September 13, 2023


The three-part docuseries, A Very Royal Crisis: Countdown to Abdication, recounts the story behind the ten days leading to Edward VIII abdicating his throne.  

September 13, 2023, WASHINGTON DC – The BBC today announces the premiere of A Very Royal Crisis: Countdown to Abdication, an original documentary series by BBC Select coming to the streaming service on September 21st for U.S. and Canadian audiences. Watch the trailer here.

The three-part docuseries, narrated by Hugh Bonneville, tells the true tale of the biggest scandal to ever engulf the British Royal Family – a forbidden love affair which had a devastating impact. A Very Royal Crisis takes audiences through the ten days leading to Edward VIII’s abdication in December 1936 to marry American divorcee

Wallis Simpson and how those few days would change the royals, the press and British history forever. 


With interviews from the world’s leading historians and unprecedented access to new research including rare first-hand accounts, recently uncovered diaries and Secret Service documents recorded at the heart of the drama, BBC will shed new light on the true extent of government intervention and provide a unique insight into the King’s state of mind during the crisis.  


“There is no better time to re-examine Edward VIII’s decision to abdicate. The conflict between private life and duty to the crown has had a ripple effect on the lives of the royal family from Princess Margaret, Charles & Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles right up to Harry and Meghan today” said Cassian Harrison, SVP of Content Creation and Acquisition, BBC Studios. 


A Very Royal Crisis: Countdown to Abdication is the first original documentary series from BBC Select, BBC’s documentary streaming service which first launched in North America in 2021. BBC Select is available to audiences in the U.S. and Canada via Amazon Prime Video Channels, the Apple TV app and The Roku Channel. 


About BBC Studios 


BBC Studios is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group with profits (EBITDA) of £226 million on sales of £1.6bn (21/22). Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions, and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents, with three-quarters of its revenues from non-BBC customers including Discovery, Apple and Netflix.  Around 2,400 hours of award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, with brands like Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, Bluey and Doctor Who., BBC Studios’ global digital news platform, has 139 million unique browser visits each month.