Madonna felt inspired to make her new royal movie W.E. after researching British history when she moved to England and found herself friendless.
The Material Girl makes her directorial debut with the period piece, which is based on the romance between British monarch King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson, whose relationship forced the royal to abdicate the throne in 1936.
The star admits she felt lonely when she first moved to Britain after she met now ex-husband Guy Ritchie, and she used her spare time to find out more about the country's past.
She tells Britain's Radio Times, "I really didn't have any friends, I didn't know anybody, and I found myself in a strange world so I decided that I was going to educate myself and find out about the history and culture of this new world that I lived in.
"So I started studying English history - I started reading about the monarchy, starting with Henry VIII, and then I worked all the way up to the Windsor family.
"I'd heard about Edward VIII abdicating when I was in school. I knew that he had given up the throne for this American woman from Baltimore and that was it. I researched it more and I was kind of transfixed by the idea that a man would give up such a powerful position for love. I felt that there was something kind of Shakespearean about it."