Watch Spying on the Royals

Declassified documents bring to light the secret story of the stunning events of 1936, detailing the most controversial espionage operation in British history, targeting King Edward VIII and his feisty American lover Wallis Simpson, both considered major security threats. Edward and Wallis were bugged, wire-tapped, and followed - on the orders of both the British king and the American president.

PBS Masterpiece
1 Season, 2 Episodes
March 14, 2018
6.7/10
Cast: Samuel West, Richard Crowest, Luke Hope
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Spying on the Royals Full Episode Guide

  • Newly declassified secret files reveal how King George VI himself paid for espionage on his own brother, the former Edward VIII, based on intelligence that Edward was attempting to usurp George VI. And fears of Wallis and Edward’s scheming was so great, that Wallis and Edward were tailed, bugged, and their phone tapped in an operation carried out on the orders of the American president himself.

  • December 1936: King Edward VIII telephoned his brother Bertie to tell him that he could no longer be King if it meant losing the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson. His every word was being scrutinized by intelligence officers. This royal romance can now be seen through a unique new perspective: the eyes of those who spied on Edward VIII, and Wallis Simpson, creating a secret dossier unlike any other.

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