Queen Elizabeth II’s dad, King George VI, reportedly cried for an hour after he learned that he will become king. Her Majesty’s father wasn’t really in line to take over the throne, but the order of succession changed after King Edward VIII decided to abdicate.

In the Channel 5 documentary “The Queen Mother: The Reluctant Queen,” royal biographer Jane Ridley said that both King George VI and the Queen Mother were horrified to learn about their new positions in the monarchy. King George VI was unprepared to become a ruler.

“The Duchess was pretty distraught,” Ridley said. “It would be wrong to see her as playing to be Queen. She didn’t want to be Queen. One needs to remember that the Duke and Duchess of York had lived this very secluded safe and domestic existence,” she added.

According to the royal biographer, King George VI and the Queen Mother made it a point to focus their lives on their two daughters, and they seldom entertained visitors into their home. But due to King Edward VIII’s abdication, they suddenly became catapulted into the position of being King and Queen. The then Duke of York was so shocked by the news that he suffered from a mental breakdown.

“When Bertie realized what he had been dreading was actually going to happen, he went to visit his mother Queen Mary, who is this incredible sort of stiff matriarch with an enormous bosom. He put his head on her shoulder and cried like a child for an hour. He really had this kind of breakdown,” Ridley said.

Royal biographer Robert Lacey said that the Queen Mother blamed two people for her husband’s agony: King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. The Queen Mother was furious with King Edward VIII’s decision to betray the monarchy and to choose love over his duty to the nation.

“She felt anger at what it meant for her husband, her shy husband, but I think she also sensed the opportunity of doing a job very well indeed and stepping forward,” he said.

King George VI King of Great Britain (1936-1952) making his radio broadcast to the nation after the outbreak of World War II. Fox Photos/Getty Images