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The House Of Windsor: The King Who Saved The Crown, 1936 - 1952

Airs Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Promotional image of the Queen during coronation rites from "The House Of Windsor." The television series explores the turbulent reign of England’s Windsor family, the most prestigious monarchy in the world.

"The House Of Windsor" explores the turbulent reign of England's Windsor family, the most prestigious monarchy in the world. This in-depth series illuminates the storied history of the family which has held the English throne for nearly a century. They persevered through two World Wars, but in addition to their triumphs, they also endured the pain of both scandal and tragedy.

Episode Two: "The King Who Saved The Crown, 1936 - 1952"

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England.
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Above: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England.

Edward's abdication was the worst possible news for his younger brother, Bertie, Duke of York. Happily married with two young daughters, he longed for a quiet country life. Now, duty compelled him to be King.

On May 12, 1937, he was crowned George VI (taking his father's name for continuity). The remarkable strength of his vivacious wife, Elizabeth (The future Queen Mum), helped him find a new confidence and poise. World War II and the blitz that threatened to destroy London revealed him as a modest but unwavering hero.

Also in this episode, we meet the two young princesses. The 10-year-old Elizabeth, on her father's coronation, became the new heir to the throne. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and had two children, Charles and Anne. On June 2, 1953 she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II. The House of Windsor was in safe hands.

Video

Preview: The House Of Windsor

Above: "The House Of Windsor" explores the turbulent reign of England's Windsor family, the most prestigious monarchy in the world. This in-depth series illuminates the storied history of the family which has held the English throne for nearly a century.