Edward VII: The Pleasure King
Born the second child and first son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1841, Prince Albert Edward of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was always destined to be king. It was just a very long time coming - by the time he succeeded his mother to the British throne in 1901, King Edward VII was almost 60. The programme reveals the contradictory personality and extraordinary private life of the man known as "Bertie" to his family, showing how he combined the endless pursuit of pleasure with an instinctive grasp of the monarchy's role in the 20th century. Central to his story are the often troubled relationships with the women in his life, ranging from his mother who blamed him for the death of her beloved husband, to his wife of 50 years Alexandra, and his many mistresses. Queen Victoria's refusal to involve him in state matters forced him into 40 years of enforced idleness, so Bertie spent his days gambling, overeating, shooting, smoking and womanising.