The Queen’s Lost Family – C4

As The Queen's Lost Family concludes, more recently discovered letters shed fresh light on royal life during wartime

In this week’s The Queen’s Lost Family, we join the embattled Royal Family as the threat from Nazi Germany hangs over the country.

Different members of the royal family reacted in different ways. Edward, for example, makes a trip with Wallis Simpson to Germany to meet Hitler.

Later, Britain has been ripped apart when Edward, as King Edward VIII, decides to abdicate. While debate is still raging about republicanism in Parliament, war is declared.

Edward’s hopes for a high-profile position in the war effort are dashed, and he is instead given governorship of the Bahamas. Now he truly is exiled.

Happier days: the future George VI and family at the Welsh House in 1936

Happier days: the future George VI and family at the Welsh House in 1936

This final episode more generally looks at the Royal Family from the 1920s to the 1940s. During this time the spotlight eventually falls on Edward’s reluctant successor, Bertie, the “reluctant king”.

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War takes a toll on everyone in the country, even on the royal family. It strikes tragically when Edward and Bertie’s brother, George, is killed in a plane crash. The father of three was on active service and is aged just 39.

Sister Mary, grief stricken about her brother and the way her family has been torn in two by the abdication, still tries to bring about rapprochement between Edward and their mother.

TV Times rating: ****