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  #41  
Old 09-29-2010, 03:41 PM
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The Queen Mother was quite direct about it, actually. She was supposed to have referred to Wallis as "the woman who killed my husband." Granted, George VI died of lung cancer; but I have no doubt that the stress of the abdication and war leadership might have hastened the disease's progress.


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Am I right in thinking that the Queen Mother indirectly blamed Wallis Simpson for her husband's premature death? ?
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  #42  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:14 PM
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But on some level I think the royals, Bertie and Elizabeth included, didn't think Wallis really loved Edward. They thought she was using him, and that she would abandon him once she found someone she preferred or he was no longer of use to her. I don't think that was the case at all and looking back we now know their marriage lasted, and the love letters made their relationship seem very strong. But at the time, the royals thought Wallis was this horrible manipulative gold digger.

That also explains why Elizabeth softened to Wallis in her later years.
There can be no question that a woman who was twice-divorced, clearly money hungry and acquisitive, and willing to be the mistress of The King would never be accepted by Queen Mary or the rest of the royal family as suitable to become Queen. Even today, it would be a stretch to think such a woman would be accepted in Britain as Queen Consort.

Later, as George VI grew into his role and World War II solidified the monarchy, attitudes softened a bit. But duty always came first and the feeling that The Duke was a disgrace never really disappeared. It was his duty to be King and make the necessary sacrifices that came with that responsibility.
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  #43  
Old 10-07-2010, 09:38 AM
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Even today, it would be a stretch to think such a woman would be accepted in Britain as Queen Consort.
I like to think of it this way: how much controversy would there be if someone ran for office in America married to (or courting) a twice-divorced woman who was as outspoken and visible as Wallis Simpson? Maybe it would be less so in the UK, but it would still arouse comment.

On one hand the reaction to Wallis may seem "old-fashioned", but on the other hand maybe it was just a more universal knee-jerk response to a woman whose motives were not entirely clear. I don't doubt that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were happy together -- but it wouldn't have been hard, given her history (and his), to wonder why exactly she was in the picture, and why Edward had fallen in love with her.

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Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
The Queen Mother was quite direct about it, actually. She was supposed to have referred to Wallis as "the woman who killed my husband." Granted, George VI died of lung cancer; but I have no doubt that the stress of the abdication and war leadership might have hastened the disease's progress.
Yes, exactly. You could chalk it down to an attempt on the Queen Mother's part to blame something less intangible than smoking, as it was only just becoming accepted at the time that smoking caused lung cancer. Looks like there was no love lost between these two! No wonder.

Edward VIII and Queen Mary both smoked heavily, and both died of smoking-related illnesses, but at a much later age than George VI did. It's no stress to imagine that the stress of the war compounded the effect of the illness. He was a highly anxious person, I think, and the Queen Mother would have seen first-hand the effects that the abdication had on her husband and on the whole family.

There's another dimension to those comments, too. No matter what was said about Wallis Simpson I don't really think she could fight back as well. The Duke and Duchess were barely allowed back in the country. They were in disgrace and the Queen Mother always had the moral high ground. George VI and the Queen Mother stuck it out, and whatever the Duke of Windsor did (which didn't seem to be much), he could never seem to shake off the fact that he'd slunk away from the throne the way he did. That's the interpretation that holds up that comment of the Queen Mother's, and even the most sympathetic portrayal of Edward VIII can't avoid the fact that his brother, who didn't want the throne either, stepped up to the plate when Edward didn't want it any more.

It really strikes me that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor stayed together so long. It seems like quite an empty life, really, sitting in Bermuda out of the way while the war goes on around you. They lived quite a vacuous existence after the war, I think also.
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  #44  
Old 10-07-2010, 09:53 AM
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Without a doubt, it was an empty life.

Edward really thought he would have the opportunity to go back to England after a period of exile. The situation could have been handled better I agree, but I think that has a lot to do with Edward as well. To put it simply, I don't think he knew his place after he gave up the throne. And than what do you do....receive her?
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  #45  
Old 10-07-2010, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
Edward really thought he would have the opportunity to go back to England after a period of exile.
That's quite naive on his part. I think exile was the only way the RF could deal with him. Anything high-profile that he did in England would have threatened the stability of the monarchy. It wasn't like they could let him go around opening schools or what have you.

I wonder how instrumental the Queen Mother was in preventing members of the RF from attending the wedding and in preventing Wallis Simpson from becoming an HRH. It certainly took a long time for the RF to drop the grudge.

The Queen visited the Windsors in 1972, when the Duke of Windsor was very sick. Apparently he rose to bow to her -- very touching. I think the QM softened toward Wallis a little bit in later years, too.
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  #46  
Old 10-08-2010, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by isayoldboy View Post
That's quite naive on his part. I think exile was the only way the RF could deal with him. Anything high-profile that he did in England would have threatened the stability of the monarchy. It wasn't like they could let him go around opening schools or what have you.
I don't think it's naive at all, I think that's honest. He truely thought he would be allowed back after things had calmed down and I think his brother would have let him back but his mother and wife would not have.

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I wonder how instrumental the Queen Mother was in preventing members of the RF from attending the wedding and in preventing Wallis Simpson from becoming an HRH. It certainly took a long time for the RF to drop the grudge.
Now which QM? Because at the time of the abdication Mary of Teck was mother to the King, but i'm guessing you mean Queen Elizabeth, QM. I think she was very instrumental and I believe that she thought Edward had ruined her life, she had expected to be The Duchess of York for the rest of her life, not the Queen. Also there is the fact that if Edward had not have abdicated, George would not have died so early.
And who say's they've dropped the grudge?
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  #47  
Old 10-08-2010, 06:45 AM
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He truely thought he would be allowed back after things had calmed down and I think his brother would have let him back but his mother and wife would not have.
I assumed that his returning would have risked some sort of constitutional crisis, or at least undermined the monarchy. Then again, he kept a low profile politically after the abdication, so maybe it was just the fact that he was persona non grata with his brother and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. His relationship with his mother also soured in his later years. Maybe he thought his relationship with the rest of his family wouldn't go so badly.

George VI forbade members of the RF from attending the wedding. He was also angered by the Duke of Windsor asking him for more money. David was not on the Civil List so George VI payed him an allowance. Very complicated relationship there.

Hmmm. Slight reassessment. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother never really forgave Wallis I think, but the royal family in general softened toward her a little bit. The Queen Mother did send Wallis flowers when the latter became ill, but refused to visit her. The Duchess of Windsor stayed in Buckingham Palace when the Duke of Windsor was buried. Also, in 1967 the two attended a ceremony celebrating the centenary of Mary of Teck's birth.
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  #48  
Old 10-08-2010, 06:52 AM
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Again...I guess its what you are reading.

I dont think its unreasonable to expect Edward not to spend time in England. Apparently, in one book George mentions that every other monarch's predecessor had deceased and they didn't have to deal with them. His was living in Europe and a big cloud over his head. I don't think Edward could understand that he was no longer top dog. The scenes when he asks the King to call back because it wasn't a good time for Edward, and he is told that this is the only time the King can take the call until a couple of days later. He is described as being somewhat in shock by Fruity Melcafe (sp). In addition to this, once George became king and he and Edward were speaking on a regular....Edward was giving advice that was in direct conflict with the advice that George was receiving from the Government ministers. Are you kidding me...this is the same man (Edward) who wouldn't read his red boxes? And you are giving advice?

The Duke of Windsor was not on the Civil List (correct), and George VI did pay him for Edward's life interest in Sandringham and Balmoral BUT apparently Edward was not very forthcoming when discussing how much money he had squirreled away and George VI was not happy to learn that Edward had not been totally honest with them. Edward had been Prince of Wales for what 20 plus years...he should have had some more money put to the side. But he did buy Wallis some very valuable and beautiful jewelry.

The relationship between Queen Mary and Edward was frosty after the abdication as the Queen could never understand Edwards lack of duty so to speak. She did soften somewhat, supposedly when Wallis was ill, she said "I send a kind message to your wife" and this was years after Edward and Wallis had married. But she wouldn't relent and meet Wallis (apparently she made a promise to George V) that she wouldn't receive her.

I read (in one of the many books..I think Royal Feud) that Elizabeth the Queen Mother was going to visit Wallis when she was ill but she was too ill to receive her and the visit was canceled. I think her position towards Wallis softened somewhat after the death of Edward. As they were both now widows and alone.

Again, it depends on what you read....I have read that Charles did not enjoy visiting the Windsor and mocked their home, and I have also read that he enjoyed meeting his Great Uncle and spending time with him.
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  #49  
Old 10-08-2010, 11:15 AM
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Now which QM? Because at the time of the abdication Mary of Teck was mother to the Queen, but i'm guessing you mean Queen Elizabeth, QM.
At the time of the abdication, Mary of Teck was Queen Mother as mother of the King, not mother of the Queen. The Countess of Strathmore was the mother to the Queen.
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  #50  
Old 10-08-2010, 01:01 PM
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At the time of the abdication, Mary of Teck was Queen Mother as mother of the King, not mother of the Queen. The Countess of Strathmore was the mother to the Queen.
Thank You for the nice correction.

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Originally Posted by isayoldboy View Post
I assumed that his returning would have risked some sort of constitutional crisis, or at least undermined the monarchy. Then again, he kept a low profile politically after the abdication, so maybe it was just the fact that he was persona non grata with his brother and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. His relationship with his mother also soured in his later years. Maybe he thought his relationship with the rest of his family wouldn't go so badly.
Why would it have risked some sort of constitutional crisis? He was taken out of the line of succesion, he had been given a deserving title.
Edward thought he would be allowed back, but his family or mainly Elizabeth and Mary didn't want him back because they were truely hurt by what he had done.

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Originally Posted by isayoldboy View Post
George VI forbade members of the RF from attending the wedding. He was also angered by the Duke of Windsor asking him for more money. David was not on the Civil List so George VI payed him an allowance. Very complicated relationship there.
And I can quite see Elizabeth being behind the decision to not allow members to the wedding. Else i would have thought Bertie would have wanted to go.

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Originally Posted by isayoldboy View Post
Hmmm. Slight reassessment. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother never really forgave Wallis I think, but the royal family in general softened toward her a little bit. The Queen Mother did send Wallis flowers when the latter became ill, but refused to visit her. The Duchess of Windsor stayed in Buckingham Palace when the Duke of Windsor was buried. Also, in 1967 the two attended a ceremony celebrating the centenary of Mary of Teck's birth.
Well i've never heard those stories. I have heard the one about Wallis attending the centenary and that QM completely blanked her and didn't wish for her to be there, and it was out of curtesy to allow her. But as Zonk said it depends what you read.
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  #51  
Old 10-08-2010, 02:52 PM
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The potential for a crisis could have existed if people had decided to use Edward as their mantle and make overtures for Edward to reclaim his throne. Which is something that Oswald Moseley decided to do....he was quoted as saying down with the current PM (can't remember his name) and up with Edward and Wally.

Elizabeth and Wallis met a couple of times before the abdication and the next time was the unveiling of Queen Mary's statue in 1967. The meeting is highlighted in Royal Feud. Supposedly The Queen met both in Paris after the Duke had surgery (I believe that is the correct time line). And yes, Wallis did stay at Buckingham Palace after the Duke's death. They did not meet again because Wallis became ill and didn't really leave her home. But during the 60's and 70's, the younger generation of the Gloucesters and the Kents would visit the Windsor's when they were in Paris. Same thing with Princess Margaret. I wouldn't say they were cosy visits like one gets when one visits family but the point is that some of the barriers had been broken (just a little mind you).
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  #52  
Old 10-08-2010, 03:08 PM
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Edward had been Prince of Wales for what 20 plus years...he should have had some more money put to the side. But he did buy Wallis some very valuable and beautiful jewelry.
As far as I know this has never been satisfactorily explained. There was a period after the Abdication where the Duke of Windsor was regularly complaining to the new King about his need for more money and it became very aggravating. The Duke had also invested in some Canadian oil wells but these were not the financial sucess he had hoped for. On the other hand the Duke and Duchess paid a peppercorn rent for their house in Paris.

Nonetheles, there's an inherent contradiction in the Duke "crying poor" while at the same time his financial resources seemed more than adequate to pay the jewellers for the many expensive pieces that he bought for Wallis. The Paris lifestyle was royal in nature with servants in livery and dinners and entertainments requiring nothing but the best as Wallis remained true to her (deserved) reputation as a supreme hostess. Then there was the travelling, the hotels, the clothes, the gowns etc etc, none of which came cheap. Maybe the Duke, while Prince of Wales, had squirrelled away a lot more of the Duchy of Cornwall income than he let on to his brother, but his true financial situation still remains something of a mystery.
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  #53  
Old 10-08-2010, 03:38 PM
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Yes, Warren...and that was one of the sources of the friction the belief that Edward wasn't truly honest about his financial situation. The powers that be working on the financial discussion felt that the Duke had lied about his private fortune. According to the Reluctant King, the Duke has squirreled away 25 million (in today's valuation) during this time as Prince of Wales. Sarah Bradford (the author) uses as her sources The Secret File of the Duke of Windsor by Michael Bloch, the Chamberlain Papers as well as others.

There is also a mention of the discussion and the wishes of the British government NOT to publicize the private finances of the BRF. Some felt that the Duke was trying to pressure the family into agreeing to his wishes. He didn't agree intially to the figures for Sandringham and Balmoral, and apparently was going to forbid them to use Balmoral in 1938.

But other books (particularly The Duchess of Windsor by Greg King) suggest that Edward was in fact broke by the time of hte Abdication.

But I suppose we are getting off topic...
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:01 PM
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If the royal family was threatened, the Queen Mother was the foundation that held it together. She held Britian together. This she did during World War II. I don't think Wallis Sampson could do this even if she thought she could. This would be very challenging for someone who didn't grow up royal. The monarchy might have either fallen apart or if it survived would be much different than it is now (perhaps much weaker) if Wallis Sampson was the wife of the King.

Yes, she was a motherly figure (Queen Mother).However, if she had to be tough or resilient, she was and stepped up to the plate every time.
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:12 PM
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Well I while I admit that Wallis didn't appear motherly, for all we know she might have risen to the ocassion.

I am personally torn about Wallis: on one hand, I think she deserves some credit for getting Edward away from England. Him leaving the throne was not a bad thing. Based on his actions, I think he was just selfish.

On the other hand, she was not English and and as such unfamiliar with the way things were done and I think Edward should have done a better job at guiding her. There is no way he could have put a positive spin on the marriage/divorce thing. It is what it is. And it was 1936, not 2010.

On the other hand, his family members had an impression of Wallis created by other people. They simply didn't get the opportuinty to know her. That was certainly Edward's fault. Let her spend time with them..and not just in a party setting when there are other people around. He is saying that she is wonderful to Paul of Greece. Why is she wonderful? And honestly, maybe she was just too American for them in her manners and the way she saw things. Its not like Elizabeth didn't like Americans or mistresses...the Yorks apparently got along with Thelma Furnes and Freda Dudley Ward. Maybe it was just that they felt that Wallis didn't know her place?

The point I don't think Wallis was the devil and Elizabeth the Angel. I think they were a little of both. Someone once mentioned that both brothers married women that utterly dominated their (the husbands) life. Really, maybe they didn't get along because they were more alike than they would have liked to admit?
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:29 PM
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When I meant motherly, I meant the Queen Mother. Sorry about that. I don't think of motherly when I think of Wallis Sampson.
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:33 PM
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No I know what you meant.

Wallis could have shown compassion or empathy. We will never know. I don't think she was as cold hearted as everyone thinks. You don't have to be a mother to have compassion and care about other people. Not, that I am saying you are saying that.

But again, there has never been anything that I have seen or read to indicate that Wallis was a giving person. I am not talking about giving gifts to friends or anything like that. But helping people who are in need or assistance. The Queen Mother did that before she became the Duchess fo York.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:06 PM
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The Queen Mother is usually smiling in pictures that I've seen in magazines and on TV. Her persona suggests a warm friendly person that you would love to invite for dinner or some type of social gathering. Whenever I see pictures of the Queen Mother, I think of my own grandmother.

I've seen pictures of Wallis Sampson and a few clips were she has spoken. I don't get the same feeling about her. Not because she didn't have children or because she not a mother. The persona is different. I would not say cold hearted but not someone who is giving of herself.

I could be totally wrong. King Edward saw something in her that other's didn't see. It's possible that she may have provided an emotional need that others couldn't or didn't provide him. This is what may have attracted him to her.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:16 PM
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I totally agree.

I think that Wallis gave Edward a feeling of motherly love. That is something he received from his previous mistresses and didn't feel that he received from his mother, Queen Mary.

I understand your statement about Edward seeing something in Wallis that others didn't see. I really have nothing nice to say about the man. I think he should share more of the blame for the relationship between the BRF and Wallis. He also took a lot upon himself. Let's not forget that both he and Ernest discussed the end of the Simpson marriage before Wallis and Ernest.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:02 PM
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The only charitable work I've ever read of her doing was with the Red Cross when she was in Bermuda.


[QUOTE=Zonk;1145435But again, there has never been anything that I have seen or read to indicate that Wallis was a giving person. [/QUOTE]
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