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Edward VIII: the Lion King

Edward VIII: the Lion King

Tue May 28, 9-10pm, C4

By Gabriel Tate
C4’s curious obsession with royals and aristocrats continues with this mild rehabilitation of the much-maligned monarch. Before bringing everlasting shame on our great nation by gallivanting off with an American divorcée, it transpires that the then-prince was an early champion of the conservation movement. Appalled by the routine slaughter of African safaris, he dumped the gun for the camera, taking some superb footage of the Serengeti and successfully campaigning to establish a national park there.

There’s some eye-opening material on the dying decades of African colonialism, and it unarguably casts new light on a familiar figure. But the presentation is nothing special, with the usual procession of plummy historians and biographers (‘it went viral, we’d say these days,’ says one, looking very pleased with herself) lifted only by Edward’s only genuinely compelling films.

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