Edward and Mrs Simpson:

Episode 1 - The Little Prince

Episode 2 - Venus at the Prow

 

Director: Waris Hussein

Writers: Frances DonaldsonSimon Raven

Rôle: King George V

Episode 1: The Little Prince - His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales performs his official duties well and is loved by those around him and his people. He enjoys entertaining his friends and has an active social life. In his private life he has, since the end of the First World War, shown a preference for having relationships with married women. When his most constant companion, Freda Dudley Ward, is unable to accompany him on his planned safari in East Africa, she suggests Lady Thelma Furness as a suitable companion. They form a close friendship and it is she who introduces the Prince to Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American living in England with her husband Ernest. Over several years, the Simpsons become regular weekend guests and after returning from a lengthy trip abroad, Lady Furness finds that Wallis has replaced her.

Broadcast: 6 November 1978 Thames Television

Episode 2: Venus at the Prow - With Wallis firmly established as his mistress and his hostess, gossip and muttering begins. When her instructions to the household staff are ignored, the Prince lets it be known in no uncertain terms that whatever she says is to be followed to the letter. With her husband unavailable due to business commitments, Wallis and the Prince set off for an extended holiday sailing in the Mediterranean. King George V and Queen Mary are concerned at the Prince's lengthy absence from his official duties all the more so when he extends the holiday by three weeks. They are also concerned that he has yet to marry and that his relationship with Wallis may lead to something more serious. The King consults the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prime Minister but all agree that little harm can come of the relationship as long as she remains married. On the death of his father, the Prince becomes King Edward VIII.

Broadcast: 15 November 1978 Thames Television

Trivia: There were tensions between Marius and Peggy Ashcroft, who was playing his wife, Queen Mary. They had been close friends in the 1930s from they first worked together, playing the leads in 'Romeo and Juliet' at The Old Vic in 1933, and had worked together on stage and radio regularly over later decades. They had even discussed starting their own theatre company at one time. However, the filming of the mini-series took place at the height of protests against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Marius supported the right of actors union Equity members to perform there (he was to take Equity to court on the issue in 1986), whereas Dame Peggy vehemently opposed it. They were professionally courteous to each other and no more while working on the series.

Availability: DVD (Network) Release Date: 2005

Edward and Mrs Simpson poster

House of Caradus:

The Girl in the Blue Dress

 

Director: Marc Miller

Writer: David Benedictus

Rôle: Magnus Bronsky

Synopsis: The drama series is about a long-established and highly respected family firm of auctioneers in Chester, England, the House of Caradus, run by Helena Caradus, her brother Lionel and their cousin Victor, which is now in serious financial trouble. 

In this episode, they have to deal with a pair of unscrupulous ‘knockers’ who have swindled a old friend of the family out of some heirlooms and another equally unscrupulous pair of valuers. They enlist the help of another old family friend, the Bond Street jeweller, Magnus Bronsky (Marius Goring). 

Broadcast: 23 March 1979 Granada Television

Availability: Available from the ITV archives.

House of Caradus poster