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Old 12-24-2003, 02:41 AM
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The Abdication, 11 December 1936

The Abdication speech of H.M. King Edward VIII

At long last I am able to say a few words of my own. I have never wanted to withhold anything, but until now it has not been constitutionally possible for me to speak.
A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as King and Emperor, and now that I have been succeeded by my brother, The Duke of York, my first words must be to declare my allegiance to him. This I do with all my heart.
You all know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the Throne. But I want you to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget the country or the Empire which as Prince of Wales, and lately as King, I have for twenty-five years tried to serve. But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.
And I want you to know that the decision I have made has been mine and mine alone. This was a thing I had to judge entirely for myself. The other person most nearly concerned has tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course. I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of what would in the end be best for all.
This decision has been made less difficult to me by the sure knowledge that my brother, with his long training in the public affairs of this country and with his fine qualities, will be able to take my place forthwith, without interruption or injury to the life and progress of the Empire. And he has one matchless blessing, enjoyed by so many of you and not bestowed on me - a happy home with his wife and children.
During these hard days I have been comforted by Her Majesty my mother and by my family. The Ministers of the Crown, and in particular Mr. Baldwin, the Prime Minister, have always treated me with full consideration. There has never been any constitutional difference between me and them and between me and Parliament. Bred in the constitutional tradition by my father, I should never have allowed any such issue to arise.
Ever since I was Prince of Wales, and later on when I occupied the Throne, I have been treated with the greatest kindness by all classes of the people, wherever I have lived or journeyed throughout the Empire. For that I am very grateful.
I now quit altogether public affairs, and I lay down my burden. It may be some time before I return to my native land, but I shall always follow the fortunes of the British race and Empire with profound interest, and if at any time in the future I can be found of service to His Majesty in a private station I shall not fail.
And now we all have a new King. I wish him, and you, his people, happiness and prosperity with all my heart. God bless you all. God Save The King.

Edward VIII - December 11, 1936
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:45 PM
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The BBC sees a conspiracy in the abdication of Eduardo VIII the British throne
His relation with Wallis Simpson offered to “establishment” a pretext to release to the nation of a considered monarch unsuitable

The abdication of Edward VIII of the throne of England was been from a conspiracy of establishment British, according to a documentary one of the BBC of next exhibition, whose authors have leaned in official documents. The Government, the Anglican Church and members of the Royal Family privily were enchanted by the “affair” (relation) of the British monarch with divorced the American Wallis Simpson, according to that documentary one, whose content advances the newspaper Daily Express today.

Edward was detested by his excessive liking the women, their modernity, his desapego of the tradition and even his form to dress, explains Blakeway, according to which he was “a personage who did not stick anything in that surroundings”.

http://www.ideal.es/granada/20060913...609131752.html
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:06 PM
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Constitutionally, Baldwin was on shaky ground and waiting until the Coronation took place probably would have resulted in a morganatic marriage with Edward remaining on the throne.

The King does not need permission of the Government to marry nor does he need the approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury. As The Sovereign, he is above the law.

However, if the Government had resigned in protest, a constitutional crisis would have been created. At that point, Parliament would have no choice but to pass an Act of Exclusion removing him from the throne and granting it to The Duke of York. Edward knew the monarchy could not afford to risk being abolished by Parliament and abdicated to avoid a conflict.
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:01 AM
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David, from his biographers seemed to spend most of the period of the second World War bothering his brother for a title for Wallis he was obsessed and as someone observed for someone who had risen from nothing Duchess was a very good title indeed. I really don´t think that David, when he abdicated, realised exactly what he would be losing. I don´t think he regretted marrying Wallis but he would have preferred to have had his cake and eat it too, and I have no doubt, after reading many books on the subject that in this case it was "one loving and the other being loved". I don´t think Wallis ever realised why the British public disliked her so much, in fact I don´t think, despite being married to an ex king, that she ever really understood anything about the British royal family and their traditions and what being royal actually meant and that it was anything more than having a title and being curtseyed to.
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:53 AM
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I absolutely agree with you Menaru. Both David and Wallace were children of privilege and, I don't think either of them believed they could not have every little thing that they wanted. David was the heir to the throne of England, beloved by his family and his subjects. Wallace had married and divorced twice at the snap of her fingers to get what she wanted.

It is true that once he became King no one could prevent him from marrying Wallace but his Mother would never have accepted her, and, if people think that Charles had a hard time pulling off a wedding to a divorcee, they had better believe that there is no way on earth that the Archbishop of Canterbury would have presided over their wedding nor would he have allowed any of his clegy to perform the marriage.

Without the blessing of the church his subjects would never have accepted that a marriage even existed.

Without the blessing of his mother and family chaos would reign.

A royal house divided was unthinkable so, I think he abdicated thinking that he would still be the center of the world, believing his younger brother would need his help to reign as he was neither familiar nor comfortable with public life.

The reality of abdication just didn't seem to register. I think he really thought abdicate, stay in Britain or at least return and be the power behind the throne.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:12 AM
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I don't agree Wallis didn't know or understand the British public's feelings about her. Even before the Abdication, her letters to The Duke clearly show she was worried about being blamed for his decision and warned him there would be no HRH style for her.

The Duke was in denial about the price he would pay for giving up the throne and allowed himself to believe his family would welcome Wallis with open arms after their marriage.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:09 AM
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I don't think she wanted him to give up the throne, but she didn't want to lose him forever either. The phone lines weren't a good connection, and I think she was unable to make him see how bad it would be if he abdicated. He was so worried about loosing her he never stopped to think about how much life would change for both of them if he abdicated.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:55 PM
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From Greg King: The Duchess of Windsor: The Uncommon Life of Wallis Simpson, when informed that David had already abdicated.

"Wallis was stunned. David had assured her that he would not abdicate; now he had done just that without bothering to inform her until it was too late. she had worried endlessly, tried to remove herself over and over again from the situation, been prepared to sacrifice her own desires and future happiness, to keep him on the throne. "I think ultimately she felt very, very betrayed by the abdication," a friend later declared. "She rarely spoke about that period of her life, but once, she did admit that she was more than a little put out at having her future essentially determined for her."
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:45 PM
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I'm currently reading Diana Mosley's The Duchess of Windsor. It confirms Wallis was quite prepared to withdraw from the relationship if it would stop him from abdicating, but was torn by her wish to provide him with the help and support for which he had come to rely upon her. He had made up him mind some time before the actual Abdication that he was going to marry Wallis as soon as her divorce was finalised, and he was a determined man. She wept while listening to his radio broadcast.

In his own way he was a caring man. He tried to draw attention to the plight of the unemployed Welsh miners. I think he worked hard at his duties as PoW, but not everyone is cut out to be King and David was one of them.
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:48 PM
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It was impossible for a King to marry a twice-divorced woman in 1936 and retain the throne. It wasn't acceptable to the British public at the time and the monarchy has to have the consent of the people to survive.

But I do think the vendetta should have ended with time. Wallis was certainly unfairly maligned for what was ultimately The Duke's own decision to put his own selfish interest before his duty. Not giving her the proper rank of HRH as the wife of a son of the Sovereign after thirty years of marriage was very unfair.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by branchg View Post
It was impossible for a King to marry a twice-divorced woman in 1936 and retain the throne. It wasn't acceptable to the British public at the time and the monarchy has to have the consent of the people to survive.
Sorry, I think I got a little carried away by the sexual politics and forgot that every situation must be viewed in it's time and place. Yes, Wallace was unfit (and I use that word advisedly) to be Queen. We know that the US secret service was watching her, so too were the British. Not only was she a divorcee, but she had a documented habit of cheating on her spouses, and, if reports are to be believed, on David both before and during the marriage. That would have put a giant question mark over the legitimacy of any issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by branchg
But I do think the vendetta should have ended with time. Wallis was certainly unfairly maligned for what was ultimately The Duke's own decision to put his own selfish interest before his duty. Not giving her the proper rank of HRH as the wife of a son of the Sovereign after thirty years of marriage was very unfair.
The government and the King were obviously kept informed of the social liaisons of both the Duke and the Duchess. I don't think they did anything to try to tone down their lifestyle or their politics.

Question: Do we know for sure that they wanted to reestablish ties with the rest of the BRF? Or could it be that two strong willed women would not and could not give an inch?
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:22 AM
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I think there's also an element of the group coming together to blame the outsider. Much better for the monarchy if poor David was portrayed as rather innocent and gullible and in the clutches of an adventuress than to hint that he was a self-centred weakling who wasn't suitable to become King and didn't particularly want to anyway. The latter would cast some doubt on the ability of the system to deliver a worthwhile head of state, but the former would place the blame firmly outside the system.
Good points.

I haven't read any biographies of David, but just finished Diana Mosley's biography of Wallis and am now interested and want to read more about both of them (David & Wallis, I mean, though Diana Mosley's interesting in her own right). I was particularly interested to read that shortly before he died, George V said to Queen Mary (in the presence of Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox, who told Maybell, Lady Airlie, who immediately noted it down) "I pray to God that my eldest son will never marry and have children and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne". I know George V was a stern man and distant father, and seemed to dislike the very popular David. I can't help wondering how much his poor relationship with his father affected his attitude to his "duty" and the abdication. I find him interesting and am not sure yet whether I agree he was a weakling. He does seem to have been self-absorbed, but I think it took a lot of courage to abdicate.
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Old 05-16-2008, 03:54 PM
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George V said to Queen Mary (in the presence of Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox, who told Maybell, Lady Airlie, who immediately noted it down) "I pray to God that my eldest son will never marry and have children and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne". I know George V was a stern man and distant father, and seemed to dislike the very popular David. I can't help wondering how much his poor relationship with his father affected his attitude to his "duty" and the abdication.
George V and Queen Mary knew David had contemplated renouncing his right to the throne in order to marry Wallis, which he had expressed to his private secretary, who duly passed it on to Lord Wigram. By then, the relationship was well-known in court circles and there was already growing concern for the monarchy, given the King's declining health.

David was too afraid to approach his father with the idea and he may have believed he could have his cake and eat it too. Once he was King (which he knew would not be long), he may have thought the Government could be persuaded given his popularity with the public. In this, he was to be greatly mistaken.
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Old 05-16-2008, 03:57 PM
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He does seem to have been self-absorbed, but I think it took a lot of courage to abdicate.
I disagree. He had no choice but to abdicate and it would have shown greater courage to accept a lesser sacrifice (giving up Wallis) in order to fulfill his duty to be King.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:27 PM
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He could have waited till after his coronation to announce his intention to marry Wallis. It seems as though everyone thought his position would have been more secure then, although I'm not quite sure why. Whether it was romance, honesty, or a genuine desire to renounce the throne that made him insist on resolving the issue as soon as possible seems to depend on who's telling the story.

As for having no choice but to abdicate, Beaverbrook was telling him he could ask for a morganatic marriage, Churchill was telling him to stick to his guns and everything would be all right, and Baldwin seemed to be trying not to tell him anything till he really had to. The only person who was insisting that he would have to abdicate if he wanted to marry Wallis was his private secretary, who he didn't trust.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:48 AM
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A Lesser Sacrifice

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I disagree. He had no choice but to abdicate and it would have shown greater courage to accept a lesser sacrifice (giving up Wallis) in order to fulfill his duty to be King.
I absolutely agree. He could surely have fallen in love with someone more suitable? He and Prince Charles are extremely selfish.

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Old 05-19-2008, 09:23 AM
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The only person who was insisting that he would have to abdicate if he wanted to marry Wallis was his private secretary, who he didn't trust.
I think it is very important not to underestimate the importance of his mother and his family in the scheme of things.

They made it clear that they did not consider David's lifestyle suitable for a King but that could have changed, indeed would have changed, had he become King. Wallis however was not negotiable. They saw her as immoral, licentious and totally unfit to become Queen, more importantly, there existed a deeply held loathing on the part of the royals, and total comtempt on the part of Wallis.

The King and Queen and the York family were all practicing christians who believed in honour and duty. David's entire lifestyle was anathema to them. Wallis was the last straw. An immoral soon to be twice divorced woman whose infidelities were well known to the King and Queen, as were David's and her political views.

Think about it. The Prince of Wales set was exciting, dashing, romantic and risque. The Yorks were playing happy families and enjoying it. The chasm between the two lifestyles was really too wide to be bridged.

Imho David believed he could have it all. But when push came to shove he knew he could never be King with Wallis and without the help and support of his family. That being the case he threatened to abdicate. I don't think he thought for a moment that they would agree. After all abdication was just not to be thought of and he believed they would relent and let him have it all. Sort of like holding your breath until you turn blue.

IMHO the POW was an overindulged libertine whose past caught up with him big time. Instead of showing backbone he bottled out.

Britain and the Commonweath are the better for it.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:51 PM
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From what I remember it was self-imposed, but Queen Mary didn't help matters any and neither did Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
The initial absence was for a period of two years to give the new King sufficient time to establish himself as the monarch and stabilize the institution, which was negotiated by Walter Monckton.

Things went rapidly downhill after the extent of The Duke's private fortune was revealed during the negotiations over disposing of Balmoral and Sandringham. George VI had inherited the throne with little money since he was not the eldest son and the revenues from the Duchy of Lancaster were depleted from The Duke's lavish spending on jewels. The Duke, on the other hand, was worth over $30 million in today's dollars from years of income from the Duchy of Cornwall. On top of that, he demanded a tax-free income of 25,000 pounds from the King.

Then came the rift over the letters patent denying Wallis royal rank, Queen Mary's refusal to accept his marriage, the war, etc.

The breach just was too wide to cross.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:39 PM
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There was also the matter of an annual payment being made to him by the King (and also I believe continued at some level by the Queen after she took the throne); I think it was made plain to him that if he tried to move back to England, the payments would stop. I'd have to look that up, though.
The financial aspects of the Abdication were not settled until 1937, which caused considerable friction and estrangement between the brothers.

As the eldest son and future King, Edward had inherited Balmoral and Sandringham, which are the private property of The Sovereign, upon the death of George V. Legally, these remained his personal property despite the Abdication, therefore, George VI had to buy them from The Duke to keep them with the Crown.

After bickering over the valuation of the properties, The Duke and George VI finally agreed to hire an independent appraiser, who indicated they were worth about 250,000 pounds. This lump sum amount was not paid directly to The Duke, but instead was invested in War Loan bonds, the income of which was payable tax-free to foreign residents. The Duke received about 11,000 pounds annually from these bonds.

Before the Abdication, The Duke completely misled his brother about the extent of his private fortune, which he had amassed after many years as The Duke of Cornwall. He claimed his income after he abdicated would amount to about 5,000 pounds. As a result, his brother agreed to pay him a lifetime income of 25,000 pounds (the equivalent of $500,000 in today's money).

This amount was later reduced to 21,000 pounds to account for pensions paid to household staff that George VI assumed on behalf of his brother for Queen Mary and other members of the royal family. 11,000 came from the War Bonds tax-free, while the other 10,000 came from George VI in the form of a personal allowance.

When George VI died in 1952, The Queen informed her uncle the 10,000 allowance would no longer be paid as it was a personal agreement with her father. The Duke immediately engaged his London lawyer to protest and eventually The Queen agreed to continue paying it. However, it was also made clear the allowance was contingent on the Duke's continued absence from Britain.

Before The Duke died, he wrote to The Queen asking that she continue to pay the allowance to The Duchess if he died first. She agreed to pay 5,000 pounds, but after The Duchess became seriously ill and bedridden, she contacted Maitre Blum in 1979 and told her she would pay all of the medical and household expenses.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:04 PM
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That's pretty much what I remembered, although I don't have the details to hand without searching through piles of books to find one of the Duke's biographies.

So basically they misled each other: David didn't tell Bertie about the savings he'd stashed away from his Duchy of Cornwall income, and Bertie didn't tell David that his exile was going to be permanent. No wonder there was long-term bad feeling between the two families.
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