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  #261  
Old 05-13-2008, 07:42 AM
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Sympathy for Edward

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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
The British have been fed decades of propaganda about how perfect Bertie and Elizabeth were and what monsters Edward and Wallis were; it isn't until fairly recently that books and articles sympathetic to the Duke and Duchess have really started to appear. The Queen Mother has always been portrayed in the media as a sweet and harmless national granny figure, whereas the truth appears to be somewhat less sugar-coated. As Idriel said, the truth is almost certainly somewhere between the two extremes, but in Britain one side has been free to present its version and the other side hasn't.
I can't agree with this, Elspeth. The other side has always been free to present its version. There have been more sympathetic stories lately, however.

I am Australian. My mother has a very bad opinion of Edward and Wallis. She remembers his tour and how he offered to help the Welsh miners and how disillusioned people were when he abdicated. She thinks that he was quite pro-Nazi and no good and that Wallis was a gold-digger who wanted to be Queen. I am a bit more sympathetic, but not much!

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  #262  
Old 05-13-2008, 09:39 AM
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I didn't understand why they never had children, but it seems that David always intended his brother to succeed him, just not that soon.
I don't think they could have children, though I'm not entirely sure they wanted them either way. If he'd stayed on as King, I certainly think Elizabeth would've still been Queen, perhaps a bit later on though. He probably would've never married, opting for the Elizabeth I method and refusing to marry anyone but Wallis. I have trouble seeing him marrying a suitable royal virgin anyway. Not really his type.
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  #263  
Old 05-13-2008, 08:32 PM
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I do remember a quote Wallis gave over a game of bridge. Someone had asked about her and David having children and she had replied that he wasn't "Heir conditioned."
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  #264  
Old 05-13-2008, 10:40 PM
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My own, historically prejudiced view, is that Wallis Simpson is one of the most maligned persons of C20.

I noted, particularly, that the most disreputable stories pertaining to her did not surface until after her death when the reporters and purveyors of attacks upon her could not be challenged in law.

My grandparents, who were au fait with events at the time, always insisted that animosity towards Wallis was predicated on the fact that she was (gasp!) an American, and secondly, that HM, The Queen Mother, had an irrational dislike of her.

Be that as it all may, the fact is that poor Wallis died as unhappily as any human being could.

It's always puzzled me as to why Wallis is always portrayed as an attack on the Throne and stability, and not her husband, who was raised to know better.
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  #265  
Old 05-14-2008, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Polly View Post
My own, historically prejudiced view, is that Wallis Simpson is one of the most maligned persons of C20.
I share your view.

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It's always puzzled me as to why Wallis is always portrayed as an attack on the Throne and stability, and not her husband, who was raised to know better.
Same reason Camilla is blamed for the breakdown of Charles & Diana's marriage. Same reason Eve was blamed for Adam taking the apple. Same reason Moslem women are expected to keep their charms covered. Women are either madonnas or they're whores. I.e., the simple old fashioned double standards and sex discrimination inherent in a patriarchal society.
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  #266  
Old 05-14-2008, 04:52 PM
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Well I disagree with that. It was a most unfortunate situation for Wallis because she was already on her 2nd marriage. 2 marriages have gone wrong, didn't bode well for the success of a 3rd. And whether it was luck or the fact that she simply could NOT EVER divorce David, it's hard to say. I don't think we'll ever know.
I do agree that she's been maligned, but then again, I'm looking at her from 2008 eyes and not 1938 eyes. Strictures were a lot different back then.
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  #267  
Old 05-14-2008, 07:41 PM
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I share your view. I.e., the simple old fashioned double standards and sex discrimination inherent in a patriarchal society.
Me, I think we have more to worry about from the matriarchal side. Those throwing rolls in the supermarket were not men. I believe women are harder on women, and the fact that neither the Queen nor the Duchess of York liked Wallace backs that theory. If the Queen and Duchess had backed the relationship (pigs might fly) I believe that Balwin and the government would have caved.
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  #268  
Old 05-15-2008, 03:10 PM
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That goes in for a lot of conjecture. I think both of those strong women would have done it for their families sake but neither wanted to make the first move.
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  #269  
Old 05-15-2008, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Roslyn View Post
Same reason Camilla is blamed for the breakdown of Charles & Diana's marriage. Same reason Eve was blamed for Adam taking the apple. Same reason Moslem women are expected to keep their charms covered. Women are either madonnas or they're whores. I.e., the simple old fashioned double standards and sex discrimination inherent in a patriarchal society.
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.
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  #270  
Old 05-15-2008, 09:03 PM
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I do remember a quote Wallis gave over a game of bridge. Someone had asked about her and David having children and she had replied that he wasn't "Heir conditioned."
I have read in more than one book that the then POW had mumps around age 20, which well might have rendered him sterile.
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  #271  
Old 05-16-2008, 03:11 PM
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"A King's Story: The Memoirs of the Duke of Windsor"

Is a good place to start.
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  #272  
Old 05-16-2008, 09:24 PM
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I just bought this book. I will let you know when I finish it!
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  #273  
Old 05-19-2008, 05:19 PM
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I had never heard before that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were "exiled", was that official, self-inflicted, or unofficial in political sense?

I would imagine that in a way a self-inflicted exile would seem appropriet, they probably weren't the most loved people in the country after the abdication, but really couldn't imagine an official exile in modern times. The only place modernly that I've heard of an exile is in Monaco to Prince Rainier's nephew (I believe). But in England, where the monarchy seems to be walking on eggshells as to not be de-throned and are trying to seem as modern as possible, I just couldn't imagine it...
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  #274  
Old 05-19-2008, 07:18 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.
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  #275  
Old 05-20-2008, 05:28 PM
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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.
There was something very personal about it. The Duchess of York and Wallis didn't get along. Queen Mary's dislike was more along the lines of duty and sacrifice; the Duchess's dislike had a strong personal element. I think it's terrible that she was allowed to indulge this vindictiveness till practically the end of Wallis's life and then pretend to be friendly with her when it was too late to make any difference, but that's another matter.

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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.
I'm sorry, but I don't buy the "practising Christian" stuff. The Duchess of York didn't have any problems with Thelma Furness - a divorced and remarried woman - being David's mistress; in fact they apparently got along quite well. A genuine practising Christian wouldn't have been any happier about that than about his relationship with Wallis. It was partly personal dislike and partly the notion that while someone like Wallis was mistress material she wasn't wife material. David was actually trying to do the honest thing, and he was being told that he should find a suitable wife and keep Wallis as a mistress. Not really practising-Christian standards, unless I'm missing something.

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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.
I have thought about it.

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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.
Oh, I don't know. If it's true that he really didn't want to be King, he might not have been that bothered about abdication. All through his marriage he was mostly concerned about Wallis's status, not his own.

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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.
That's probably true, although I don't think he's the only one at fault.
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  #276  
Old 05-20-2008, 05:31 PM
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I had never heard before that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were "exiled", was that official, self-inflicted, or unofficial in political sense?
It was unofficial and it apparently wasn't made clear to David that his exile would be permanent although the King and his private secretaries were writing to each other very early on along the lines that David must never be allowed to come back.

Legally they couldn't have stopped him coming back, but he refused to return while his wife was cold-shouldered by the royal family, and the royal family made it clear they were never going to accept her. 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.

So it was really a case of making it impossible for him to do anything but stay away and then claim that it was voluntary on his part.
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  #277  
Old 05-20-2008, 09:20 PM
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Wow. Thank you for that information. I never could have imagined something like that. And people say that Royalty isn't sophisticated anymore...
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  #278  
Old 05-21-2008, 08:33 AM
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So I wonder if the queen could leave Sandringham to Edward or Anne if she wanted to?
I doubt it. After the precedent of the Abdication, it's likely the properties were put into a special trust that states only The Sovereign can own them.

So, in other words, the King is dead, long live the King. If you abdicate or are removed from the throne by Parliament, the properties immediately pass to the new Sovereign.
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  #279  
Old 05-21-2008, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by attaininggrace View Post
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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I don't know that you can make yourself fall in love with a certain kind of person, but PoW/Windsor certainly had plenty of opportunities to meet appropriate royals/aristocrats -- and he always attached himself to married women of the kind that Queen Mary could not have approved. I think he was a disaster waiting to happen ... and he had only 2 other choices, live alone or live quietly with a mistress. IMO he wasn't capable of self-sacrifice.
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  #280  
Old 05-21-2008, 07:10 PM
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Wow. In my personal opinion, Royals have been sacrificing true love since the institution was founded, so it would have been easy to forgo love and mary another royal to please the country, but I think that doing what he did was probably very hard, true, selfish, but imagine what it must have been like to know that you were deserting your entire family, and that the possibility that your actions could throw your country into revolution. I may be more sensitive than david was, but I personally would not have been able to deal with that guilt, nor with the fact that I had given up my entire life to serve people I didn't even know. For someone without a strong mind, the pressure of sacrificing your entire life could lead to many things, mental breakdown is one, and I think that he saw Wallis as his way out of his one-track life. Anyone told from the time that they're born that they must act a certain way, and that they could ever only have this precise job could feel very trapped, and IMHO I think that even if he did love Wallis, she was his freedom from that life...
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