mama, could you...
could you not talk to him?

We have never been able
to talk to each other.

I have always loved David,

but...I cannot talk to him
as a son.

So your mind's made up, sir?

Yes.
I'm going to marry Wallis.

The question is,
how is it to be managed?

You've told the prime minister
that you're ready to abdicate?

Yes. I've said if I must go,
I will go with dignity.

But then what I'd like to know,
Duff,

is how you, as my friend,
see it all.

Suppose, sir, that...
that you postpone your marriage.

You can't marry Wallis
for nearly six months anyway

because the decree
isn't absolute yet.

So why not put it off
until after the coronation --

a year or -- or more, perhaps?

And agree not to see her
during that time.

You could attend a durbar
in India,

give yourself time
to think things over.

You think that with time
I may forget her

and her attraction be lessened.

No.
I shall not.

Nor do I wish
to delay our marriage

a day longer than is necessary.

For me to be crowned
and anointed

knowing that I still meant
to marry

against the laws of the Church

would be taking the Sacrament
with a lie on my lips.

That is a thing I cannot do.

Everyone seems to know
more about the state of affairs

than we do.

We know nothing.

I cannot believe
that faced with the choice

of the crown or this marriage,

that David would choose
Mrs. Simpson.

He wants her
more than anything else,

and he's used to having
his own way.

That's apparent enough.

Is it -- Is it possible

he's promised Mrs. Simpson
he could make her queen

and she's actually come
to believe it?

Perhaps.

Then she's totally ignorant
of British ways

and the limits
on the power of the king.

It's impossible
to discuss the subject with him.

David regards her
as an inspiration.

Oh, if only he'd see reason.

He's beyond reason, Bertie,

or he would never
have asked Mama to meet her.

What difference could that make?

Even if she liked Mrs. Simpson,

she'd still find it impossible
to approve of the marriage.

You're right.

A meeting would solve nothing.

Besides, your mother promised
your father never to meet her.

She won't break that promise.

So you believe the outcome
is inevitable.

I dread it --
for your sake and for mine.

I don't understand him at all.

I feel I've lost a friend.

And now I'm losing a brother.

It's all crumbling about us.

We must put on a brave face,
as Mama is,

and continue with our duties
in the normal way.

But...I wasn't brought up
to be king.

I'm...I'm totally unprepared
for it.

I...

I've never seen a state paper.

I'm s-simply a naval officer.

That's the only thing
I know about.

You'll manage, Bertie.

We'll manage together
and make the best of it.

[ Indistinct conversations ]

Well, at least she's left
the fort.

Mm.
And the press is still quiet.

It'll be interesting to see
what line Beaverbrook takes

when he gets back.

The king thinks he'll take
his side?

Mm.

But even Max can't muzzle
the press forever.

As it is, Dawson and the rest
are only keeping quiet

because they don't want to
embarrass the king

before he makes his tour
of Wales.

Ah.
Thank you, Pollock.

At least they're
sensitive enough to realize

that if he's to face
that ordeal,

perhaps he should be spared
any other.

How long do you think
this, um, amnesty will last

after he returns?

Not long.

But long enough, I hope,
for this matter to be resolved.

[ Machinery whirring ]

[ Metal rattles ]

[ Indistinct conversations ]

These men look quite cheerful.

These men are in work, sir.

[ Crowd cheering ]

Sir, have you work?

Yes, sir,
if please God I keep it.

Good.

WOMEN:
God save the king!

[ Cheering continues ]

Are you my new king?

Yes, sonny.
I'm your new king.

These works brought
all these men here.

Something must be done
to find them work.

You may be sure that all
I can do for you, I shall.

We certainly want better times
brought to your valley.

And something will be done
about unemployment.

Something must be done.

[ Men singing in Welsh ]

[ Music ends ]

[ Indistinct conversations ]

Walter.

-Alec.
-Sorry to keep you.

-Come and sit down.
-Thank you.

Well, a very good press,
I think.

I'm glad it all went off
so well.

What on earth does he mean
by these pronouncements of his

when he's already told the
prime minister and his family

that he wishes to renounce
the throne?

Well...I think
that a man under sentence

isn't strictly accountable.

He can forgiven
a little make-believe.

You think he will go?

Oh, yes.

And I've urged him
to get it over quickly

and leave the country.

How was he when you left him?

Curiously cheerful.

He's dining this evening
with Chips Channon.

[ Slow introduction plays ]

♫ My word, I've had a party ♫

♫ My word, I've had a spree ♫

♫ Believe me or believe me not ♫

♫ It's all the same to me ♫

♫ I'm wild with exultation ♫

♫ I'm dizzy with success ♫

♫ For I've danced with a man ♫

♫ I've danced with a man ♫

♫ Who --
Well, you'll never guess ♫