The series, made by Thames Television for ITV, was originally broadcast in 1978. Edward Fox played Edward, and Cynthia Harris portrayed Mrs. Simpson. The series was scripted by Simon Raven, based on Frances Donaldson's biography of the King, Edward VIII. It was produced by Verity Lambert and directed by Waris Hussein. The incidental music was by Ron Grainer.
The series won the 1980 Emmy award for Outstanding Limited Series, and BAFTA Awards in 1979 for Best Actor, Best Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Series or Serial. It has been released on DVD in Region 2 (UK) by Network, and in Region 1 (United States) by A&E.
2) Venus at the Prow: The romance between Edward and Mrs. Simpson develops. DVD chapter titles: No Muttering in Corners; Wallis in Wonderland; Don't Be Reckless; Cancel Everything; A Long Convalescence; Both Much Concerned; Long Live the King.
3) The New King: Edward succeeds to the throne upon the death of his father, King George V, in January, 1936, and asks Mrs. Simpson to marry him. Mr. Simpson agrees to a divorce. The King, Mrs. Simpson, and friends cruise the Mediterranean, an event widely reported by the press outside of England. DVD chapter titles: In His Father's Footsteps; That Calls for a Drink; Wallis Must Choose; Ernest Has Found Someone; Life is a Tease, Walter; Exceedingly Discreet; Father's List With Additions.
4) The Divorce: Edward convinces Mrs. Simpson to go forward with her divorce; she would then be free to marry him and be crowned Queen at the coronation scheduled for May, 1937. The King and the government pressure the British press to maintain silence about the King's romance, but news dribbles into Britain and gossip abounds. The New York Journal breaks the story "King will wed Wally". DVD chapter titles: Perfectly Straight Forward; Something Squalid About It All; Watching Like Hawks; There is Rumor; Everywhere Are Doubts; I Call on the Petitioner at Once; The King's Moll.
5) The Decision: Edward is warned that British press silence about his 'friendship' with Mrs. Simpson is about to be broken. The King tells the royal family and the Prime Minister that he intends to marry Wallis Simpson, and will abdicate if he cannot do so as King. DVD chapter titles: Too Much Time with Lawyers; In for a Miserable Time; Damage to the Crown; Opinion in the Empire; About to be Scandalized; Love Compared with Duty; He is Beyond Reason.
6) Proposals: Attempts are made to resolve the problem without Edward's abdicating, including a proposal put forth by the King for a morganatic marriage with Wallis Simpson. The British and Commonwealth governments oppose the marriage in any form. DVD chapter titles: The King Edward Touch; My Two Favourite Americans; A Futile Cause; Hands Off Our King; Replies from the Dominions; Unconstitutional; Parliamentary Questions.
7) The Abdication: The final days of Edward as King. DVD chapter titles: Must Not Divide the Nation; Speak to Me Later; At Last I Understand; One Final Effort; 10 December 1936; The Wireless Address; The Duke of Windsor.