Edward the King

Season 1 Episode 4


Aired Unknown Apr 22, 1975 on ITV

Episode Recap

The Danish royal family gets a visit from Mrs Paget, the wife of a British diplomat. They don't know that Paget is inspecting Princess Alexandra (Alix) as a possible bride for Bertie. She was told to do this by Princess Vicky, who is delighted with Paget's report.

Bertie knows he's under pressure to marry, but he has rejected the candidates so far. All of them were German princesses and a such a marriage would please Prince Albert. When Mrs Paget gives Queen Victoria a photograph of the stunning Alix, Prince Albert puts it away, hoping that Bertie might still choose a German princess.

As Bertie won't change his mind about the other candidates, it is decided that he should meet Alix. To avoid that such a meeting could be interpreted as an offer, it is arranged that they see each other 'by accident', visiting a cathedral in Germany. To his parents' horror Bertie still isn't sold on the idea of a marriage to the Danish princess.

Finding a bride for Bertie is one more problem for the overworked Prince Albert who's trying to keep Britain out of the escalating American Civil War. One day he gets a letter from Baron Stockmar. His former adviser has heard rumours about Bertie and a music hall actress. Prince Albert fears that this might be the reason why Bertie is stalling the marriage proposal, and he goes to see him personally at Cambridge. Bertie feels embarrassed about his indiscretion and promises to change his ways.

Albert returns to the palace cold and wet. He tries to keep on working, avoiding conflicts that might offend President Lincoln, but the cold gets worse. The doctors at first don't quite know what the problem is or don't dare to tell the queen the truth. A third doctor, Dr Watson, diagnoses typhoid.

Prince Albert's health problem is kept quiet from the public and even Bertie doesn't grasp the severity of the situation. When he receives an order by letter to return to Windsor, he arrives there just in time to see his father die. Queen Victoria gets hysterical.