Edward the Seventh

This television series from the 70s was another ‘must watch’.  I was hooked by the story of the Prince who became King very late in life.  It was made in 1975, shown on ITV and, even though I haven’t seen it for many years, key scenes still come back to me.  The British talent on show in the cast was amazing.  I was a big fan of a young actor called Simon Gipps-Kent.  He played the young prince in half of one episode!  However, to my young self, this was the best episode.

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I had studied the later Victorian era in school so the parade of characters was entirely familiar.  This must have been the era before history dramas were updated to be like soap operas because I remember whole episodes relating events exactly as my old history teacher did.  Mind you, at school, they glossed over the more ‘playboy’ aspects of the King’s life.

Annette Crosbie played Queen Victoria ans Robert Hardy was Prince Albert.  The early part of the series with these two was best but, as had to happen to be historically correct, Prince Albert had to die!  I also remember Michael Hordern as Gladstone and Sir John Gielgud as Disraeli.  Timothy West was the older Bertie (or Prince Edward) and Charles Sturridge played him as a younger man.

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There was a time when British television made these grand dramas that covered important events without reducing them to sub- soap opera style series.

‘Edward the Seventh’ is in my hinterland.  What’s in yours?

 

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