The series will look at the divorce of the Duke (Bettany) and Duchess of Argyll (Foy) in 1963, BBC One and Amazon Studios confirmed today.
Written by The Pale Horse’s Sarah Phelps, A Very British Scandal will follow the socialite couple as their acrimonious divorce plays out in the tabloids, featuring accusations of “forgery, theft, violence, drug-taking, secret recording, bribery and an explicit polaroid picture”.
“A Very British Scandal turns this scandal inside out in order to explore the social and political climate of post-war Britain, looking at attitudes towards women, and asking whether institutional misogyny was widespread at the time,” the studios tease.
“As her contemporaries, the press, and the judiciary sought to vilify her, Margaret kept her head held high with bravery and resilience, refusing to go quietly as she was betrayed by her friends and publicly shamed by a society that revelled in her fall from grace.”
The three hour-long episodes will air on BBC One in the UK, while those in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will find the series on Amazon Prime Video.
Filming is expected to take place across the UK later this year, with further casting announced in due course.
Foy, who portrayed Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown‘s first two series, said in a statement: “I’m so excited to work with Anne, Sarah and Paul on this extraordinary project, and to explore through this story, how often shame, judgement and controversy surrounds a woman’s sexuality.”
Bettany, who recently starred in Disney Plus spin-off WandaVision and Solo: A Star Wars Story, added: “I’m delighted to be working with the remarkable Claire Foy to tell the fascinating and scandalous story of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll and their very complicated lives.
“I’m also extremely happy to get the chance to once again be working with the wonderful teams at the BBC and Amazon Studios.”
The upcoming series is the second in the anthology, which began with A Very English Scandal – written by Russell T Davies and starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw as politician Jeremy Thorpe and his lover Norman Josiffe.