Bertie and Elizabeth

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Bertie and Elizabeth
US DVD cover
Directed byGiles Foster
Written byNigel Williams
StarringJames Wilby
Juliet Aubrey
Alan Bates
Eileen Atkins
Charles Edwards
David Ryall
Denis Lill
Amber Sealey
Release date
  • 4 June 2002 (2002-06-04)
Running time
98 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom

Bertie & Elizabeth is a 2002 television film directed by Giles Foster and produced by Carlton Television. The film explores the relationship between King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth from their first meeting to the King's death in the winter of 1952. Bertie & Elizabeth was commissioned especially for the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II and was first broadcast on ITV1 on 4 June 2002, only two months after the death of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. The role of Queen Mary was portrayed by Dame Eileen Atkins, a person that she again played in season one of the part fact, part fictional royal TV drama The Crown in 2016.


The film begins with the initial meeting between the then Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. The television drama then moves on through their courtship, marriage, and succession to the throne after the abdication of Edward VIII. We also see the two royals dealing with the events of the Second World War, as Buckingham Palace is hit and partially destroyed by a Luftwaffe bomb.

The film portrays King George VI's struggle to overcome his stammer, the fear he felt towards his father and the punishing stress the King was placed under during the abdication crisis of 1936.


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