WINDSOR, England -- Watch "The King's Speech" closely and you'll realize that the real villain of the Oscar-winning film isn't King George VI's debilitating stammer. It's his older brother, David.
Feckless and hedonistic, David ascends the British throne in 1936 as Edward VIII but abandons it to his unprepared brother before the year is out. His famous declaration that he was abdicating to be with "the woman I love," the American divorcee Wallis Simpson, has proved irresistible fodder for breathless biographies and melodramatic made-for-TV movies ever since.
The story has drawn renewed fascination now that another royal wedding is in the offing, the eagerly anticipated marriage Friday of Prince William, Edward's great-great-nephew and second in line to the throne, and his fiancee, commoner Kate Middleton.