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  #1661  
Old 10-23-2017, 05:07 PM
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I don't think she would have done it easily but she would IMO have done it if she'd realy wanted to. But she wasn't likely to meet a richer man than Edward, she might have wound up with some social climber who would have married her for the social cachet of marrying the Duchess of Windsor.
I don't believe she would have been ostracised, there were always shallow people in that society she mixed in who would accept whatever excuse she might give for another divorce.
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  #1662  
Old 10-23-2017, 05:12 PM
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The thing is though that once Wallis would have remarried, she would no longer be able to associate herself with the Duchess of Windsor title. It would be totally lost upon remarriage.

If anyone would have known how shallow and status seeking some high society people in that era were, she probably could have smelled them a mile away. It also was part of the era Wallis lived in that lone women that stand on their own two feet as an individual just wasn't the norm.

Wallis had far more to lose by divorcing David than she really had to gain when everything is all weighed and looked at.
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  #1663  
Old 10-23-2017, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
I don't think she would have done it easily but she would IMO have done it if she'd realy wanted to. But she wasn't likely to meet a richer man than Edward, she might have wound up with some social climber who would have married her for the social cachet of marrying the Duchess of Windsor.
I don't believe she would have been ostracised, there were always shallow people in that society she mixed in who would accept whatever excuse she might give for another divorce.
I'm not sure I agree w/para 2. I think she understood that if she walked away from him it would be she, not he that looked bad. After all, sans Wallis, the family could very well take him back on some terms and play her up as the villain. Which they were capable of at the time. If not the family, then the courtiers that did such an excellent job hacking away at the Wales' for fun and profit (JMO and off topic, but they showed their colors to be puce and petty back then).

I've always thought Wallis enjoyed kvetching about how much she endured from each of her partners. That was part of her schtick - to whine about all she had to put up with. You can see it in the passive aggressive comments in letters to friends and exes.

I've always admired him for his lack of that trait. Sooner or later, we all get bugged by friends/loves. It's a mark of some kind of substance that he didn't feel/vent (which?) that in his own letters. Of course, he vented to her about the Royal Family. But that's another thing.
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  #1664  
Old 10-23-2017, 09:13 PM
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I can just picture how ostracized Wallis would have been if she had decided to end her marriage to David.
Divorced women were ostracized. It was the ultimate scarlet letter. How many film stars from that era did not divorce because it would have meant the ruin of their career?

Wallis' first husband was an alchohoilc who brutally abused her. She was subject to savage beatings. She eventually got away from him and yet it was a mark against her that she left him at the time. To this day the ending of her first marriage is attributed to some character flaw and innate shallowness.

Her second marriage to Simpson she never intended to give up, it was given up for her through the machinations of David himself. He went behind her back, called Simpson to a meeting, and there her fate was sealed. We cannot say what Simpson would have done without the pressure David brought to bear. It's a remarkable piece of the story, because had Simpson not caved, she could have held David off. Without Simpson, she was powerless to effect her removal from David.

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After kind of being backed into a corner where her present husband and her want-to-be husband connived and plotted on how to make it all happen behind her back and then the subsequent marriage and being known as "That Woman", a divorce from David would have magnified the ostracism to the nth degree
I don't see Simpson as conniving. I think David is the culprit here. Whatever occurred in that meeting, it was enough to convince Simpson to walk without talking to Wallis. It's a very curious moment in the whole proceedings.

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and unless Wallis was strong enough in her own skin to handle things, retreating to a nunnery or being a recluse somewhere would most likely be the only place where she could feel comfortable.
We know she had considerable strength. She survived an abusive marriage and the ostracism leaving the husband entailed. No PTSD back then, and no sympathy for the woman. ('She must have deserved it', would have been the whispers).

It's easy in hindsight to say she could have refused to marry David, and she certainly could have, but the man was threatening her with stalking across the world, and killing himself. Someone here has mentioned that he got her to accept responsibility and guilt for him. She felt obligated if nothing else. Its a very complicated psychological/emotional web that had been, and was being woven, to keep her in place by his side. Someone objected to the notion that she was a captive, but she was, as so many women of her time were. Marriage was essential for social standing and economic survival, but what came along with that was more often than not a harrowing ordeal.

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Events had forced her to make her bed where it ended up and it was perhaps easier to "go with the flow" of things and lie in the bed of her own making rather than being a lone woman against the world.
I think you have summed it up, Osipi. She had already experienced the wasteland that greeted any unmarried woman between her first marriage and her second. She already knew what lay in store so she made the best choice she could.

It's curious how people want these historical figures to be saint-like. In several instances Wallis was handed a poor hand, but she played it the best she could. That she maintained sanity is in itself remarkable imo. Powerful influences came into play around her and we are hardly in a position to lecture that she shouldn't have been embittered, or grandiose, or entitled. She dealt with what she had in the way she could. She was a southern belle. It was in her to be that.

Oh well. A fascinating woman imo. Her circumstances, her choices, her undeniable strength. Remarkable, really. And the animus goes on. The BRF's part, especially the QM's part, in how they were dealt, is the real nasty in my book. JMO.
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  #1665  
Old 10-23-2017, 09:25 PM
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The part of the story I care about is their friendships during the war. That is what I find unforgivable.
I don't see anything in the QM's dislike of Wallis to be surprised about. I don't see any reason for her to welcome the Duchess into the family. Wallis went after David, and got burnt when it slipped out of her control.
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  #1666  
Old 10-23-2017, 10:07 PM
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The part of the story I care about is their friendships during the war. That is what I find unforgivable.
You object to their politics. Okay. However, they were not outliers. The British aristocratic class were all of that and more. It is so. They were part of that which was their world. Why fault them for being precisely who they were embedded amongst? Neither of them were that well educated or imaginative in their own right to break free. Few did, yet they are faulted, and loudly. They played it the way they were given it. Most do. And none other are mentioned.

Someone remarked that Wallis' letters appeared (to them) to be whiny and complaining. They like that David did none of that. It's Wallis's critical faculty that is an indicator of her intelligence. IMO she's an example of a woman who could have been so much more with a good education. Even so, she did remarkably well living by her wits, I think.

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I don't see anything in the QM's dislike of Wallis to be surprised about.
No? I do. It was pretty extreme, and the reasons given for the animus just don't hold up. I think there's more afoot there than is admitted.

Of course, one can understand it (and not be surprised) on the basis of snobbery alone. Wallis was common, an American, a divorcee. But common would have been enough. She was common and presuming to be equal to royalty. That's one uppity commoner. Unforgivable.

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I don't see any reason for her to welcome the Duchess into the family.
Common courtesy? Good breeding?

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Originally Posted by O-H Anglophile View Post
Wallis went after David, and got burnt when it slipped out of her control.
'Went after David'. No. That wasn't Wallis' crime. Innumerable ladies had 'gone after' David, to his great delight (apparently). Wallis was playing by the rules. In the end, David wasn't. It wasn't part of the rules that the heir could break up marriages, but he did it. He went so far as to haul the husband into a meeting to effect that.

What Wallis's 'crime' was (that she did not look to have happen, it is clear) was that David fell in love with her and scrambled the monarchy. Or as some here suggested, as Kingship loomed he used Wallis as the handy get-of-jail-free card. Maybe it could have been any woman he had been currently enamored of, but we'll never know and that is pointless speculation.
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  #1667  
Old 10-24-2017, 02:04 AM
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Oh, how I love to see people twist and turn cold, hard, unforgiving facts in a vain attempt to try to rehabilitate Wallis Simpson into "she who was sinned against', a hapless victim of a selfish man (oh, better make that two selfish men, David and Ernest).
Quote:
You object to their politics. Okay. However, they were not outliers. The British aristocratic class were all of that and more. It is so. They were part of that which was their world. Why fault them for being precisely who they were embedded amongst? Neither of them were that well educated or imaginative in their own right to break free. Few did, yet they are faulted, and loudly. They played it the way they were given it. Most do. And none other are mentioned.
Fraternising with the enemy in a time of war is never going to be called anything other than Treason and more than a few swung on a noose or were jailed and yet you claim they merely played the hand they were dealt. The rest of David's family and 99.9% of their class and the British as a whole had no trouble telling friend from foe. The biggest inditement of David and Wallis Nazi sympathising was that David, unlike the rest of the general public, regardless of class, was informed of what was happening politically and militarily in the years leading up to the war.

It is almost as if their behaviour was a childish way of cocking a snoot at his brother and the rest of the BRF. The indiscreet loose lips bothered them not one wit so long as their egos were being stroked. That is why they originally went to Berlin. Let's be honest here, there is no way on God's green earth that you are going to persuade us that Wallis was guileless and innocent and vast swathes of the people of Britain were Nazi sympathisers. Good heavens, whatever do you use to measure the moral fibre of a person. Wallis was divorced, remarried and had a succession of lovers, the last of any real note being David whom she later married. David was much the same.

Their chickens came home to roost and karma bit them in the ass. It's not as if David debauched an innocent! They were both morally bankrupt and it is hardly surprising that the bed they made was both crowded and comfortless.

Wallis Simpson's extraordinary collection of lovers | Daily Mail Online

Note: I do not hate either Wallis or David but am fascinated that each of them seemed to bring out the worst in the other. Fascinated by their public behaviour, how they seemed to go out of their way to do every single thing they were advised not to and thus became the authors of their own pitiable fate.
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  #1668  
Old 10-24-2017, 04:32 AM
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You are correct-David had been privy as heir, then King to classified information but still fraternized with the enemy. There were good reasons he was sent to The Bahamas for the duration of the war. One, to protect him from his own stupidity and keep him from being captured and used as a pawn and two, to limit the information he could pass onto the enemy. Churchill and King George VI knew that David was untrustworthy and cared more about himself than his country. It saddened Bertie but he had no illusions about his brother.
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  #1669  
Old 10-24-2017, 08:21 AM
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Oh, how I love to see people twist and turn cold, hard, unforgiving facts in a vain attempt to try to rehabilitate Wallis Simpson into "she who was sinned against', a hapless victim of a selfish man (oh, better make that two selfish men, David and Ernest).Fraternising with the enemy in a time of war is never going to be called anything other than Treason and more than a few swung on a noose or were jailed and yet you claim they merely played the hand they were dealt. The rest of David's family and 99.9% of their class and the British as a whole had no trouble telling friend from foe. The biggest inditement of David and Wallis Nazi sympathising was that David, unlike the rest of the general public, regardless of class, was informed of what was happening politically and militarily in the years leading up to the war.

It is almost as if their behaviour was a childish way of cocking a snoot at his brother and the rest of the BRF. The indiscreet loose lips bothered them not one wit so long as their egos were being stroked. That is why they originally went to Berlin. Let's be honest here, there is no way on God's green earth that you are going to persuade us that Wallis was guileless and innocent and vast swathes of the people of Britain were Nazi sympathisers. Good heavens, whatever do you use to measure the moral fibre of a person. Wallis was divorced, remarried and had a succession of lovers, the last of any real note being David whom she later married. David was much the same.

Their chickens came home to roost and karma bit them in the ass. It's not as if David debauched an innocent! They were both morally bankrupt and it is hardly surprising that the bed they made was both crowded and comfortless.

Wallis Simpson's extraordinary collection of lovers | Daily Mail Online

Note: I do not hate either Wallis or David but am fascinated that each of them seemed to bring out the worst in the other. Fascinated by their public behaviour, how they seemed to go out of their way to do every single thing they were advised not to and thus became the authors of their own pitiable fate.
What an interesting article in the Daily Mail....so difficult to see how much she charmed men when you see her pix.....of course there are more important things than looks but.....
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  #1670  
Old 10-24-2017, 08:27 AM
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How this pathetic couple, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, did their best to sidestep wartime regulations and rationing.

How Edward VIII tried to cheat wartime rationing | Daily Mail Online
I kind of understand their point. With the end of the war they were gearing up to their never-ending social life and had to look respectable.
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  #1671  
Old 10-24-2017, 08:35 AM
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I kind of understand their point. With the end of the war they were gearing up to their never-ending social life and had to look respectable.
I believe that the women of the Royal Family also needed ‘respectable’ clothing, yet they abided by the rationing rules like their subjects did.
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  #1672  
Old 10-24-2017, 08:39 AM
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I believe that the women of the Royal Family also needed ‘respectable’ clothing, yet they abided by the rationing rules like their subjects did.
You can't really compare Queen Elizabeth or Queen Mary wearing their timeless conservative clothes with the Duchess of Windsor, who had to be dressed to the nines always in the latest fashion if she wanted to be noticed.
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  #1673  
Old 10-24-2017, 09:03 AM
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You can't really compare Queen Elizabeth or Queen Mary wearing their timeless conservative clothes with the Duchess of Windsor, who had to be dressed to the nines always in the latest fashion if she wanted to be noticed.
While Queen Mary was a sartorial dinosaur, not her choice though, by the end of her husband's reign (just compare her to Queen Elisabeth on the State Visit to Belgium) Queen Elizabeth dressed very fashionable for the late 1930s although she chose other designers that her sister-in-law. Crinolinesque dresses and an interpretation of mid 1800s style was all the rage in the years leading up to WWII.

Correction: Seems like the point of your post went over my head. Sorry
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  #1674  
Old 10-24-2017, 09:09 AM
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if she wanted to be noticed
Unsurprising, but beneath contempt..
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  #1675  
Old 10-24-2017, 01:32 PM
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One thing that stands out is that all of these people kind of showed what kind of stuff they were made of during the WWII years. There's reports of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor being sent to the Bahamas (mostly for political reasons), moaning about what they couldn't easily access and perhaps getting around rationing and the importance of the high life to them.

On the other hand, we see a King George VI and Queen Elizabeth who were going through the war years with their people. The Queen with her stamina who was able to say after Buckingham Palace was bombed "I am glad we have been bombed. Now we can look the East End in the eye." She also refused the offers of moving her daughters away from London. "The children will not leave unless I do. I shall not leave unless their father does, and the king will not leave the country in any circumstances, whatever."

While the Duke and Duchess were bemoaning the lack of things that they wanted and were finding ways around it, we had the then Princess Elizabeth receiving rationing coupons from all over for her wedding dress (which were returned, of course, to sender).

People tend to resonate with people in the public eye and that is still true today. The differences in the character of the different members of the British royal family can clearly be shown in the examples I've shown. Those that are primarily concerned about self and status and prestige tend to end up on the "naughty" list while those that actively show that they care about the people around them are on the "nice" list and respected and admired.

It is how these people displayed their own character and their concerns and their outlook on life that promotes what we still think of them today. Yeps. The UK found the best possible king for the time of WWII in King George VI and the stalwart Queen Elizabeth.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/...ross-luftwaffe

The Shawcross biography of the Queen Mother is definitely a "must read" and is an extensive (and heavy) look into this era.
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  #1676  
Old 10-24-2017, 07:42 PM
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One thing that stands out to me every time I read about the Duke and Duchess is how little either one anticipated the consequences of their actions. Again and again, both seemed to be almost entirely focused on the moment at hand with little sense of even the short term future. Their fixation was "how can we enjoy ourselves right now", "how is the world 'out to get us' right now," "how can we get the most attention right now," never seeming to think of how others might react or how they might actually be sabotaging themselves.

Time after time, they managed to finagle something that seemed good in the short term and then were shocked-shocked!-to discover that the fun or the money (or the good press) didn't automatically last forever or that selfish choices might inspire other people to react unfavorably. Neither truly understood that power, wealth and other people's good graces are all things that have to be maintained.
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  #1677  
Old 10-25-2017, 12:51 AM
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One thing that stands out to me every time I read about the Duke and Duchess is how little either one anticipated the consequences of their actions. Again and again, both seemed to be almost entirely focused on the moment at hand with little sense of even the short term future. Their fixation was "how can we enjoy ourselves right now", "how is the world 'out to get us' right now," "how can we get the most attention right now," never seeming to think of how others might react or how they might actually be sabotaging themselves.
You're measuring them by yardsticks that don't fit. They were not intellectuals, not particularly well educated, not imaginative. They did live their lives day-to-day, in a kind of survival mode, until after the war when a certain 'normalcy' and regularity could be achieved. They knew the lay of the land by then. And it was about them. So what? That's who they were, and they had good reason to feel at bay with the world. It's pretty simple from my view.

I've decided that we here have different motives in discussing historical figures. I have no interest in personally liking an historical personage, certainly do not want to engage in hatred of them (the dead). Never that, should never happen, in my book. I do try to understand these figures in the context of their time, not my time, with my 20/20 vision (if I fancy I have that). That's a very different perspective. I try to see through the hysteria some personages have generated in their time. Last thing I want to do is retread the same myths that engulfed the individuals in their lifetimes, which I think is done a lot with Wallis.

So I'm inclined to see Wallis differently than her times saw her, and that means the QM comes under scrutiny, because she seems to have led the charge against Wallis in many ways. It's a very curious thing imo. Something going on there that has nothing to do with a husband's early death. JMO.
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  #1678  
Old 10-25-2017, 02:31 AM
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I have hardly ever seen posters come on to the historical threads her at TRF and try to measure any royals, let alone the Windsors by the mores of the mid twentieth century.

Many people posting here are history buffs, several people have history degrees, taken as either a major or a minor, and have a deep understanding of the period encompassing the Windsors lifetime. Many have read quite a number of books about the Windsors. Nor does any poster IMO indulge in hatred of the dead, except perhaps on the Diana threads on occasion.

Nor do I believe did Loonytick do anything of that kind. You refer to 'myths', Lady Nimue, and to people adhering to them. Do you have anything to counter the facts put forward in many, many books about the Windsors and the BRF, for instance of involvement with known Nazi sympathisers before and during the war?

Do you have any documentation, for instance, to counter the fact that the Duke of Windsor lied to his brother in 1937 about his financial position for monetary advantage, a known fact, which upset his brother deeply when he found out the truth and IMO exacerbated the dislike the Queen Mother felt for both Windsors when she remembered how Bertie had been duped?

Do you have anything to support known facts collected by intelligence agencies that Wallis was cuckolding her husband and making a fool of the POW by being intimate with a car salesman at the time of her affair with David?

As I asked you in the QM threads, if you have anything to contribute as to why the Queen Mother supposedly 'hated' Wallis (which I don't believe she did, as, until Queen Mary's death the BRF were all unanimous in supporting her stance against Wallis) then can we please have sources to go to in the way of biographies with footnoted documentation on this, something that we can check?

Because, IMO, vague 'feelings' that 'something' personal was behind the QM's dislike of Wallis is not enough. I believe that if an assertion is made like that, then according to the rules of TRF it ought to be backed up with a verifiable source.
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  #1679  
Old 10-25-2017, 01:14 PM
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You're measuring them by yardsticks that don't fit. They were not intellectuals, not particularly well educated, not imaginative. They did live their lives day-to-day, in a kind of survival mode, until after the war when a certain 'normalcy' and regularity could be achieved. They knew the lay of the land by then. And it was about them. So what? That's who they were, and they had good reason to feel at bay with the world. It's pretty simple from my view.

I've decided that we here have different motives in discussing historical figures. I have no interest in personally liking an historical personage, certainly do not want to engage in hatred of them (the dead).
I certainly don't hate these two or need to personally like them. I'm interested in seeing how they fit into their time and place. And one thing I find interesting is how little they seemed to pay attention to the lay of the land, so to speak.

Intellect has nothing to do with it, really. They just didn't engage in basic "if I do this, x will likely happen" thinking that most humans through time have done, which lead to them being continually surprised by the consequences of their actions.

Like you, I don't buy into the popular image of Wallis as some evil, scheming thing. I think it's more that she didn't really bother to look very far beyond what was right in front of her face. I don't get the sense that she intended to make anyone's life difficult. At the same time, I don't get the sense that she cared one way or the other about what ripple effects she might set into motion or how others would be impacted. She just seems to me to have been a simple sort of...careless. Which is it's own kind of selfishness.

But honestly, there are any number of instances in which any dolt could have seen the obvious writing on the wall, yet those two seemed utterly surprised.

They lived in a time and place in which divorce was considered shameful across all segments of their society. Wallis herself had experienced first-hand how poorly people thought of divorcees. Any rag and bone man pushing a cart around the East End could have told you that there'd be a lot of fallout to the idea of a royal marrying a twice-divorced woman. Yet those two seemed perplexed by just how upset people were at the idea of him marrying her.

David came of age in the midst of a fundamental shift in royal life for the BRF. George V had recognized like no monarch before the importance of good PR. He didn't want to be associated with their WWI enemy; he didn't want them to be at risk of the uprising and assasination that had brought down his cousin and friend Tsar Nicholas. So he changed their name to Windsor and and placed great value on keeping the middle and lower classes on the side of themonarchy. He created the concept of what we now call "royal work" (frequent public appearances bringing them into contact with Britons of all walks of life as opposed to living a life of leisure behind palace walls and holding patronages in name only). He insisted that the BRF, or at least its public face, be one of loyalty, duty and wholesomeness. He drove home to his children than their future depended on that approach. David may not have liked it, but he was taught very clearly what would and wouldn't fly in that context. If he'd given any real thought to the matter, he'd have known there was absolutely no possibility for a British king to abdicate and then remain on English soil enjoying all the trappings of a prince with none of the responsibilities. Yet that is exactly what he seemed to think would happen when he stepped away from the throne.

Then there's the visit to Germany. I think it is important to remember that Germany and the UK were not officially enemies yet. The visit happened in 1937, when there was still a real possibility that the appeasement argument would win the day in UK. They didn't declare war until 1939. That said, anyone with any basic sense of current events could have seen that it was a very delicate situation. The Duke and Duchess just sort of barreled their way in like the proverbial bull in the china shop. Even if they had ultimately turned out to have been on the same side as the official UK position on Germany, there was no way that bypassing the Foreign office to stage their own, rogue, quasi-royal visit would have ever had a positive reaction from the powers that be. David, of all people, should have been able to anticipate how insulted everyone at Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and Westminster would have been...and that insulting them would come with uncomfortable consequences for himself and his wife. But whether it was about the attention, the chance to thumb his nose at London, or actual political beliefs, he couldn't seem to look beyond the momentary thrill of taking matters into his own hand.

In all of these situations, the pair did not seem to grasp that they were the ones who had pushed themselves further and further into "the outs." They wanted an HRH for her, they wanted to have some kind of life in London's social scene, but their own actions kept jettisoning any chance of rebuilding bridges and getting what they wanted. Theirs is a story of self-sabotage as much as it is one of being shunned and disposed of by the BRF.
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Old 10-25-2017, 04:47 PM
Heir Presumptive
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: London, United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmirerUS View Post
I'm not sure I agree w/para 2. I think she understood that if she walked away from him it would be she, not he that looked bad. After all, sans Wallis, the family could very well take him back on some terms and play her up as the villain. Which they were capable of at the time. If not the family, then the courtiers that did such an excellent job hacking away at the Wales' for fun and profit (JMO and off topic, but they showed their colors to be puce and petty back then).


I've always admired him for his lack of that trait. Sooner or later, we all get bugged by friends/loves. It's a mark of some kind of substance that he didn't feel/vent (which?) that in his own letters. Of course, he vented to her about the Royal Family. But that's another thing.
True I think they would BOTH look bad if the marriage had ended.. which is partly why they did stick it out, because having ditched his throne for a woman, HE would look bad if he coudln't then make the marriage last.. and she would alsos look bad,.
But I'm sure that she would have still had her friends and supporters, and she would have possibly gone on calling herself HRF (There was no mechanism to take that away from her and it would have been difficult to stop her usng it if she wanted to...) and likely found a new husband.
She hung out with "café society" in France and elsewhere, the MOSLEYS were their good friends.. I'm sure she would have still had a place in that society....if she had really found the marriage impossible.
However when all was sadi and done, she had great wealth, the "romance!!" of being the "woman he gave up his throne for", a royal husband, and a man who adored her..
There was no real reason to leave. I think she found the doting adoring a bit oppressive at times and found him rather dull, but she kew when she was well off and she stayed.
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abdication, britain, duchess of windsor, duke of windsor, edward viii, king edward viii, wallis simpson


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