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  #61  
Old 10-10-2010, 12:37 AM
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Oh dear, this is a bit TL;DR. Sorry!

I think the Queen Mother was naturally more "warm" in public than Wallis. I don't think that either that or the fact that she had no kids means she wasn't a kind person, though. She didn't do much in terms of the war effort but there were plenty who did just as little. While I'd much prefer to be stuck in a lift with the Queen Mother compared to Wallis, I wouldn't cast her as the cruel villain. She gave as good as she got.

By all accounts the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were completely devoted to each other, but by some sources the relationship was more asymmetrical --the Duke of Windsor adored Wallis more than she did him.

That contributed to the idea that she was quite grasping. He certainly did see something in her that others didn't. She seems quite severe in photographs but nonetheless good looking in a sort of flapperish kind of way. In a way David relied on Wallis as much as George VI relied on QE, TQM.

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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.
This is what I meant. In the "Nazi King" documentary (perhaps not the most balanced of sources ) I heard that there were concerns that Edward might basically support an alternative parliament and bring about a civil war. This might seem like quite a fantastic claim, but his presence in England would have certainly weakened the position of the monarchy. I can't imagine him keeping his mouth shut about things.

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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?
Now... Do you mean that Edward was deliberately giving his brother the wrong advice? Or that he was meddling in an uninformed way? Or that he was more well-informed about matters than he seemed to be?

It certainly was a difficult situation for him to give advice to his brother -- he abdicated his responsibility as a leader. He did read his dispatch boxes apparently -- apparently some of his state papers came back with drink rings on them, something that I find quite hilariously unsubtle.

And more on topic...
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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?
I agree that they were both a little of both. Wallis couldn't have been expected, just because she and Edward VIII was in love, to put up with the fact that the RF completely snubbed her. And I love the Queen Mother's comment -- "I'm not as nice as you think I am."

That's an interesting question, just how much George VI and the Duke of Windsor were dominated by their wives. The D of W was certainly crazy about Wallis. And in public it seemed that George VI would hang back while his wife smiled and greeted the public.

David was wildly in love with Wallis and George VI certainly relied on the Queen Mother, especially when it came to the public stuff that he wasn't very good at (notice how often in photos she's the one striding forward to smile at the crowd -- no one on the Royal Family really did that, George VI was too shy).

The letters that came out a couple of years ago (during publicity for the Shawcross biography) showed The Queen Mother was just as devoted to her husband (and relied on him in private just as much) as he was to her.

Hitler called the QM the most dangerous woman in Europe not just because of her "good PR" but because it was sometimes thought that she was the stronger one in the relationship. Hitler apparently thought the King was a bit of an ineffectual git. George VI often came to his wife for advice but I don't really think he was henpecked -- he was just naturally retiring as much as Edward VIII was probably naturally insecure. It was a very equal and loving relationship IMO. She made a great Queen and naturally made up for George VI's shyness.

In an era when women weren't always thought of as being equal to their husbands wallis and the QM were alike in that they were both in some ways the strongest one in the relationship. There was this idea that they were both domineering women, when they were just confident and in equal relationships IMO.

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TI 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).
Yes. I get the idea it was the sort of thing that was made for the sake of family and connections and all that. Not exactly a Kodak moment but a connection was made nonetheless. I've had similar visits to family members with less than ideal relationships -- "We're visiting because we're family." Awkward for all involved but you get the feeling that it's something you have to do.
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  #62  
Old 10-10-2010, 12:56 AM
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In the relationship, Wallis was definitely the leader and Edward was more than willing to let her take the lead. I've read that in the middle years of the marriage, she was exceptionally cruel and demeaning to Edward. I don't know if that's in fact true, but I could see it happening.
I couldn't see Wallis digging in and doing the things that QEQM did to support her country during the dark days of war. Frankly, Wallis considered herself a Southern Belle practically from birth and her type of lady didn't muck around bombed out buildings and tube stations with the people. Edward went along with her and chose the high life also. I do agree Edward could have done much better at introducing Wallis to the Royal Family and Royal life, but he chose not to.
I didn't like Edward too much because in my mind, he was weak willed, spoiled, irresponsible and immature. Instead of supporting England during the War, he whined about being stationed in Bahamas and about his lack of money.
I don't believe the couple could have ever returned to England postwar. People were embittered after the horrors of the Third Reich and the devastation and I'm sure the Windsor's enthusiasm of the Reich and embracing Hitler prewar probably remained in British citizens memory. After the War, I don't remember reading about any support among the people in support of the Windsor's returning to Britain. I may be wrong on that.
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  #63  
Old 10-19-2010, 01:28 PM
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I've just read in Lady Colin Campbell's book "Royal Marriages" that Wallis didn't treat the QM with the deference she expected which contributed to the frosty feelings they had with each other. Wallis didn't treat ANYBODY with any deference which really didn't score her any points with the BRF. Also, the QM, it said in this book, had walked into Ft. Belvedere and caught Wallis mimicing her and that didn't endear her to TQM either.
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  #64  
Old 10-19-2010, 02:40 PM
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Yes, Russo that has definitely been reported.

I am not sure that it was the lack of deference as so much not being familiar (Wallis I mean) with the British aristocracy. The Queen Mother (when Duchess of York) was a stickler for protocol and there were a couple of instances when Wallis showed a lack of it. I believe they first met at the prewedding ball for the Duke of Kent and Marina of Greece. Wallis wore a lilac dress with a contrasting sash (can't remember the color). She basically stood out when the night should have belonged to Marina.

Some other examples:

1) Arriving unannounced at the Royal Lodge (with Edward) and then proceeding to suggest that a couple of trees could be moved to improve a better view. It was thought that it was a power move as Edward was King and the Yorks were living at Royal Lodge as a grace and favor home;
2)At Balmoral, when arriving to dine with the King, she greeted the Yorks (acting as the hostess). The DoY announced that she came to dine with the King;
3) The King couldn't perform an event (he said he was in mourning) in Aberdeen (I think it was opening a hospital). But he was seen in Abderdeen picking up Wallis at the airport in his car, while at the same time the Yorks were opening the hospital. Which leads the question...if one brother is in mourning for George V isn't the other one? Also, the Kents (with a pregnant Marina) took another train to Balmoral (I think it was a two train ride) but Wallis couldn't take a train?
4) Wallis attended Ascot in a carriage/car provided by the King.
5) Wallis mimicked the Duchess of York and the Duchess heard her. Very tacky.

Some of events should be blamed on the Duke of Windsor but its easier to blame the woman than someone you care for IMO.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
5) Wallis mimicked the Duchess of York and the Duchess heard her. Very tacky.
Sounds like she was being deliberately rude and disrespectful. And mimicking someone when they're in earshot -- unless she made a mistake, that's very provocative. Sounds like she liked to stir the pot.

I assume the Queen Mother had one of those RP accents that Americans adore making a mockery of. Since the Queen Mother was (apparently) a very good mimic I wouldn't be surprised if she mimicked Wallis behind closed doors.

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Originally Posted by Zonk View Post
Some of events should be blamed on the Duke of Windsor but its easier to blame the woman than someone you care for IMO.
Do you mean that the RF blamed Wallis for some of the shenanigans Edward got up to? I think it's natural for the family to blame Wallis, an outsider, instead of the man who would be king. Then again, George V often made his displeasure with Edward known.
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:56 AM
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I think that one quote from George V to Edward was "You act like a cad. You dress like a cad. You are a cad. GET OUT!!!" This seems harsh, but given the way that the Prince of Wales acted at times, I can't disagree with the assessment.


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Then again, George V often made his displeasure with Edward known.
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  #67  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:11 AM
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Hi,

Well, quite frankly, I think he was a cad!!

He cavalierly dumped Frieda Dudley Ward by having his telephone operator tell her that she was no longer to be "put through" to his line.... Cold!!

And, he refused to see or speak to Thelma Furness after she returned to England in 1934.... Coward!!

Also, I rank cadism in with stingyism - whenever the cheque came onto the table, he did a disappearing act and let others pay.... Vulgar!!

Larry
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  #68  
Old 10-22-2010, 03:54 PM
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I quite agree. Despite his talk of "something must be done" to the Welsh miners, Edward VIII was a very selfish man.
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  #69  
Old 10-22-2010, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by isayoldboy View Post
Do you mean that the RF blamed Wallis for some of the shenanigans Edward got up to?...
According to lady Colin Campbell in her book Royal Marriages: Yes.
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  #70  
Old 10-24-2010, 12:48 AM
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Wallis overstepped her bounds from the minute she and Edward became an item. She assumed her "Queen" role from the get-go and to say the least, it was very presumptuous from an American who was still married to act the Royal. Edward was a cad and was a man who has always stuck me as being big on talk, but doing very little when it came to action.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:42 PM
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In Kitty Kelly's book I found the information that the real cause of Queen Mother attitude to Wallis was the fact that before marriage she was in love with Edward VIII,who didn't pay attention to the future Queen Mother feelings
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:59 PM
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I don't believe that this is true. Edward's lifestyle was quite different from Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons. If she shrinked from marrying his younger brother because of the responsibility entailed, I doubt very much that she would have wanted to be the Queen Consort.
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  #73  
Old 12-02-2010, 12:07 AM
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In Kitty Kelly's book I found the information that the real cause of Queen Mother attitude to Wallis was the fact that before marriage she was in love with Edward VIII,who didn't pay attention to the future Queen Mother feelings
That is a very common rumour that is very untrue and is often used as a soap opera technique (IMO) to bring some additional drama as to why Wallis and Elizabeth didn't get along. Quite frankly, they had several reasons why they didn't care for each other and didn't need this fabricated rumour as a reason why they didni't care for each other.

It is true that there were rumours of an engagement between Prince Edward and Lady Elizabeth Bowles Lyon but they were not true. The rumours occured when I believe Prince Albert was already courting the Lady Elizabeth. Its worth noting that the Lady Elizabeth already had concerns in marrying into the royal family by marrying Albert...so why would she seek greater fame and responsiblities marrying Edward? It makes no sense.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:37 PM
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Wallis was American and therefore not familiar with British culture the way a native of Britain would be, but the examples you listed are just plain rude, here in the States as well. I mean, I'm American, and I would never do those things, they are tacky and pushy.

It's my opinion (for whatever that's worth) that Wallis did love Edward, but that his being the King was part of it, plus the royal lifestyle. We fall in love for many complex reasons, and if being with him offered a rich lifestyle and the glamour of possibly being Queen, that didn't mean that she didn't love him, but that she was human. And she certainly did like a rich lifestyle. It doesn't make her a monster, but it doesn't make her particularly attractive to the Royal Family.

Someone commented that Wallis didn't grow up royal like Elizabeth did, but Elizabeth did not grow up royal, she grew up as the daughter of an Earl.

It could be argued that Camilla is in a similar position that Wallis would have been had she married Edward and he didn't abdicate, a divorced woman who was the mistress of the PoW, who then married him and will be Queen. I think it's the changing of the times, a little, but I also think it has a lot to do with attitude. Neither Wallis nor Edward seemed to put any importance on duty, but Charles and Camilla do seem to. The difference in personality between Camilla and Wallis, I think more than the fact that Wallis was American, made a lot of difference in being acceptable as a future Queen -- devotion to duty and support of the King and his people, or a self-indulgent lifestyle that included pushing herself forward inappropriately. If you become involved in the culture of a foreign country, especially in their high society, it's appropriate to sit back and learn the ways of your adopted country, not push forward and make a spectacle of yourself and your lover who happens to be the country's King. Or to mock his family members publicly. She may have been chic and charismatic, and may have truly loved Edward, but she certainly did not understand simple courtesy.
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  #75  
Old 12-02-2010, 08:44 PM
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It's not hard to imagine how Elizabeth would be angry and resentful towards Wallis for imposing the burden of the throne on her and her husband, even though her brother-in-law was most responsible for refusing to let her go. She felt Wallis was not an honourable woman and was out for herself. When her husband died in 1952, she became bitter about his early death and blamed Wallis and Edward.

She did ease her bitterness and anger over time, but never wavered in her view that Wallis was "the lowest of the low".
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:46 PM
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I think its easier to blame someone you view as "low" and a troublemaker than to acknowledge the shortcomings of someone you cared for and believed cared for you.

As the Queen Mother used to say before Wallis came into Edwards life....He used to be so kind to us."

It doesn't help that with the introduction of Wallis to Edward's life a lot of people seemed to be cast out...Freda Dudley Ward...the Yorks....Trotter, etc. Of course it says much more about Edward than Wallis...but we often fail to see the weakness and badness in those we love.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:01 AM
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I wouldn't put much credibility to anything Kitty Kelly writes. I don't think she is an author who checks her info and sources at all. The books I've read, have all contained glaring mistakes.
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  #78  
Old 12-03-2010, 03:02 AM
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In Kitty Kelly's book I found the information that the real cause of Queen Mother attitude to Wallis was the fact that before marriage she was in love with Edward VIII,who didn't pay attention to the future Queen Mother feelings

Kitty Kelly isn't the most reliable of sources as much of her work is gossip and not confirmed by the people actually involved.

I put her book with my fiction books not my biographies.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:14 PM
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I put her book with my fiction books not my biographies.
I'm surprised you waste your hard earned money on her works at all Bertie. I get her stuff from the lending library and back it goes! When the time is up.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:19 AM
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The more I read about Wallis and Edward the more I like them. I am watching movies about her and Edward now; the one's with Jane Seymour and Joely Richardson. I don't think she is as bad as people paint her out to be, and I recall reading in some history book that Wallis was trying to work out a way for her to disappear or separate herself from Edward around the time of the abdication.
Wallis definitely wasn't ugly, I have a book that shows pictures of her and a Young Elizabeth around the same age and they are both pretty women.
So Wallis dominated a weak Edward and he was more devoted to her than she was to him; the same could be said about Elizabeth and her husband. Both brothers were rather weak indecisive and a little scared about different things; I can only assume it was a result of their father's upbringing. But with the help of the women behind them they found strength.
Wallis and Elizabeth remind me of Camilla; someone who completely understands her man and is mother, lover, friend, teacher, and helpmate to them.
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