The Archbishop Who Brought Down a King w/t – A revelatory film about the extraordinary Archbishop, Cosmo Gordon Lang, who conspired to bring down King Edward VIII, based on a large archive of unpublished diaries, personal notes and his own secret account of the abdication.
Lang was a bold appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1928 – designed to breathe new life into the Church of England at a time of crisis and decline. Yet his elevation to the heart of the establishment transformed this priest who was once dedicated to helping the poor into a royal sycophant who curried favour with the King.
Lang decided 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 he faced an adversary in the ‘playboy prince’ Edward – an undeclared atheist who wanted to modernise the royal family – and marry a twice-divorced woman. Behind the scenes, along with Cabinet ministers and media editors, Lang helped launch a campaign for the King’s removal. His rigidly moralistic stance contributed to the King’s abdication – 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.
Channel: Channel 4
TX: Early 2012
Source: Channel 4 Press Office