‘A Very British Scandal’: Prime Video Announces Release Date for New Claire Foy, Paul Bettany Series

TL;DR: 

  • A Very British Scandal releases April 22 on Prime Video
  • Claire Foy and Paul Bettany star in the three-episode series. 
  • It’s based on the Duke and Duchess of Argyll’s scandalous and contentious 1963 divorce.
Claire Foy wearing a fur stole standing next to Paul Bettany in blue jacket in 'A Very British Scandal'
Claire Foy and Paul Bettany in ‘A Very British Scandal’ | Photo by Alan Peebles, Copyright: SCANDAL PRODUCTIONS LIMITED & BLUEPRINT TELEVISION LIMITED & CPT Holdings, Inc.

Prime Video is following the award-winning series A Very English Scandal with A Very British Scandal. The new limited series stars Paul Bettany and Claire Foy as the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, whose 1963 divorce sparked a media frenzy. 

‘A Very British Scandal’ premieres April 22 

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A Very British Scandal aired in December 2021 on BBC. U.S. audiences can stream the three-episode limited series beginning Friday, April 22, on Prime Video. 

Sarah Phelps (The Pale Horse, Dublin Murders) wrote the script, which begins with the romance between wealthy socialite Margaret Sweeney and Ian Campbell, the future Duke of Argyll. 

“I once saw you in Paris,” Ian tells Margaret in the trailer. “I said, ‘There’s a girl I’m going to marry.’”

“Who did you say that to?” she asks. 

“My wife,” he replies. “I rather think it’s why she divorced me.”  

Margaret and Ian do marry, but the honeymoon doesn’t last. Eventually, the two find themselves at odds in the courts. During the proceedings, salacious details of Margaret’s private life are splashed across the front pages of U.K. tabloids. As Margaret is publicly vilified, especially after explicit photos come to light, she keeps her head high and refuses to slink away in shame.  

Claire Foy and Paul Bettany star in the Prime Video series 

Foy, best known for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, plays the Duchess in A Very British Scandal. WandaVision star Bettany plays her husband, the Duke of Argyll. 

The supporting cast includes Julia Davis as socialite Maureen Guinness. Richard McCabe and Phoebe Nicholls play Margaret’s parents, George and Helen Whigham. Sophia Myles portrays Louise Campbell, the Duke’s wife prior to Margaret. Other cast members include Amanda Drew, Jonathan Aris, Oliver Chris, Richard Goulding, and Camilla Rutherford. 

Claire Foy says her character’s sexuality was used against her 

In an interview with the BBC ahead of the U.K. premiere of A Very British Scandal, Foy spoke about playing the notorious Duchess. She commented on how her sexuality was used against her during the divorce case. 

“The easiest shortcut in any society of how to bring a woman down is to expose her as being unwomanly,” Foy said. “Saying that someone is promiscuous or having an opinion or a sex life is the oldest trick in the book, and it’s basically been used since they used to burn us as witches.”

The Emmy-winning actor said that in some ways, not a lot has changed for women since the Argyll divorce case captivated the public’s attention in the 1960s. 

“The way she was treated is how some women are treated today,” she said. “It was so apparent that who she was, her sexuality, her as a woman, the way she behaved, her choices in life were used against her and to judge her character.”

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