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Edward VIII: The Plot to Topple a King

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Edward VIII: The Plot to Topple a King

Archbishop Cosmon Gordon Lang believed that Edward VIII's love for Wallis Simpson made a mockery of all that he stood for and threatened the Crown and the Church of England.

Edward VIII: The Plot to Topple a King tells how this extraordinary archbishop assembled a group of establishment big-wigs and grandees in 1936 to oust Edward.

Based on a large archive of unpublished diaries, personal notes and his own secret account of the abdication, the film reveals for the first time the machinations that went on behind the scenes to remove the King.

Lang worked with the editor of The Times, Geoffrey Dawson, and others to bring extreme pressure on the prime minister, Stanley Baldwin, to take action to ensure the departure of Edward.

When the archbishop's project to force the abdication of the King looked in doubt, he even resorted to smear tactics.

Lang believed that by aligning the monarchy with the Church of England he could bring religion back into the heart of society but, following George V's death in January 1936, he faced an adversary in the 'playboy prince' Edward, an undeclared atheist who wanted to modernise the royal family and marry twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson.

Lang's rigidly moralistic stance contributed to the King's abdication and his replacement with the stammering but dutiful George VI, but it would also prove to be his undoing, as his public criticism of Edward backfired and his campaign to recall the country to religion fell on deaf ears.

Edward VIII: The Plot to Topple a King synopsis

A revelatory film about Archbishop Cosmo Gordon Lang, who was at the centre of a group of establishment big-wigs and grandees who came together in 1936 to oust King Edward VIII

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