Edward and Wallis: A Story of Love and Destiny

Edward and Wallis: A Story of Love and Destiny

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 9:00pm - 10:00pm

Pictured: Edward and Wallis on their Wedding Day in 1937

Credit: APT

King Edward VIII of Britain was one of the 20th century's first celebrity superstars — handsome, charming, and adored the world over.

At 30, the prince was the most desirable bachelor on the planet – an heir to a throne with the magnetism of a Hollywood film star. However, in a scandal that would shake England to its very foundation, Edward chose to give up the throne to marry his twice-divorced American mistress, Wallis Simpson. Edward and Wallis: A Story of Love and Destiny airs Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

Only those who knew him best knew the dark truth about Edward: after a rather lonely childhood, the Prince of Wales bore deep psychological scars and was seemingly trapped in a state of permanent adolescence. In his old age, Edward’s father King George V recognized this, and subsequently became convinced that if his son succeeded him, the monarchy would be "in ruins within 12 months."

Edward and Wallis: A Story of Love and Destiny also explores the events that occurred before Edward’s inevitable ascension to the throne, beginning with a chance meeting in 1930 that led to his illicit love affair with Wallis Simpson. Once it became clear that Britain would not accept an American divorcee as their queen, the strength of Edward's feelings for his lover outweighed his sense of royal duty. His decision to step down sparked the great Abdication Crisis of 1936, and the crown passed to George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II. Instead of celebrating his coronation in 1937, Edward left England and married Wallis. Largely exiled by the rest of the royal family, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor spent their life together as globe-trotting celebrities.