LONDON  - US singer and director Madonna on Wednesday attended the London premiere of her royal romance movie ‘W.E.’, which is finally to be released in Britain on January 20 following a tortuous editing process.

The global style icon, who directed, co-wrote and co-produced the film, swept down the red carpet at the Odeon theatre in Kensington, southwest London, wearing a floor-length black Jean Paul Gaultier dress and Dolce & Gabbana cape. The film, which charts the scandalous love affair between Britain’s king Edward VIII and US divorcee Wallis Simpson, was re-edited after it received poor reviews when it was aired at last year’s Venice and Toronto film festivals. One writer complained it looked like a commercial for “high-end cosmetics” while another called it “the turkey that dreamed it was a peacock”.

The 53-year-old director explained the film’s message before Wednesday’s screening. “This movie shows that there is no such thing as perfect love, that all love requires compromise or sacrifice,” she said on the red carpet, where she was joined by the film’s stars Andrea Riseborough and James d’Arcy. “The other thing is that nothing is as it seems. You can look from the outside and think it’s one thing but once you start investigating, it’s something completely different.” The love affair led to the abdication of Britain’s then king.