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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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First shown in 1975, it was a remarkable achievement at the time. Now thanks to the wonders of DVD deserves to be seen by a wider audience. The production values and acting were simply first class. Of course, the younger generation may find the values and attitudes which existed in Victorian and Edwardian times difficult to understand, taking into account the way people behaved with each other in those days. But, those were the days! The viewer will also have fun spotting the face since many well known actors were just beginning their careers then. Amongst them Dennis Lill who portrayed the King's friend and secretary, Ponsonby, who went on to portray King Edward the Seventh in the successful series Lilly starring Francesca Annis who also appeared in this series as well. All round, a must see. A very good buy indeed. Sound and picture are quite good considering its now almost 30 years since it was first seen.
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on 9 December 2004
This is a spectacular production that has held up well considering it is 30 years old. Annette Cosby's performance as Queen Victoria is fabulous, considering that she depicts Victoria from her early 20s to her early 80s! Timothy West makes a good Prince of Wales, and the supporting cast is very good. Christopher Neame is compelling and beleivable as Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Felicity Kendal warms our hearts as the charming Princess Vicky. A must buy for all royal lovers!
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The acclaimed 1975 series; 13 episodes, each 50 minutes. This portrayal of the shamefully underused heir to the throne is very much on Edward's side, playing down his grosser excesses. Despite his constant pleading, he was denied any real responsibilities by his parents Victoria and Albert. Frustrated, he turned to self-indulgent, trivial pursuits. Only when he was sixty and king were his talents appreciated - he, amongst other things, proving a skilled and greatly needed negotiator both at home and abroad.

The sumptuous production has much to please the eye. By modern standards, it may seem a little slow moving and wordy, some of the cast under the mistaken impression they are on the stage, needing to project their voices to reach the back of the stalls. Such criticisms are trivial amidst so much that delights. Annette Crosbie's Victoria deservedly won a BAFTA. Robert Hardy as Albert is simply superb - he and others increasingly fine as their characters age. What a triumph for Timothy West as Edward! A special delight is Helen Ryan as Alexandra - the princess usually late except when giving birth. Movingly she is an extraordinarily tolerant wife, Edward's mistress invited to see him as his death nears.

Extra pleasures include early glimpses of now famous faces, credits confirming the sightings and revealing other names that surprise. (What a joy,too, to have credits that can actually be read!) Extras include commentaries and a very interesting Robert Hardy feature.

All in all, a right royal treat.
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on 19 January 2007
I first watched this on ATV in 1975 as an 11 year old. I ended up having a massive crush on Charles Sturridge as a result! I was overjoyed to get the chance to watch this on DVD and my own little 5 year loves watching "Bertie" and "Mama" (Queen Victoria).

Timothy West makes for a marvellous Edward although I thought at the time, they could have let Charles Sturridge continue with playing the young Bertie a little longer as they kept Deborah Grant with Alix for one more episode.

The acting by Annette Crosbie is superlative. For me, she is the definitive Queen Victoria - her resemblance is remarkable. Robert Hardy made for an excellent Prince Albert. It is quite clear to see how much the Queen must have depended upon him and how his death affected her.

Christopher Neame as Kaiser made for a wonderfully wicked individual - torn between family loyalties and foreign ambition.

There are too many fine performances here by a wonderfully assembled cast with many names now sadly lost - John Gielgud, Michael Hordern (such a cuddly character in Gladstone!). Lovely to see Timothy West's own children taking part as the young George and Eddy; making for three generations of the West family acting in Royal dramas. Apparently Timothy West's own father Lockwood played Edward VII in "Guest of Honour" in "Upstairs Downstairs".

This is a series I have already watched three times on DVD since receiving it and as I said, my little 5 year old enjoys it and asks questions so I feel he's sort of getting a history lesson while being entertained. Can't get better than that!
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on 15 February 2005
At the age of 8, I sneakily watched this bent double and peaking through the sitting room door at home and was rapt; nearly thirty years on it has the same effect on me, albeit with viewing in more comfortable circumstances! OK the production may be a little dated, but the performances of Annette Crosbie, Robert Hardy, Felicity Kendall for starters and a host of other actors & actresses who have since then become household names are totally brilliant (I noticed the name of Charles Sturridge on the credits who played the young Bertie and later went on to direct Brideshead Revisted). The portrayals, in particular those of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (having watched the first three episodes this time around), seem so authentic that this is how one imagine's they might have been in real life
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on 8 February 2010
A fantastic production from the mid 1970s, with Annette Crosby stunning as Queen Victoria ably backed up by Timothy West in the lead role and Robert Hardy as Prince Albert. For those brought up on the great TV drama's of the 1970's this is a trip down memory lane you won't regret. Also well worth watching Lillie (drama from 1970s that followed on from this with Francesa Annis at her best in the lead role)
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on 26 May 2010
This series is historically very accurate.I particularly liked how the more controversial personal aspects were dealt with. It is impossible not to feel a deep compassion for Edward VII and lament how Queen Victoria failed to allow her son a much greater interference in the state affairs. As king, in such a short reign, he is justly very well treated, especially in what concerns his activity in foreign affairs. Had he lived a few years longer one could think WWI might have been averted. As a portuguese I also admired how the figure of the Marquis de Soveral is so correctly shown.
As for the acting, just one word: superb.
In all, a series not to be lost if you are interested in the history of the period concerned.
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on 21 April 2013
Really enjoyable. I suppose it was a little dated but it was an excellent series nonetheless. It was historically accurate too, as you would expect, and gave a good insight into Edward's life and his relationship with his mother. Glad I bought it and watched all 13 episodes within a week.
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on 21 October 2014
It might not appeal to viewers who prefer their historical drama to move along at a more spurious pace, but it's the calm, gentile spirit that is captured here that makes for a memorable 1975 period production. Edward VII's reign coincided with monumental social flux and pressure for change within Britain, European politics and the then British Empire and Dominions. Timothy West portrays the prince who had the patience to wait many decades before he ascended the throne and then surprised many people by his astute analysis of international events and oftentimes his versatile handling of political affairs behind the scenes. His love of his wife and his fondness for pleasure and ladies' company are all covered somewhat sympathetically but his reign also witnessed a British public who in the end loved their rakish King to the last. Read 'Uncle of Europe The Social and Diplomatic Life of Edward VII' by Gordon Brook-Shepherd (published also in 1975) for a fuller, more weighty, but eminently readable account of this often forgotten prince's true worth to this nation.
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on 14 January 2016
Superb series, great acting. It's these sort of productions that really do bring history to life and show us so much more than we can glean from books. Okay, so it may not be 100% historically accurate, but without doubt another modern classic.
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